Some time ago I became disenchanted with the more than 3,600 brands of bottled and mineral waters on the market. (There are at least 3,600 from 141 different countries according to www.mineralwaters.org!) I admit that when bottled water first became trendy, I toted it around like a fashion accessory and was convinced that I was reaping all the ultra cool benefits associated with being super hydrated.
However, slowly my love affair with bottled water drifted away as I learned that in many cases, what I was drinking was overpriced and nothing more than tap water recycled from a municipal treatment plant. I learned that many spring waters are hundreds of miles away from the nearest spring and that quaint water brands I adored are now owned by some of the biggest beverage firms in the world. Worst of all, I discovered the attractive, colorful waters in orange, pink, red and blue were loaded with artificial sweeteners, artificial coloring, and other strange additives that certainly weren’t going to improve my health.
Luckily, after a few visits to hair salons, spas and health food stores, I caught on to the trend of making your own vitamin-infused water. At some establishments, I was offered water with thinly sliced cucumbers floating in the glass while others had eye-catching kegs of water filled with orange, lemon and lime slices. Not only were the subtle infusions of fruit and veggies appealing and tasty, but they completely took the boredom out of drinking plain old water all day long!
Conveniently stocked with an abundance of produce after the Fourth of July, I decided to make my own refreshing drink. Experimenting with a variety of fruit and veggies, I came up with a thirst quencher packed full of antioxidants. The recipe shown here is based on my own preferences, but I encourage you to try whatever fruits or veggies tickle your fancy.
The first step was to clean and dry three quart-sized Mason jars. I chose glass because of the numerous studies suggesting that water in plastic containers can leach toxic chemicals. Aside from that, the rainbow-colored fruits and veggies looked better floating around in glass!
While the Mason jars were drying, I worked on cleaning ½ cup of raspberries and ½ cup of blueberries. Even though the fruit I purchased was organic, I still like to thoroughly clean it to remove any residue. I used Eat Cleaner, a great product for washing organic or conventionally grown produce to remove pesticides and chemicals.
After rinsing the fruit, I let it drain while slicing up half a cucumber. Now I was ready to add all of the ingredients to the jars, and started with pouring one cup of coconut water into each one. (Note: If you do not like coconut water, skip it and use alkaline or filtered water only) Next I divided up the raspberries, blueberries and cucumbers and added those to the jars, followed by a pinch of sea salt and 1 tsp. of fresh squeezed lemon juice for each jar. Finish the jars with your favorite purified, filtered, alkaline, oxygenated or spring water! I chose VOSS in this case, because it comes in a glass bottle and in sparkling or still versions. I also like San Pelligrino, which is served in many restaurants and is one of the most mainstream sparkling waters, and I like Penta because there are dozens of reviews praising it for being “ultra pure.” Again, these are only my preferences and you can use whatever water you enjoy best.
After refrigerating the water jars for a few hours, they were deliciously cold and ready to drink! On a day when it felt like 95 degrees in the shade, the slightly sweet taste was wonderful. After drinking the first jar, I re-filled it with VOSS water and left the coconut water out. Instead, I added one capsule of my favorite afternoon pick-me-up, which is Vitamin Code Raw B-12! I opened up the tiny capsule and stirred in the pink-looking powder with the water, and presto! To me, it was better than a strong cup of coffee to keep me humming the rest of the day.
The recipe I used for the water infusion is here:
1 cup coconut water
½ cup organic raspberries
½ cup organic blueberries
½ organic cucumber, thinly sliced
¼ tsp. lemon juice
Pinch of sea salt
Your favorite brand of water
Optional: 1 capsule of Vitamin Code Raw B-12
I liked this water infusion so much that now I’m experimenting with watermelon, grapefruit, oranges, strawberries, ginger, fresh herbs and all kinds of variations. If you have a favorite water infusion, feel free to share it with us. From all reports, it’s going to be a long, extremely hot summer and we’ll need as many creative ways as possible to stay cool!