Infused water is the process of adding fruits, vegetables, and, or herbs to your water as ingredients in order to add flavor to the water. In addition to providing a delicious array of flavor combinations, you also receive the benefit of much-needed nutrients as well. This of course, further improves how healthy your water is. Infusing your water is not a difficult process, but there are a few things you should know before you start. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you are making your infused water.
Best Type of Water to Use
I have found that infused water is better tasting when prepared with filtered water. It simply improves the overall quality and flavor of your infused water. However, if you do not have access to filtered water to fill infused water pitchers every time, tap water will do.
Also, when making your water choices, make sure to only use room temperature or cold water. Avoid warm or hot water, as it would cause the produce to fall apart at a rapid rate, which reduces the nutrients value of your water.
Choose Organic When Possible
When possible, try to select organic fruits and vegetables for your water preparation. Many of our local grocery stores now have a larger selection of organic produce. You may be fortunate to have a farmers market or even a local produce stand, where you can get fresh fruits and vegetables, that you know were grown without added fertilizers and other chemicals. Organic produce tends to provide a better flavoring for infused water. However, the most important part is having healthy water with your favorite fresh fruits and veggies, so if you can’t get organic, don’t worry too much about it!
Prepping the Ingredients
After you have selected the ingredients for your batch of infused water, you will need to first prep them before putting them into the pitcher. Always rinse the fruits and vegetables to make sure they’re cleaned of any residual chemicals. It’s still a good idea to rinse even the organically bought produce…just better safe than sorry. If you are using herbs, you may want to crush them with a muddler, since this will help to release the oils. The exceptions to this are leafy herbs, such as mint or basil.
Most fruits and vegetables should be cut at least in half before being put in the pitcher so their flavors can be better released. Hard fruits and vegetables, such as cucumber and apples, need to be cut into thin slices since they can take a bit longer to release flavor to the water. Because berries and citrus fruit are softer, just cutting them in half or quarters usually is enough.
What to Use
By this point, you are ready to start putting your infused water together. Before you add in the water, make sure you have the right container. While you can technically use anything, a glass pitcher is usually recommended. However, regardless of which way you go, make sure you’re using a BPA-free and food-safe container, pitcher or water bottle.
Many plastic pitchers are not ideal and won’t keep the water fresh. There are also specific pitchers and cups used especially for infusing. They typically have a long and narrow section in the middle where you put your herbs and fruit, with holes or slots so the flavor can be released. You can similar items I’ve reviewed here at this link. http://amzn.to/2nnsrJ7
As mentioned before, when preparing your infused water, you first want to start with the produce and herbs, then add your water on top. Next, you want to give the water time to infuse so that you can get the best flavors and nutrients from the fruits and vegetables being used. If you decide to leave it out on the counter, it may take about 2 hours. However, if you’re going to use the refrigerator for the infusing process, plan to wait about 4-6 hours. For the best flavor overall, leave it overnight! You’ll be delighted.
Best Time to Enjoy It?
The ideal time to drink your freshly infused water is within a 24-48 hours period after the infusing process is complete. Now that I’m increasing my water intake…again, I usually try my best to drink it the same day, or at least within the first couple days. Maximum 3 days, I wouldn’t recommend stretching it any longer than that. Also, make sure not to leave the fruit or vegetables in the water for this long of a period, though. They should already have been removed, leaving only the water remaining in the pitcher or container for this long. On a side note, I find that Citrus fruits will remain fresher for longer, and even better if the rind is removed, while melons get soft and mushy too quickly.
On another note, if you’re one to drink all of your infused water in the same day, you can usually refill it 2-3 times, using the same produce in the pitcher or cup and still benefit and get good flavor from it.