Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Homemade Vitamin Water Recipes

Time to Cool Down...

Left to Right: Black Cherry Peach Mango, Strawberry Limeade, Strawberry Lime Mango Spearmint, Watermelon Cucumber Thyme Sports Drink, Raspberry Lemon Lime Grapefruit,  Blackberries Blueberry Ginger Tea Blast, Orange Lemon Lime Mint.
It's that time of year when the heat index is soaring and the humidity feels like a wet blanket. Keeping hydrated can be hard enough but what if you know someone young or old that won't drink or doesn't like to drink plain old tap water? I've got a refreshing solution to share all of you, plus these are considered non-alcoholic "Skinny" drinks.

This is such a refreshing treat and you'd be surprised how easy and delicious making your own blends of Vitamin Water or Sports Water can be. Plus, it gives you control back of the nutritional value and sugar content in your drinks.

Other added benefits of making your own flavored Vitamin Water :
1. Free from artificial flavors, dyes and sweeteners. Stevia (an herb) sweetens without adding calories!
2. Cheaper than stocking up on those Brand Names which cost $1-$3 a bottle.
3. It's great for your waist-line because it's Low in Calories (often less than 10  to 20 Calories per serving).
4. Your helping the environment by reducing the use of throw away plastic bottles.
5. They have Flavonoids! Flavonoids = Antioxidants

Another fun element is you can involve your family to help you play, mix  and create a variety of refreshing drinks. Trust me, your family will find more than one favorite

* Include your family to help play, mix and create their own refreshing drinks. Especially the picky eaters! When allowing them to help, generally, makes them more apt to drink and enjoy them. 
Give it a try! You won't believe how easy it is!

See the photo above? I made 12 different varieties in less than 30 minutes which included picking the herbs from my garden and chopping my fruit. 

Le'ts go over the HOW-TO Instructions first, then I'll list a number of creative flavors for you to try to help you get started on which flavors you'd like to try!

How to make your own Refreshing Vitamin Water
Begin by making single servings to find flavors you enjoy first, then move on to making larger portions. 

  • Purified water (Love my PUR Water Jug)
  • Fresh or Frozen Fruit, cut into thin slices or small chunks 
  • Fresh Vegetables, cut into thin slices  or small chunks 
  • 2-3 teaspoons Herbs, fresh or dried, minced 
  • 2 Tea Bags or 1 Tablespoon,  Any Good Quality Tea with fruit or herbs, steeped 
  • Fruit Juice, All natural, 100% fruit juice is preferred
  • Salt, may be added for electrolyte replacement *Use a few dashes for Single Serving.
  • Mason Jars with lids are perfect for single portions (any reusable cup with a lid will do)
  • Party size Drink Dispenser with spout (Glass or plastic with lid)

1. Fill container 2/3 full with water. I prefer and use my PUR home filtration jug. I also make sure I've purified enough for the amount I'm going to use ahead of time and have it set aside in a Large Container.  For single servings, I use Mason Jars because they have lids, are reusable and are a plenty in my home. For larger quantities: Any Beverage Servers or Dispenser will do (I use my Sun Tea Jar).

2. For those using Tea, fill your water to1/2 full. Brew your tea in  approximately 1 to 1 1/2 cups of water. Leaving it a tad stronger is best especially since you'll be adding fruit and possibly juice. Set Aside.

3. Make sure when using Fresh fruits or vegetables, to thoroughly wash. Make sure all fruits and vegetables are cut into very thin slices or chopped into pieces that your children won't choke on or accidentally drink without knowing. 

4. Add up to 1/4 cup Fruits and Vegetables, according to taste. Discover new flavors by adding berries, apples, citrus fruits, Kiwi's, Mango's, Coconut water, Pineapple, ANYTHING. Your only limitations are from not being creative. So give it a try! 
NOTE: When using Citrus slices or pieces-  these give off a strong bitter taste the longer you leave them. If leaving overnight, be sure to limit amounts of citrus added.  If using a large beverage container, make sure to add plenty of fruits and veggies to flavor. 

5. For those using Juice, remember you can easily use fruit juice in place of or in addition to the fresh fruit. If your not concerned about added ingredients or sugar content, then use whatever type of juice you'd like . *Either way, you are still drastically cutting the sugar and calories. ADD enough juice up to within an inch of the top rim.

5. Add 2-3 teaspoons of dried herbs per quart of purified water. Place herbs directly into large beverage dispenser or place herbs into a homemade straining bag (muslin or cotton).   

6. Place lids on top and cap tightly. 

7. Refrigerate at least 1- 4 hours (up to 24 hours), the longer it sets, the more flavor it will pick up. (Keep in mind your Citrus fruits WILL get too overpowering if you let it steep too longer than 4 hours)

8. Serve over Ice. I like to pour our favorites into a pitcher. After the flavors have mingled awhile, I will  reserve the fruit in the pitcher and refill water one more time and serve only the "vitamin water" adding a few pieces of fresh fruit. Let the new pitcher set again for several hours before serving. .

**Remember: Stevia is an herb. As with all herbs, simply mash and add If you really need to add a bit of sweetness.

Additional Note: Depending on if you keep your vitamin Water in a small pitcher and pour only the water

My Family's Favorite's:

Strawberry Limeade
1/4 Cup fresh or frozen Chopped Strawberry's 
1 or 2 slices of Lime, sliced very thinly
Water, use enough to fill a single Pint Mason Jar OR a Bottle which can hold  up to a 12 ounces with lid

Pour all into a jar or bottle and cap jars or bottles with lids then chill in refrigerator for at least 2-4 hours. 
NOTE:  If using Frozen  store bought Strawberries, kids prefer the kind with syrup. Reduce amount of Strawberry's

Pina Colada
2 teaspoons Lite Coconut Milk 
24 ounces Purified Water
1/4 cup fresh chopped Pineapple 
1/8 teaspoon Sea Salt

Get a pitcher: combine Lite Coconut Milk with water.
Add fresh chopped Pineapple.
At this point you can either add, a Fresh Mint sprig, Thinly sliced Cucumbers or 1 thinly sliced lime.
Refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Pour into bottles or Mason Jars and keep chilled until serving.

Cherry Berry Blast
4 or 5 individual Fresh or frozen Black Cherries or Bing Cherries, Pitted (we use Dole Brand)
1/4 of a Peach, Sliced or Chunk
1/4 cup Mango, fresh or frozen, chopped
Water, Purified to fill an 8 to 16 Ounce Glass or Jar

Place all ingredients together in a small pitcher or Jar and stir. 
Cover with a lid; set in refrigerator for 4 to 24 hours. The longer it sets, the stronger the Cherry flavor will come through. 

Other Tasty Combo's to try:

Basil and Mint blends are tasty
Lavender, Rose
Cucumber, Lemon, Basil, Mint
Citrus Crush (Lemon, Limes and Oranges)
Blueberries and  Pomegranate
Pineapple, Mint, Apple
Black Cherry, Peaches, Mango
Blackberries, Blueberry, Fresh Mashed Ginger
Raspberry, Lemon, Lime
Mango, Peach Coconut water or milk
Raspberry and Limes
Blackberry and Sage
Very Berry
Cucumber Bliss
Cucumbers, Fresh Mint
Watermelon, Basil or Thyme
Lemon, Lime, Mint
Strawberry, Lime, Fresh Mango
Mango, Strawberry Peaches
Peaches, Black Cherry Mango
Cinnamon, Steeped in Hot water
Mint mashed in Water with ginger

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