The first day of August means plenty of sunshine and long hot days here in Colorado. In the intense dry heat it is very easy to become dehydrated. I find my kids are especially susceptible to neglecting their water-glass which leaves them tired, grouchy and even prone to headaches.
Long ago I learned the magic of simply placing a sprig of mint or lemon balm in my water bottle. After a half hour or so the water takes on a lovely light taste of the herb. My kids love herbal waters and I often put a sprig of mint into their water bottles if they are headed out and about for the day. Yet when we spend the day at home, I have found that filling a pitcher with water and herbs doesn't seem to attract their attention. The pitcher is cumbersome for them to use and they often forget about it being in the fridge. So, earlier this summer I purchased a big beautiful glass beverage dispenser for our family. Originally I had thought to place it in the refrigerator full of luscious tasty herbs infused in water but it found a prominent home on our kitchen bar, right smack dab in the middle of our living space. The water is room temperature (unless I add ice cubes) which I find goes down easier than really cold water. And it doesn't get forgotten in the fridge. The kids love going over to the dispenser multiple times per day to fill their glass and they are drinking a lot more water, success!
Making your own herbal waters is so easy. Simply place fresh herbs (along with fresh fruits and veggies if you please) in your jar or dispenser, add water and wait a bit. Soon you will have a tasty treat! The amount of herbs, fruits and veggies you use depends on your tastes and the size of your dispenser. Ours is large and we like our water very flavorful so I usually use a big bunch of herbs. The water we have most often is mint because we have a ton of it in the yard yet there are a lot of herbs and combinations to choose from. It is really only limited by what you have available and your imagination.
After trying many blends our two favorites are ~
- Chocolate Mint with Tart Plums
- Lemon Balm with Strawberries
A nasty blend we tried ~
- Basil with Oranges... I thought my first glass was kind of fun, my kids wouldn't touch it after the first sip.
Other ingredient ideas for making tasty infused waters ~
- Herbs: any kind of mint, lemon balm, chamomile, anise hyssop, borage flowers, lavender, sage, cilantro, basil...
- Fruits: berries, all kinds, melons (think honeydew or watermelon with mint), oranges, limes, lemons, apples, plums, peaches, pineapple, cherries...
- Veggies: cucumbers, peppers and ?? I am sure there are many more that would be tasty especially in combination with savory herbs, but I haven't experimented yet.