The process of infusion is defined as 'Let sit in a liquid to extract a flavor or to cleanse' or 'To flavor or scent (a liquid) by steeping ingredients in it'. This scientific process is used to produce fruit infused water, which is basically flavoring water using fruits but not by mixing the fruit with water.
Unlike traditional fruit juice, here the fruits are placed in water and their flavor seeps into the water, with refrigeration and time.
Fruit infused water is often confused with Aguas frescas, which is a type of Spanish water beverage, made by adding fruit, rice and cereals to sweetened water. Infusing water with fruit can be sugar-free with no processing and is a very healthy way to make water more interesting and flavored.
Getting kids to drink water over cold drinks or sugared juices, is made easier by offering them some fruit infused chilled water. It even serves as a replenishing and vitalizing after-workout drink or as a social beverage to serve at barbecues or get-togethers. And it is very easy to make such a beverage as all you need is fruit and water.
Making Fresh Fruit Infused Water
Choose the Fruit
Different fruit, different flavors. Some fruits provide a tart or zesty flavor, some a soothing and sweet taste. Even the water's smell is decided by the fruit used. Fruits like apples and oranges impart a distinctive aroma to the infused water, while others like grapes, do not make much of a difference.
The key to the appeal of fruit infused water, is the light, lingering aftertaste left by the fruit. There is no thick slurpy or pulpy feel to the water. Apples, mangoes and softer fleshy fruits can disintegrate or form small lumps or pieces in water, which may not be desirable. Others like watermelons and oranges break down well in water.
Another idea is to freeze fruits in ice and add those ice cubes to water. For this, you can use berry fruits or seedless grapes. The trick here is to puree and strain the fruit, then pour the mixture into an ice cube tray for freezing. Add the fruit ice cubes to the water and as the cube slowly melts, the water is infused with a fruity flavor.
Add a dash or a small amount of regular or low-fat fruit juice to water. Calories are cut and the water is infused, but different juices taste different. Lightly sweeten the water or use sparkling water instead of regular water, but don't make it a habit. If you sweeten the water and drink a lot of it over a day, you might as well be drinking a can of soda.
The right tools help make anything easy, so for quick, handy and tasty infused water, why not buy an infusing pitcher? This sort of pitcher is actually divided into two parts. One part is the pitcher. The other part has a separate container fixed, where the fruit must be chopped and put into.
This container has small holes, that allow the fruit to naturally seep into the water. Infusing is so much easier, as you just need to add water to the outer pitcher and fill the inner container with fruit.
Fruit Infused Water Recipes
Infusing water is much easier than it sounds. Basic steps involve:
- Cut up the fruit into small cubes or pieces.
- Herbs should be crushed or torn into small shreds.
- Put herbs and fruit in water.
- Refrigerate for some time (minimum 1 hour, the longer the better).
- Garnish with a piece of fresh fruit and enjoy.
- 1 cucumber, sliced thinly
- 2-3 lemons, sliced thinly or juice
- Sugar or artificial sweetener (if desired)
- Place the cucumber slices in a pitcher.
- You can pour lemon juice over the slices or simply place them.
- Add water to the pitcher and refrigerate for 2 hours or more.
- Serve over ice.
- 3 large lemons, cut into thick slices
- ¼ cup lavender
- ½ gallon of water
- In a pitcher, place lemon slices.
- Add lavender and pour water over fruit.
- Refrigerate for 2 hours and serve.
- 8-10 mint leaves, whole
- 1/4 portion of a pineapple, peeled and cut into small triangles
- 8 cups water
- Fill a pitcher with 8 cups of water.
- Add pineapple chunks, then sprinkle the mint leaves.
- Refrigerate pitcher for 3 hours.
- Serve chilled, removing the pineapple chunks and mint leaves by straining.
The possibilities when it comes to making homemade fruit infused water are endless, as long as you are imaginative. Fruit infused water is a novel way to serve water, as well as a healthy alternative to sodas and sugary drinks.
On a hot summer's day, a glass of chilled watermelon-basil water is the perfect companion to laze around in the sun with. And what's more, you can keep sipping without worrying about the amount of sugar you are consuming.