Infused water is simple to make, it’s done by adding fruits vegetables and herbs to water. You then allow the mixture to infuse and the water will get flavoured. It’s not only the tasty flavours you get from the many combination options, the ingredients also give you nutrients that they produce. This means your drink is healthier. Infusing water is a simple process but there are some things you should know about it. What follows are some of the things you should bear in mind when infusing water.
Types of Water to Use
You can use virtually any water when infusing, but filtered water is best. The filtering removes most impurities so it’s cleaner. This should help to improve the overall flavour. Water straight from the tap is ok, but if you can filter it, you’ll notice a difference.
The taste of infused water is best when it’s chilled or cold, although room temperature should be alright too. Don’t use warm or hot water because the ingredients will fall apart very quickly, and this will affect how many nutrients are transferred into the water.
Use Organic if Possible
If you can, it’s better to use organically grown fruits and vegetables. You can normally find them in your local supermarket or farmer’s market, although they may be a little more expensive. You might also want to contact a local farmer who might do a deal with you. Locally grown fruit and veg that has no fertilisers or chemicals added will make a difference to the taste of your infused water. If you can’t get organic ingredients, it doesn’t really matter, the most important thing is that you’re getting healthy water with fruit and vegetables.
Prepping the Ingredients
Once you’ve decided which fruit and vegetables you want to include in your infused water, the first thing is to prepare them. Make sure you thoroughly rinse them to get rid of any dirt and to make sure there’s no chemical residue left on them. Even if you’re using organic fruit and veg, it’s best to clean them before putting them into your water. If you’re using fresh herbs, then you want to use a muddler or pestle and mortar to crush them as it will help to release the oils. Don’t do this though if the herb is leafy such as basil or mint.
You don’t need to chop up the fruit and vegetable too much if it’s soft, but make sure to at least cut them in half or quarters. This will help the flavours to be released. Harder fruits such as apples or cucumber should be cut into fairly thin slices because they take longer to release their flavours into the water. Berries and citrus fruits can be cut in half or quarters because they’re softer.
What Should You Make Infused Water in?
Once your fruit, veg and herbs are washed and cut or crushed, you’re ready to make your infused water. Before you begin, make sure you’re using the right kind of container or pitcher. You can, of course, use anything you like, but a glass pitcher is better. Whichever you decide to use, it’s best to make sure it’s BPA-free and food-safe. You’ll find that many plastic pitchers aren’t really suitable because the water doesn’t stay fresh for as long in them.
You can get pitchers or cups that are specially made for infusing. They typically have a long and narrow part in the middle where you put the fruit, veg and herbs. It has holes or slots which allow the flavours to be released. These aren’t necessary, but you might want to use one.
Soaking the Ingredients
The best way to make infused water is to add the fruit, veg and herbs first and then add the water to it. The next part is easy, you just need to let it stand to infuse. You should give it enough time so that you get the maximum benefit of the flavours and nutrients from the ingredients. If you leave it to stand on your kitchen counter, it should be ready in around 2 hours. Letting it infuse in the fridge will take a little longer, you should give it about 4 to 6 hours to complete the process. Leaving it overnight will give you the best results with maximum flavour.
When to Enjoy Infused Water
The best time to drink infused water is within 24 to 48 hours once the infusing is finished. It’s better to drink it on the same day that it’s ready, but it should be good for a couple of days. Waiting 3 days should be okay, but certainly not any longer than that. If you are using it over a couple of days, it’s best to not leave the fruits and vegetable in the water that long. Take them out and just leave the water in the pitcher. You’ll find that citrus fruits will stay fresher for longer, but melons tend to get soft and mushy very quickly.
One other thing to keep in mind is that if you drink the infused water on the same day you make it, you can normally refill it a couple of times using the same ingredients. Because it’s still fresh, you should get a good flavour from it.