vitamin waters

Remember when drinking a certain brand of flavored “water” purporting to be full of vitamins was all the rage? You probably felt smarter and healthier. That is, of course, until you realized that crystalline fructose is a fancy name for sugar, that “natural flavors” can include extracts from a beaver’s nether regions, and that drinking anything from a plastic bottle increases your risk of endocrine disrupting BPA exposure. Boo. But don’t swear off drinking all together (you’ll dehydrate, silly!). Make your own vitamin water recipes. Easy.

One of water’s most amazing properties is its ability to soak up what it’s exposed to. (That’s one reason why plastic bottles are so unhealthy.) Fill your water with vitamin-rich fruits and herbs, like in these vitamin water recipes, and you’ve got a fresh and perfect dose of healthy goodness.

To make these vitamin water recipes, I recommend using a pure spring water or excellent filtered water. Recipes are best when allowed to steep overnight in the refrigerator, but it’s okay to take a sip or two when it’s just made.

All recipes make 10 cups

1. Ginger Lemon

10 cups spring water
2–3 inches of fresh ginger root, grated or finely chopped
1 large, ripe lemon, thinly sliced
*Optional: fresh ginger has quite a bite, so you may want to add a pinch of something sweet to take the edge off, like coconut sugar or raw honey.

2. Cucumber Mint

10 cups spring water
1 large cucumber, thinly sliced or 4 lemon cucumbers thinly sliced
1 large handful of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

3. Berry Lime Basil

10 cups spring water
1 cup berries of your choice, slightly smashed (just slightly!)
2 medium limes, thinly sliced
6-8 basil leaves, chiffonade

4. Triple Melon Hibiscus

10 cups water
½ cup each: watermelon, honeydew, and cantaloupe chunks (or fresh melon of your choice)
small handful of hibiscus (rosehips) petals, or 1 tea bag hibiscus tea

5. Citrus Quencher

10 cups spring water
2 large oranges, thinly sliced
1 large lemon, thinly sliced
1 large lime, thinly sliced
1/3 stalk lemongrass, smashed
pinch of Himalayan salt (or good quality sea salt)

6. Tropical Paradise

10 cups spring water
½ cup pineapple, cubed
1 kiwi, thinly sliced
1 lime, thinly sliced
handful of shredded coconut flakes

Directions

Mix all ingredients together in a large glass pitcher or jar. Let steep in the refrigerator overnight. Serve chilled, over ice. Strain if needed. Serve with a sunny day.

Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

image: rawfoodbetsey