Infused Fruit Flavored Water using Herbal Teas

 

If you were to look into my pantry, you would see several baskets and a jar full of Herbal Teas. They have sort of taken over one shelf in there. I counted the other day and I have 29 varieties in total. I sort of went crazy about a month ago when I was working on a "Natural Dyes for Egg"project (click here to see), which just increased my collection. Now I have to reconfigure my storage space for them!


 

The majority are Fruit or Fruit Blend Teas. I do have a few other favorites, and I tend towards the vanilla/caramel/cinnamon blends for the non-fruit flavors. The ones pictured are my personal FAVORITE flavors of all the Fruit Varieties I have tried.

 

Did you know that Herbal Teas are Calorie-Free??

(I don't drink any caffeine that is why I stick with Herbal Teas, but occasionally a de-caf version will find it's way into my collection.)

 

Today I'm focusing on my favorite thing to make with the Fruit versions.....

 

Infused Fruit Flavored Water

 

Why do I do this instead of making actual fruit-infused water? Well, I used to do that on a regular basis, but it gets really expensive! Think about it...Herbal tea is compressed flavor, right? Why not put it to use in Water?

 

I can get a box of tea for around $2-3 dollars, and it makes 6-7 pitchers of Flavored Water for me. That's a significant savings from fresh fruit.


The reality is that most of the fruit you are infusing in the traditional way goes to waste, and you're not really getting the fiber or vitamin content from it that you would if you were just eating it fresh! Besides, have you ever used raspberries in an infusion? They start to look like alien brains. It's not pretty. Limes, Lemons and other citrus fruits and pretty inexpensive and they do hold up well. So consider still adding those to your tea infusions for extra flavor if you like to have fruit floating around in it. One exception for me is Blueberries as they last a long time and exude a lot of flavor. You can use them for several days in numerous batches of infused tea water, and they will be fine. Just be aware that they will plug up spigot-type dispensers if you are using one.

 

I make a new 1/2 Gallon jug for each day. I use a lidded plastic container, and it stays in my fridge so it's easy access to drink it throughout the day. If I know I'm going to be on the go the next day, I pour it into 2-3 water bottles and grab them when I head out. Drinking plain water does not excite me, and unless it's a hot summer day, I have trouble getting an entire 64 oz of plain unflavored water into my system! Does anyone else have that problem? I used to just add citrus wedges, but I have found that this type of infusion is more suited to my liking.

 

Here's how I make Fruit Herbal Infused Water:

 

3 Fruit Tea Bags (*see notes below)

2 Cups Boiling Water

2 packets of Natural calorie free sweetener of choice (*), optional

Fresh fruit or fruit pieces, if desired

Add tea bags to the Boiling water and let steep for at least 2 hours, keeping the container tightly covered to retain the heat for longer. Squeeze out water from steeped bags when cooled and remove. Add sweetener or fruit, if using. Add additional Fresh water and/or ice to make 64 oz of fluid, and store in your fridge for up to 3 days.

  

 

*NOTES:

 

~I use 3 bags, but if you like a stronger flavor, add more! I'm not trying to fight off a soda addiction (I gave it up cold turkey at 17 due to digestive health issues), but if you currently are, you may need a stronger brew.

 

~I only use 2 packets of natural sweetener for this amount of fluid (I use Stevia or Monk Fruit), but you may like more, especially if you are de-toxing from a soda addiction. You can also use honey or agave syrup, though those add calories.  I've always like my fruit juices watered down, so this mild flavor suits me. You may find you need more flavor or sweetener to start with, though I recommend cutting back on the sweetener as your taste buds adjust.

 

~Sometimes I will add in some fruit if I have a flavor on hand that will taste good with the tea I used. Sometimes I combine tea bag flavors...I've not made a bad tasting one yet!  I almost always squeeze some fresh lemon juice in with the Meyer Lemon variety. See my comments above for more ideas about fruit additions. 

 

~I'm not a fan of the flavor of Chamomile at all, so I avoid any tea blend that has that in it. I also don't love the flavor of Hibiscus, and it's used a lot in the fruit teas. I just try to find ones that have it further down in the list of ingredients.

 

~Add Fresh Herbs! I LOVE fresh Basil with my sweet things, and mint is a great choice as well. Just like the blueberries I mentioned above, herbs will last through several batches so just re-use them.

 

~Try experimenting with Tea Blends that have other flavors. I prefer my spiced based teas hot, but I know many people like Cold Chai tea, and this is the perfect way to make it healthier without the added sugar or milk products.

 

~On a strictly aesthetic note, it is PRETTY!! If you make a big batch to serve at a party, people will ask about the drink you're serving because it looks so beautiful!

 

 

Let me know if you tried my technique for Fruit Flavored Infused Water and how you liked it! I'd love to hear how it has helped you to get more water into your diet everyday, or how it helped you to kick a nasty soda habit!

 

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1 comment:

Jann Olson said...

Hi Emily, I've never thought of doing something like this with my herbal teas. Great idea! Thanks for sharing with SYC.
hugs,
Jann