by Nozella Brown
If it’s hot and muggy, staying hydrated is a must. But do I have to drink water? The kids whine, even the grown kids.
Telling them all the benefits of water—lower cost, fewer calories, increased energy, improved digestion and other health rewards- doesn’t help. They say plain water is boring.
This is especially true when there are so many sweeter options on the market—fruit drinks, sports drinks, soda pop, and vitamin water. Besides adding a slice of lemon, is there any other way to spruce up this liquid asset so it can compete with its unhealthy alternatives?
For refreshing, healthy coolers, here are a few ideas that you can add to a 12-16 ounce cup of water:
• Fresh or frozen berries
• Fresh or frozen pineapple, cantaloupe, mango or watermelon chunks or puree
• Crushed fresh peppermint, spearmint or lemon balm leaves; add a teaspoon of sweetener if desired.
• Half cup of 100 percent fruit juice
• Ice cubes made of 100 percent fruit juice or fruit puree
• Lime slices alone, or with basil, mint leaves or cucumber slices
• Chopped apples and cinnamon sticks
Or, use your creativity and discover your family’s favorite extreme water makeover. You’ll be hydrated all summer and be closer to a healthier lifestyle.
Nozella Brown, who holds a doctorate in education, is a Family and Consumer Science educator for Kansas State Research and Extension, Wyandotte County. She would love to hear your ideas. Email her at email@example.com For more recipes visit www.kidsacooking.org Like the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/KSREWyco and follow on Twitter @WyCoSnapEd.
Coolest Minty H20
Makes: 8 1–cup servings
2 quarts cold water
1 cucumber, peeled and sliced thinly
3/4 cup of fresh mint leaves
1 lemon or lime thinly sliced (optional)
Wash hands and countertops. Put mint in empty pitcher and mash with wooden spoon. Add cucumber slices and water. Put pitcher in refrigerator an hour. Strain mint and cucumber and serve. Use lemon as a garnish for each serving, if desired.
Nutritional information for each serving: 10 calories, 0.1g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 2.1g carbohydrates, 0.8g fiber, 0g sugars, 10mg sodium, 0.5g protein, 7% Vitamin A, 4% Vitamin C, 2% calcium, 10% iron.