Everybody knows that drinking water is healthy. However, if you are anything like my boyfriend, you don’t like drinking pure water, probably because it tastes so…plain. Personally, I have never been bothered by that. I love drinking just water, but I am guessing that’s really just something you are either used to or not. I don’t think I have to recount the countless reasons why drinking just water is better than Kool Aid, softdrinks or (non-homemade) ice tea, as I am sure that nowadays everyone is aware of the incredible amount of sugar added to those drinks. If you don’t believe me, try making coke yourself!
I was at boarding school for three years in Tanzania, while I was still going to primary school. It was a very small school, and I absolutely adored it. However, when school kids not only go to school together, but also live together, they get crazy ideas, and so, one day, we decided it would be so cool to brew our own coke! Surprisingly enough, our housemom was on board, and so we spend days mixing together extremely disgusting not-even-remotely-coke-like drinks. Finally, our housemom couldn’t bear us messing up the kitchen any longer, and she searched the internet for days, looking for the “official” recipe. There is no such thing to be found online, obviously, but she somehow managed to convince us that she had found the ultimate recipe. Of course, we wasted no time in trying it…with a better, but still not-even-close-to-perfect result.
The point of this little walk down memory lane is that in ALL the recipes we tried, the main ingredient was sugar. Heaps and heaps of it. Even in the “official” recipe, there was so much sugar in it that I am surprised us small kids didn’t like it simply because of its sweet taste.
Drinking just plain water doesn’t come easy to everybody, especially those of you who have been drinking sweeter drinks all your life. Which is why I wanted to introduce some other, healthier options that will taste more like something and less like…just water. Keep in mind that these options will NOT taste like juice or coke, their tastes are a bit more subtle, but all the more thirst-satisfying:
1. Not-At-All-Strange Cucumber-Mint-Water
- sliced cucumber
- mint leaves
- Add the cucumber and mint leaves to your water.
- If you have the time, allow the water to be infused for one hour, making the taste even stronger.
This will taste unlike anything you have ever tasted before: very refreshening, crisp, and not-at-all-strange despite the cucumber!
2. Sugarfree Home-made Ice Tea
- 1L unsweetened black tea, prepared the day before and cooled (if you don’t like black tea, this would work just as well with green tea or herbal tea)
- 150 – 200ml date water (you get date water when you make date sweetener; if you must, you could substitute this for 50-70ml juice, but make sure it is 100% fruit juice and be careful not to add to much as to not overlay the tea juice)
- 1 sliced lemon
- Prepare the tea the day/night before, allowing it to cool in the fridge over night.
- Add the date water to the tea, as well as the sliced lemon.
- Cool the tea for another 2 hours before serving.
Remember, this will NOT taste like usual ice tea, but much more like tea. My boyfriend’s comment on its taste was: “I’d add more sugar.” So, you may need some getting used to this new ice tea that only has a hint of (all-natural) fruity sweetness to it. If you want to transition slowly, add 1 Tbs. of honey to the tea when you are making it, add orange slices instead of lemon, and then gradually reduce the amount of honey as you make it again and again.
- Frozen Raspberries (or any other berries you prefer)
- Sliced Lemon
- Add frozen raspberries and sliced lemon to water.
- Allow the water to be infused for at least 15 minutes before serving.
The longer you allow the water to be infused, the more of a pink color you will get – which fools your brain into thinking that you are actually drinking Kool Aid or juice! This Very-Berry-Lemon-Water is the sweetest of these three water-drinking-options, which is due to the natural sweetness of berries. It’s a great drink to start transitioning to drinking just-plain-water!
4. Grapefruit Lemonade
Another option would be to prepare my Grapefruit Lemonade. It does contain “sugar” in the form of agave syrup, so it doesn’t qualify as drinking water per say, but it is definitely a healthier option to drinking soda, so I thought I’d include it. Click on this link to get the full recipe.
If you have any other great water-drinking-recipes, feel free to share them by commenting!