Garden flavored water

citrus, mint, and ginger; strawberry, cucumber, mint and sage; white peach and lemon verbena

 

Now that the heat is upon us, I love making flavored waters for a refreshing drink.  They are super easy to make, even with the youngest of students.  And best of all, most kids really love them, even though they are not sweet like juices or sodas.   When I worked with kids, we only made mint water and cucumber water, but since then, I’ve come across innumerable recipes with different fruit and herb combinations.

Cucumber Water

Might sound weird, but it’s SUPER refreshing and delicious!!!

Harvest one large cucumber or a couple smaller cucumbers from the garden.  Slice cucumber and place the slices into a water pitcher.  Use a muddler or the handle of a wooden spoon to crush and bruise the cucumbers and release flavors (I like to pass the pitcher around so each student gets a chance to muddle a bit).  Don’t crush them so hard that they fall apart into little pieces, just bruising them is enough.  Top off with ice, and then cover with water (the ice at the top acts as a strainer to keep cucumber pieces from pouring into the cup.   Refrigerate for a couple hours to intensify the flavor, and serve.  Yum!!!

 

Mint Water

Harvest mint from the garden (when I did this with groups of twelve 3-5 year olds, I told each student to harvest two or three leaves).  Show each student how to crush their leaves to release the flavor, or place leaves in a pitcher and pass around the pitcher with a muddler to crush and bruise the leaves.  Many people will simply add cold water and allow it to sit for a couple hours.  Personally, I like to add hot water to create a water with an even stronger mint flavor.  Add only enough hot water to cover the leaves.  After letting steep for a couple hours, add ice and enough cold water to fill the pitcher to the top.  Super refreshing on a hot day!!!

 

Other flavor combinations you may want to try:

For most of these combinations, I would first muddle (or crush and bruise) the herbs, then add sliced fruit and muddle once again.  Add ice then water and allow to sit for several hours before drinking.  If you want to intensify the flavor of the herb, try making a tea first (like in the mint water recipe) and once it is cool, add it to the sliced and muddled fruit and allow to sit for a few more hours of flavor infusion.

  • Mint, cucumber, citrus, and ginger
  • pineapple and mint
  • cucumber and rosemary
  • peach and lemon verbena
  • watermelon and rosemary
  • basil and lemon
  • raspberry and lime
  • blackberry and sage
  • strawberry and basil
  • watermelon and mint
  • peach and lemon verbena
  • honeydew or cantaloupe melon with ginger
  • blueberry and fennel
  • strawberry, cucumber, mint, and sage
  • peach and lavender
As you can see, the combinations could be endless!   I’ve also heard that stevia is quite easy to grow in the garden and if you muddle the leaves and add it in, you can add a little natural sweetness (sans sugar!!!)

What’s your favorite flavored water???

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