14 Infused Water Recipes to Keep You HydratedArticle posted in: Diet & Nutrition
Spring and summertime are filled with sunshine, fresh flowers and fun outdoor activities. However, if you’re not careful, it can also be filled with dehydrated days that lead to headaches, exhaustion and hunger. Keep yourself happy, healthy and hydrated by sipping on some refreshing infused water recipes!
On the South Beach Diet, we recommend drinking half of your body weight in ounces of fluid each day. However, please note that this is just a recommendation and you may need more or less fluid based on your activity level or other factors. Speak to your doctor to ensure you are hydrating properly for your specific needs.
From fresh fruits and veggies to herbs and spices, there are so many ways to fill your H2O with natural flavor. If you’re following the South Beach Diet, keep your 50-gram daily net carb limit in mind when selecting your ingredients. Keep reading for our easy-to-follow guide on preparing your own infused water creations, then try making our 14 delicious ideas to get started!
Check out our simple step-by-step guide for creating your own infused water:
Step 1: Choose a Fruit and/or Veggie
These will be the flavors that stand out most, so be sure to select options you love. However, don’t be afraid to have some fun and try new things. You might not like grapefruit alone but when paired with a tasty herb like mint, it could easily become a new favorite. Use the list below to choose one or two (or a few) fruits and veggies for your infused creations:
Step 2: Pick Some Fresh Herbs
Fresh herbs can take your infused water to a whole new level. Most of us enjoy a glass of plain lemon water. However, adding some fresh rosemary or lavender can turn this average drink into something special. If you’re serving guests, the addition of fresh herbs makes it feel like you spent a little extra time preparing your concoction. You can use any herbs that you enjoy! Here are some popular ideas:
- Lemon balm
Step 3: Select an Optional Addition
These optional additions are just that: optional. Swapping in seltzer or sparkling water can make your infused water feel like a fizzy mocktail with zero calories. Chia seeds can add some extra fiber and a unique twist to your typical fruity drink. Sliced superfood roots such as ginger or turmeric can add even more nutrition to an already healthy beverage. You can even hit up your pantry and sprinkle some complementary spices into your sips.
- Seltzer or sparkling water
- Zero-calorie sweeteners
- Ginger root
- Turmeric root
- Chia seeds
- Sliced aloe
- Spices – cayenne, cinnamon, etc.
Step 4: Wash Your Ingredients
Even if you buy organic produce, it’s essential to wash them properly. The Washington State Department of Health explains that organic and locally grown foods can be contaminated by bacteria during the growing, harvesting and distribution process. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), simply rinsing or rubbing your produce under plain running water gets them clean. Soap and pricey produce sprays are not recommended.
Step 5: Infuse!
The water infusion process is pretty simple. Slice up your fruit (or don’t) and throw it into your water with fresh herbs and other extras. The longer you allow your mixture to “infuse,” the stronger the flavor will become. Try not to let your beverages infuse longer than 12 hours. Refrigerated, flavored varieties last about three to four days in the fridge. Flavored, room-temperature water should be consumed the day it was made, according to Living Well Nutrition Center. If your drink is a bit bitter, try removing the rind or skin from your fruits and veggies.
Need some help getting started? Have some fun and stay hydrated with these 14 delicious combinations:
1. Grapefruit & Rosemary
Bittersweet grapefruit and herbaceous rosemary are strong yet refreshing pair in this colorful cocktail. Feel free to add some zero-calorie sweetener if the flavor is a little too intense. Check out our Guide to Sweeteners for some help making your selection!
2. Cucumber, Lemon & Mint
Here’s a classic pairing that you may have sipped on before. Cucumber and lemon are low carb staples, so you probably already have these on hand. If you don’t already grow your own mint, this infused water will have you running to your local garden shop to pick up a plant! Mint is relatively easy to grow indoors and loves lots of water. Looking for a new addition to this tasty combo? Try adding some sliced aloe for a hydrating twist.
3. Orange & Basil
Enjoy this sunshine in a glass! Basil adds a bright, sweet and slightly minty flavor that pairs perfectly with a citrus fruit like orange. For a healthy optional addition, try slicing up some fresh turmeric root. The golden color and deep flavor will pair beautifully with the sweet orange slices.
4. Lime & Thyme
Lime and thyme don’t just rhyme (see what we did there?)… they also taste like the perfect pair. Add some sliced ginger root to this refreshing infused beverage for a simple and healthy way to stay hydrated in the heat.
5. Strawberry, Basil & Chia Seeds
Fresh basil creates a complex flavor profile when added to strawberry infused water. This dynamic duo screams summer and is a sweet treat to beat the heat. Plus, both of these warm weather plants are easy to grow right in your home garden. If you’re on a low-carb diet, you probably have chia seeds waiting in your pantry. Add a sprinkle for a unique twist that is high in healthy fats and nutritional power.
6. Lavender & Lemon
If you happen to have access to fresh lavender, this one is a must-try! Simple lemon water is transformed into a gourmet beverage. Turn it into a low-carb lemonade with a zero-calorie sweetener. Pour it into some mason jars and serve up this colorful drink at your next picnic. It is sure to impress your guests!
7. Raspberry, Lime & Spearmint
Craving a mojito without the calories? Muddle some mint with fresh raspberries and slices of lime. Can’t find spearmint? Swap in with a different variety! Making infused water is a flexible process and you can adjust any of these recipes with what you have on hand. Turn this sweet and sour sip into a fizzy surprise with some seltzer or sparkling water.
8. Blueberry, Orange & Ginger
This colorful beverage is bound to make your summer menu! Fresh blueberries bounce around thinly sliced oranges in a glass of cold water. To maximize the blueberry flavor, try muddling or crushing the berries after adding them to your water.
9. Citrus & Parsley
Now this is one bright beverage! Parsley has a very mild taste that brightens up any dish (or drink) it’s added too. Sweet, sliced citrus fruits tone down any of the bitterness from this healthy herb. From fresh limes and lemons to oranges and grapefruits, you can add any citrus that you enjoy to this unique infused water.
10. Pomegranate, Mint & Seltzer
So, you bought a pomegranate. Now what? This beautiful fruit can be intimidating if you’ve never tackled one before. However, once you crack it open and expose those beautiful ruby gems, you’ll be hooked! Infused water is the perfect way to try out this delicious fruit. Pair it with some fresh mint and plain seltzer water for a fun, fizzy drink that is perfect for any occasion.
11. Peach, Lemon & Thyme
Nothing says summer like peaches! Create a peachy keen drink by infusing your fresh slices with lemon and thyme. Turn it into a peach iced tea by adding in a bag of black or green tea! After all, tea is technically infused water.
12. Apple, Pear & Cinnamon
Enjoy the fresh flavors of apple pie without the baking (or most the calories)! Infuse your H2O with fresh apples and cinnamon to create a sweet and spicy drink. If you have some pears, they pair perfectly with the other ingredients. You can even feel free to add some freshly sliced ginger root for some extra zip!
13. Kiwi, Strawberry & Cucumber
Together, kiwi and strawberry are the definition of summer. Throw in one of our favorite summer veggies, cucumber, you’ve got the ultimate glass of goodness. Chia seeds seem to go exceptionally well with berries and would make a great optional addition.
14. Very Veggie
This last infused water recipe might not be for everyone. However, for those who enjoy the essence of fresh vegetables, it’s a delicious way to enjoy your water. Slice up tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, broccoli, celery or any other veggies that you have on hand. Throw in some leafy greens or fresh herbs and sip on this savory infusion that tastes like your summer vegetable garden.