Top 5 Tools for Healthy Summer Water Infusions

 

Mint Strawberry Water InfusionI started making water infusions five years ago when I came back from an incredible spa experience in Hawaii and had a tropical water infusion that knocked my socks off! I was sold.  I didn’t know that water could taste so good.  I have always liked water, but let’s be honest; water is water!  It lacks flavor.  Over the years I became pretty creative with my infusions and loved that fact that they were super easy to make!

Last year, I took my water infusion game to the next level when my publisher reached out and asked if we wanted to write a book on detoxifying water infusions.  I loved the idea of researching the benefits of water with different healthy ingredients.  I also loved the opportunity to experiment with lots of different seasonal fruits, herbs, vegetables and essential oils.  Not all of our experiments were winners, but we were able to narrow down to a list of 75 amazing recipes.  Read about the book.

In my research, I found that 70% of Americans are dehydrated and that chronic dehydration can lead to cellular dysfunction and eventually to things like brain fog, weight gain, mood issues and inflammation.  YIKES!  Luckily, this is easy to solve.  We just need to drink more infused water and have fun with it!

When it comes to health benefits, infused waters offer a healthy, delicious alternative to beverages currently found on the market. Combining fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, and essential oils in water provides crucial hydration to help the body fight inflammation and carry vital nutrients to tissue cells throughout the body. These types of ingredients contain an abundance of antioxidants, which help to fight free radicals produced by the body that lead to all sorts of health problems, including accelerated aging of cells and tissue.  Many ingredients increase metabolic activity and promote detoxification in the body, which can assist with weight loss.  The powerful combination of ingredients assists in cleansing the detoxification pathways of the body, including the skin, liver, and kidneys.  Skin will take on a more youthful appearance, as hydration and antioxidants contribute to slowing down discoloration and the formation of wrinkles.

Water infusions help create healthy habits for the whole family.  Kids love to help make the infusions, and it is fun to try the various combinations of fruits, veggies, herbs, and essential oils. The possibilities for combining ingredients are really endless, and kids can get very creative!

The best thing about water infusions is the ease of making them! I typically throw together a new infusion a couple times a week and it only takes me 5-10 minutes to make!

Here are my five favorite tools for making a healthy, detoxifying water infusion in your own home.

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#1: Quality ingredients

Always look for organic ingredients when possible. One of the reasons that homemade infusions are so healthy is because they’re not filled with preservatives, additives, or fake ingredients. However, much conventional produce is exposed to these types of ingredients during their growth and harvesting. Opting for organic ingredients helps to ensure the purity and quality of the ingredients used for infusions.  Reasonably-priced organic produce can be found at farmers’ markets, farm co-ops, and some grocery stores. Even Costco and other warehouse stores are now carrying organic produce. Buying what is in season will help keep the cost down, and several recipes have been designed specifically for use during certain times of the year.

#2: Blender

Blending certain ingredients allows for the incorporation of a wider variety of ingredients, and increases the potency of the infusion. A high-powered blender is recommended for the smoothest blending.  Running the blended mixture through a fine-mesh sieve will create an even smoother infusion. Blending ingredients also allow for easy absorption of healthy nutrients by the body.

#3: Essential Oils

Most of the infusion recipes call for a combination of fruits, vegetables, and herbs, and occasionally, an essential oil or two. Essential oils are natural aromatic compounds found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. They offer potent smell, flavor, and health benefits to water infusions with just one to two drops. Utilizing essential oils provides a greater health boost on a cellular level. However, not all essential oils are created equal, and most essential oils on the market are not safe for internal consumption! As such, I only recommend pure, therapeutic grade essential oils that have a supplement label on the bottle. Feel free to reach out to me to learn more about the brand I use. Also, to learn more about how essential oils changed my life,check out my story.

#4: Pitchers, Stirring Rods and Muddlers

All of the recipes have been written to be prepared in a 2-quart pitcher, and most will require some stirring. As such, pitchers and stirring rods are musts!  It is recommended to have two to three pitchers in the kitchen so that multiple or big batches of infusions can be made.  Glass pitchers are preferred, as plastic can leach impurities into its contents, especially when using essential oils. Also, glass pitchers will not alter the flavor of infusions as a plastic pitcher may.

A muddler is what master mixologists and bartenders use to mash ingredients for drinks.  Breaking the skin of certain fruits, veggies, and herbs allows for their natural oils to come out, enhancing the smell, flavor, and health benefit of the infusions. Muddlers are simple to use: place your ingredients on the bottom of a glass or bowl and mash them with the muddler. The mashed ingredients are then ready to use for completion of the recipe.  Muddlers can be purchased at stores like Target or Bed Bath & Beyond, and makeshift muddlers can be made from common kitchen utensils like wooden spoons or a thick handle of another utensil.

#5: Recipes

Although it’s fun to experiment on your own, it’s always nice when someone else has done the work for you!  Our Water Infusions book focuses on healthy detoxification recipes from simple, two-ingredient recipes to beautiful, complex recipes perfect for holidays, BBQs, showers and parties.  One of my favorite features of the book is the seasonal water infusions, designed to provide delicious recipes with the perfect seasonal ingredients.  There are also infusions for boosting energy along with weight loss and detox infusions.  If you really want to get fancy, check out the ice cube infusions.  They are created to pair with some of our favorite water infusion recipes.   The Water Infusions book is your perfect resource guide choke full of everything that you need to dress up your water today!

Below is a sample of one of my favorite water infusion recipes with infused ice cubes.  This a perfect post-workout drink.

Mango Gingerade

1 mango, chopped
1 lime, juiced
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon ginger, finely chopped
1 date, pitted and halved
pinch of sea salt
2 drops of lemon essential oil
2 cups + 1 quart still water

Add mango, lime juice, lemon juice, ginger, date, salt, and 2 cups of water to a blender and puree until smooth.  Pour blended ingredients through a fine-mesh sieve into a 2-quart pitcher and add remaining water.  Stir well and infuse for at least 30 minutes, but preferably for 3 to 5 hours.  Serve chilled or over ice. Consider serving over Spicy Pineapple Ice Cubes to further intensify flavors!

Spicy Pineapple Ice Cubes

2 cups fresh pineapple, diced
1 lime, juiced
2 cups still water
1 jalapeño, sliced into thin wheels and de-seeded

Add pineapple, lime juice, and water to blender and blend until smooth, approximately 1 minute. Place 1 to 2 jalapeño wheels into each cube well of a standard ice cube tray. Pour blended mixture into tray and freeze.

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