Simple Life – Ideas for Hot and Cold Water Flavourings

simple life

Ah… water. The more I drink it, the more I like it! My body is craving less and less of the sweet stuff like juice and pop, and more of the simple stuff like water with lemon or lime.

It’s working.

Our bodies really do adapt pretty quickly to healthy choices if we give them a chance. The plan of 7 cups of liquid/day plus eating more food packed with water (like fruit and veggies) is slowly becoming a habit. I reach for my glass of water as soon as I wake up, then enjoy a smoothie or more water at breakfast. Here’s that Breakfast Smoothies – 4 Servings  recipe again since I messed up a little with the hemp hearts quantity last time!

Breakfast Smoothies – 4 Servings – Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
  • 1 ripe avocado (slightly squishy with no brown spots inside)
  • 1 banana (can be thawed from freezer)
  • 1/4 cup hemp hearts
  • 2 cups frozen fruit (berries, peaches, apples, etc.)
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • water
Instructions:
  1. Cut the ripe avocado in half and remove the pit. Squeeze all the green avocado pulp into the blender.
  2. Add banana to blender, peel removed.
  3. Add hemp hearts, frozen fruit, and orange juice to blender.
  4. Add enough water to fill to 1 – 1.25 litres on the outside blender measuring line.
  5. Pulse the ice cube crusher setting a few times to break up the frozen fruit, then blend for a few minutes until the smoothie is a uniform colour and consistency. You may still see tiny bits of frozen fruit – that is OK.
  6. Stop the blender, pour the smoothie mixture into 4 cups, and enjoy!

And on with my day… another glass of water mid-morning, one with lunch, one mid-afternoon, and one with dinner – these are not always consistent, but I’m getting there. And one more cup of water before bed, usually in a herbal tea like peppermint or chamomile.

I have stumbled many times this week when it comes to drink choices, but the goal is not guilt, the goal is simple and healthy. Just trying to focus on simple and healthy.

The truth is that clean water is an amazing gift that we take for granted every day. Not trying to make you feel guilty, just reminding you of something maybe long-forgotten. We walk to the tap, turn it a little, and out comes clean, clear, refreshing water! Maybe this has to be cleaned a tad more with a Brita filter, but there it is people – water. No need to walk for hours, or carry jugs on our heads, or miss out on employment or education to accomplish this task of consuming clean water.

It is truly a gift.

I do understand that water tastes like – nothing. No taste whatsoever. And it can be hard to switch to plain water after a lifetime of choosing flavoured beverages of all varieties. So how about instead of missing out on all the flavourings, we look at some natural options that just might be delicious. Maybe even better than the artificial flavourings we are offered every day? I’ll let you be the judge. I have tried a couple of these through the years, and they were amazing – so light and refreshing – and so easy to make.

Natural Flavourings for Cold Water – Printable Recipe

FRUIT – Fresh or Frozen

lemon, lime, orange, pineapple, mango, papaya, strawberry, blueberry, cranberry, kiwi, watermelon, cantaloupe, peach

HERBS – Fresh, NOT Dried
mint, rosemary, sage, thyme, lavender, basil, tarragon
 
OTHER
cucumber, ginger
 
Mix and match any fruit and herb combinations, according to your preferred taste.
Some recommendations: Straight Citrus, Strawberry Kiwi, Pineapple Mint, Raspberry Lime, Blueberry Lemon, Watermelon Rosemary, Blackberry Sage, Cucumber (plain or add mint and/or melon, lemon, ginger)
  1. Wash fresh fruit thoroughly – you can pick up a fruit wash from your local health food store. Organic fruit is also a good choice.
  2. Fill jar or pitcher about 1/4 – 1/3 of the way full with fruit. If you are using herbs, add only a sprig or a few leaves to the pitcher.
  3. Slice fruit or cucumber/ginger as needed into small rounds or chunks and add to large pitcher. You can add berries whole. Frozen fruit will need to be thawed slightly before slicing.
  4. Mash the fruit pulp just a little with the end of a wooden spoon or a whisk to release the some of the flavour. Frozen fruit will have to be thawed slightly before mashing.
  5. Add ice if you like, and fill the pitcher with water.
  6. Chill & Enjoy!

And here’s some ideas for those who enjoy hot beverages (these will come in especially handy when the next Northern Ontario winter hits!)

Natural Flavourings for Hot Water – Printable Recipe

HERB IDEAS

Ginger, Fennel, Cinnamon Stick, Lemongrass/Lemon Balm, Lavender, Mint, Licorice Root, Rose Hips/Petals, Lemon/Orange Peel (dried)

Grow Your Own Herbs: Basil, Thyme, Rosemary, Mint, Oregano
OTHER IDEAS
Lemon, Split Vanilla Bean, Strawberry/Raspberry Leaves, Chamomile
 
SWEETENER IDEAS

Maple Syrup, Honey
 
Mix and match any combination of ingredients, according to your preferred taste.
Some Recommendations: Mint with Lemon, Ginger, Lavender or Rose, Ginger with Honey or Maple Syrup, Ginger Strawberry, Cinnamon Rose Hip, Cinnamon Orange
  1. Add 1 tsp of dried herbs or 2 tsp fresh herbs per cup of hot water. Mix in other flavourings as chosen.
  2. Use a tea ball or strainer for single servings, or a coffee maker filter for multiple servings made with a coffee maker.
  3. Brew, steep for a few minutes, and Enjoy!

There you have it – ideas for making the gift of clean water that much more tasty. Try to keep at least a couple of cups of plain and simple water in your day, and try to stop for a few seconds and think on how blessed we are to enjoy the gift of clean water. This one small practice has changed my attitude so much over the last couple of years. Viewing it all as a gift, and one to be shared with those who don’t have the same luxuries in life.

Water – yes, quite simply, it is a luxury.

Next week I’ll be moving on to a focus on whole grains and adding more of those into our days.

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