Here in the beautiful Pacific NW, we have been enjoying unseasonably warm weather. At any time of year it's important to stay hydrated to keep your energy levels up and feel your best, and even more so as we head into the warm summer months of outdoor fun and play. Sometimes water just doesn't quench your thirst. It can be tempting to reach for something sugary and carbonated when water just doesn't cut it, so here are some tasty alternatives that won't give you a sugar rush and crash.
Switchel: This old-fashioned refreshing drink is making a comeback. And with good reason. This recipe includes inflammation-reducing ginger and digestion-boosting apple cider vinegar. There are lots of ways to make switchel so feel free to experiment and find your own favorite recipes!
Download the recipes for easy access HERE.
1 quart filtered water
1 inch piece of ginger roughly chopped (or more if you like it spicy!)
1/2 cup organic maple syrup or raw honey
1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup freshly juiced lemon
Simmer the chopped ginger in water for 15 - 20 minutes. Let cool. Strain.
Combine the sweetener with apple cider vinegar and lemon juice and stir till combined. Add the ginger tea and stir well again. Serve chilled. Simple and delicious!
Shrub: This is a drinking vinegar concentrate. Shrubs are very popular in upscale bars right now, but you can make your own at home and just add club soda for a refreshing, bubbly drink that tastes sophisticated and is kid-friendly, too! I chose this one to make use of the abundance of fresh fruit available at this time of year. There are endless varieties of shrubs so again, find your combination that has you drinking lots of tasty, nutritious beverages.
1 cup fresh strawberries, cut into 1/4" slices
1 cup rhubarb, cut into 1/4" slices
6-8 fresh mint and/or basil leaves
1 1/2 cups organic sugar
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup raw organic apple cider vinegar
- In a bowl, combine the cut up strawberries and rhubarb. Sprinkle the sugar on top and then mix together until all the fruit is coated with sugar. Let sit for 1 hour at room temperature.
- Mash the fruit with a wooden to break up the fruit. Once you have done so, let sit for another hour. The fruit should be getting very juicy at this point.
- Let sit for another 2 -3 hours. Mash the fruit again until it is completely mushy. Let sit, covered, at room temperature, for 24 hours. Transfer fruit to a Quart size Mason jar.
- Add in the vinegars, mint/basil leaves, stir, and let sit, covered, for one week, making sure to give it a good stir every day.
- After a week, strain the fruit from the mixture and save the liquid in a mason ja
The shrub will keep in the fridge for several weeks. To serve, pour 1 - 2 ounces over ice and top with club soda.
Lemonade: A classic. Who doesn't love an icy glass of lemonade on a hot day? This beverage disappears fast at my house.
Juice of 1 lemon, freshly squeezed
3 cups of filtered water
2 tablespoons raw honey
A handful of ice
Put all ingredients in the blender and blend until honey is dissolved. The fresh lemon adds an extra boost of enzymes. Sprinkle a pinch of grated lemon zest on top and enjoy!
There you have it. Three simple, healthy, delicious recipes that will keep you and your family hydrated, happy and healthy through the hot summer weather.