Dana Slatkin

Flavored Water

Flavored WaterMy list of resolutions doesn’t wait until the New Year. In fact, by the time summer is in full swing, I’ve already made plenty of fresh ones… Keep it simple. Read more books. Stop stocking sodas and landfill-clogging bottled drinks. And the one to heed right now — stay hydrated.

So what’s a flavor-seeking farmgirl to drink when it’s hotter than a pickle in a pepper pot? Straight-up water can be downright dull. But infuse it with fruit, vegetables, and herbs and you have a genius thirst-quencher that will keep you sipping all summer. This is less a recipe than a means of inspiration (If you were hoping for a proper recipe this week, hey, it’s my vacation, too.). Simply fill a glass pitcher with the cleanest water around and cram it with your favorite combination of citrus (lemon, orange, lime, grapefruit, kumquat), melon (honeydew, watermelon, cantaloupe), berries (any), tropical fruits (mango, pineapple, passion fruit) and/or fresh herbs (mint, basil, lavender, lemon-thyme). Refrigerate the water for at least a couple hours, then strain it (or not) into ice-filled glasses, using one of two of the ingredients to garnish. If you prefer your drinks bubbly, use sparkling water.

With zero calories, sugar, artificial sweeteners and chemicals, it’s the drink of the summer for me. In the blazing months to come, I’ll be serving flavored water at picnics, barbeques, outdoor soirées, and a wedding shower. And come January 1st, there will be one less resolution to re-up.

Makes 64 ounces (a half-gallon)

1 English or hothouse cucumber, sliced 1/4-inch thick
A handful of raspberries, plus additional for garnish
A handful of mint leaves
1 lime, sliced 1/4-inch thick, plus additional for garnish

1. In a large (72-ounce) glass pitcher, place the cucumber slices, raspberries, mint leaves, and lime slices. Fill with filtered tap or spring water. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

2. Strain into ice-filled glasses. Garnish with raspberries and lime slices, if desired.

On the go? Try these recipes for a delicious picnic or pot luck meal! Quinoa Salad with Feta, Corn and Tomatoes; Momed’s Avocado Hummus; Whole Grain Spaghetti with Kale Pesto; and Fresh Blueberry Pie.

We’re looking for your favorite pie recipe in this month’s Cooking Contest! Share it with our readers for an easy chance to win some excellent prizes!

Photo credit: http://shewearsmanyhats.com

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