July 25, 2014

Make Your Water More Nutritious and Delicious!

By Amanda Box, N.D.

Can water really be improved upon?  Yes, it can – very much so! The main complaint I get from those who don’t drink much water, is they don’t like the taste.  I find this ironic because water really doesn’t have a taste.  Unfortunately, society has bombarded us with sugary flavored drinks that have caused our taste buds to dislike the very essence of life: pure water.  Fortunately, there are ways to not only improve the taste of water, but also add nourishment!

See below for our recipes for natural, healthy and homemade kefir water, berry water, probiotic water plus a video on how to add nutrition to your daily water intake.

The Vitamin Water Hoax

One of the biggest money makers right now in the beverage industry is vitamin water.  It is touted as a nutritious drink that gives you all the vitamins you need.  The truth is, that most of these vitamin “waters” aren’t really waters at all.  There are just hyped up sports drinks under the disguise of being water.  Most contain a ton of sugar and synthetic vitamins.  I recommend two healthy alternatives.

Coconut Water

This is the water contained inside of young coconuts.  It’s gaining more and more popularity as a healthy sports drink alternative.  I began drinking it several years back during my pregnancy.  It’s high potassium and magnesium levels helped my pregnancy induced tachycardia and restless legs.  I also brought it to my son’s birth to drink after labor.  I raved about it to my midwives and they now keep it on hand for new mothers instead of Gatorade!  This is nature’s TRUE vitamin water!  It contains nothing synthetic, just nature’s creation.

Homemade Vitamin Water

Making your own flavored waters is very easy to do and incredibly delicious.  When you infuse your water with herbs and different fruit combinations, you are infusing it with natural vitamins and minerals.  This is fantastic for those who hate the taste of plain water.  Below are some of my most favorite homemade vitamin water recipes.

Note: Many people are making their vitamin water in a quart size mason jar.  I use a larger sun tea jar. If you do this be sure and increase your ingredients.  Anything glass works. Recipes are designed for 1-quart servings.

Cucumber, Lemon, and Mint Water

Probably the most popular homemade vitamin water combo is cucumber, lemon and mint.  I like to mix it up a bit and use basil for a refreshing nutritious drink.  Cucumber and lemon lend a great flavor, and also help detoxify the body!  Mint soothes the stomach, as well. Directions:

  • 1 quart fresh filtered water (not distilled)
  • 2 chopped cucumbers
  • 1 sliced lemon or lime
  • A few leaves of mint or basil (Don’t go overboard. Less is more with herbs.)

Berry Berry Delicious Water!

I’m a huge berry fan, so this water has been my favorite.  You can add several drops of stevia to sweeten it if you like, as it can be a tad tart. This tastesthe closest to a natural Kool-Aid, so your kids will most likely enjoy it.

  • 1 quart fresh filtered water (not distilled)
  • 2 cups of organic mixed berries (you can use frozen)
  • 1 sliced orange
  • 2 hibiscus tea bags
  • Stevia to taste

Stress Busting Pineapple Water

This homemade vitamin water combines anti-inflammatory pineapple with Tulsi (or Holy Basil) which is known for it’s stress reducing properties.

  • 1 quart  fresh filtered water (not distilled)
  • ¼ of a pineapple cut into small triangles
  • 4 bags of Tulsi tea

Place all your ingredients into your glass container and place into the fridge.  The flavor is best after 6 hours, so I recommend making it in the morning.  These recipes stay fresh for about 2 days.

Probiotic Water

One of the best ways now to get your daily dose of healthy probiotics is from water kefir!  I even prefer water kefir to kombucha.  Both contain a good amount of life giving bacteria, but water kefir has a much milder flavor.  Kombucha can taste slightly vinegary.  Water kefir has no vinegar taste.  Plus, you can have delicious homemade water kefir in a matter of 2-4 days, whereas kombucha can take a couple of weeks.

Kids seem to really enjoy water kefir as well.  Its fizziness lends itself to tasting more like soda.  I actually call it our “pop.”  Because my children don’t drink soda, they believe they are getting quite the treat! Drinking kefir water can help with your digestion, fight bacterial and fungal infections, improve your immune system, and improve your overall health and well-being! Making kefir water is more tedious than making vitamin water, I must admit. But, once you get into the process of making it and feeling it’s benefits, you will see that it is a nutritious drink well worth the process.  And it literally costs only a few cents to make!

Here is a step-by-step instruction video on how to make water kefir at home over the course of a few days.

Water Kefir Recipe

The first thing you have to do is get a hold of some water kefir grains.  Milk kefir grains will not work!  Ask around to your friends first.  With kefir’s growing popularity, one of your friends may know of someone looking to give away some of their grains.  Otherwise, here are some great places to buy some grains from.  Once you get started, you shouldn’t ever have to purchase grains again.  They multiply rapidly and you’ll be giving them away to your friends! Buy your grains HERE. If you buy these, you will have to rehydrate them.  Follow the directions on the package.

The 2 Step Fermentation Process

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