Now that it’s the new year, I know a lot of people who are trying to eat healthy and exercise away all that holiday food. And if you’re trying to get into a healthy routine, drinking lots of water is always a good idea. I actually made this particular pitcher of water at the end of last summer with some fresh mint I was growing in a large pot and some home-grown cucumbers my friend Mary gave me from her garden. I didn’t have a chance to post it back then but now, since it’s winter, you can just buy your cucumbers (use organic if you can) and fresh mint is usually available in the produce section at many stores, too. The cucumber and mint lightly flavor the water in a soothing, refreshing way. If you like naturally-flavored water, you’ll want to try this out!
CUCUMBER-MINT WATER by NancyC
Makes 8 servings
8 cups water
1 medium cucumber, peeled or unpeeled and thinly sliced
6 to 8 large or 12 to 16 small fresh mint leaves
Put water in a gallon-size pitcher. Add sliced cucumbers and mint leaves and stir everything together. Place in your refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours to chill. When ready to serve, add some ice to the pitcher or pour over ice in your glassware. The water usually keeps for several days if kept chilled in the refrigerator.
If you don’t have mint, you can just make cucumber water–that has a nice flavor, too. Mint by itself is also good in water.
I think water tastes so much better when it’s flavored with natural ingredients. Do you like to flavor your water too?
This is an easy, fruity drink to make–perfect for enjoying on a sunny spring day! This cooler has strawberries that you mash, or muddle, to release the juices, and then you add in the orange juice for a really great fruity combination! If you need to make a larger amount of servings, just multiply the ingredients by the number of servings you need–you could even mix up a large batch in a pitcher!
When I was mashing up my strawberries, I found it was easier to do that in a medium-size bowl, and I used a spoon to mash them. But you could also mash them right in the glass if that works best for you.
STRAWBERRY–ORANGE MINT COOLER by NancyCreative, adapted from Martha Stewart
Makes 2 servings
Half a pint (8 ounces) of strawberries, hulled
4 fresh mint leaves
2 cups orange juice (or tangerine or mandarin juice)
mint springs for garnish, optional
Divide strawberries between 2 (10 or 12-ounce) glasses. Add 2 mint leaves to each glass. Muddle (or mash) strawberries until they are crushed and juicy (you can use a spoon or muddler to do this). Add 4 or 5 ice cubes to each glass, then fill each glass with 1 cup of orange juice. Garnish with mint sprigs, if desired.
If you want a slightly fizzy drink, use 1 cup juice mixed with 1 cup sparkling water. It will be less sweet, but the fizziness is nice!
This would be a great beverage to serve at a spring breakfast or brunch. Maybe even on Easter! What types of fruity beverages do you like to make?