Infused-Water-Bellanaija-June-2014001-300x300.jpgI spend a lot of time talking about creating recipes here on Shelly’s Friday Favourites, but I’ve discovered recently that some of the most delicious things in life don’t have to involve cooking at all. In fact, they don’t have to involve eating either. I’m talking about infused water, and like a lot of things in life, I discovered the wonder that is flavoured water by accident.

About a month ago we moved out of our house and into a travel trailer about 10 minutes from where we lived. We did so because we had bought an acreage that’s also near by, but the possession dates didn’t mesh up and we have to wait until the end of June to move in. I know more than a few people living here with us that are also waiting for possession of a new home, and overall, it’s been a pretty nice place to wait.

Along with the obvious issues of living in a travel trailer with a family of 6, I’ve really missed a few things that come with living in an actual house. I’ve never been a huge camper, and I can’t say I’ve ever stepped foot into a travel trailer before this experience, so I had no idea what it was like to give up major appliances like a full sized stove and oven, a full sized fridge, and a dishwasher long term.

For the first week, I was in a state of shock and we lived on anything you could BBQ. By week two I’d had enough and was improvising with the gas powered range and pushing the appliances I’ve brought along to do more (like last week’s rice cooker cheesecake), and now that I’m on week 4, I’ve been actively soliciting the neighbours for new things to make within the confines of the space.

That’s how I stumbled upon infused water recipes. One of my neighbours here has a large, beautiful pitcher she was putting out every day, and it was always full of bright, colourful fruit and sprigs of mint. I’d take a walk with the dogs during the day and it would be full, then a few hours later she’d have emptied it and switched it up with something else.

When I finally stopped by and asked her about it, I was amazed to learn all of the great things infused water can do for you. It has zero calories, fills you up, flushes toxins from your system, and even helps you feel more alert in the afternoon. How you feel all depends on the type of infused water you make.

I had to try it myself, so I grabbed a pitcher, paid a visit to my local organic food stand, and began creating infused water in my temporary home. At first I didn’t think it would be as fun as baking cookies or cheesecake, but I’ve got to say, I’m hooked. My kids love the colourful water, and I credit it for getting them to drink more when they’d ask for a soda or some other sugary drink.

After a week of experimenting with infused water, I’ve come up with three of my favourite infused water recipes. Try them, and you’ll see how great infused water really is.

Apple-Cinnamon Infused Water


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So good you’ll want to drink the entire pitcher yourself, this infused water tastes and smells just like a fresh apple pie. If your kids like apple sauce, they’ll love this. Photo and receipe from the foodnetwork.com.

Ingredients & Directions

Place 2 thinly sliced apples and 4 cinnamon sticks in a pitcher. For still infused water, add 2 quarts of water. For sparkling water, add 1 quart of seltzer during prep and a second quart just before serving. Refrigerate 2 to 4 hours to allow the ingredients to infuse. Stir well and strain, discarding the solids. For serving, add fresh apples and cinnamon sticks for garnish and plenty of ice. The infused water will keep refrigerated for up to 2 days.


 

Tangerine and strawberry infused water tangerine-strawberry-water.jpg

It’s like drinking a bright, big pitcher of summer right in your kitchen, and it’s the perfect beverage to serve at a kid’s or adult summer party. Photo and recipe by loseweightbyeating.com.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup dried or fresh sliced strawberries

Rind of one tangerine- try to get little to none of the white pith-

Water

 

Directions

Boil 3 cups (or as much as your tea pot will hold) of water making the “tea pot instructions” let it cool with the fruit left in then strain into a 1 liter jug discarding the strawberries. Top with water until it is full, pluck out the tangerine rind, rinse and add to jug then place in the fridge to cool. Serve over ice and drink up. If you want to do a bigger jug just double the recipe.

Strawberry Basil Flavoured Water


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It’s strawberry season here in BC, and that means there’s a basket of strawberries in the fridge at all times. To make a delicious pitcher of flavoured water, just add a handful of basil leaves and some lemon to your strawberries. The flavor has a bit of bite, and this is one inflused water that will really make you feel full after you drink it. Photo and recipe from natashaskitchen.com.

Ingredients:

4-6 strawberries, hulled and quartered
1/2 lemon, sliced
Small handful of basil, scrunched
Ice and cold filtered water

 

Directions

Add everything to a pitch of ice cold water and let infuse for 2 hours before drinking.

When it comes to infused water, the sky is really the limit as to what you can create. I’m only a week away from finally getting a real stove back, and now that I’ll have a few fruit trees and a huge garden, I really can’t wait to try more infused water recipes!

If you have an infused water recipe that’s your favourite, please share it in the comments!

You can get started creating your own infused water by trying some great kitchen glassware:

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Patio Drink Jar with infuser is a fast and easy way to make infused water
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The Brilliant 2L Patio Jug with infuser is pretty enough for a party
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You can take infused water on the go when you have Brilliant Sport Bottles with infuser

Main image from: http://www.bellanaija.com