A few years ago, my husband treated my daughters and me to a Spa weekend. It was AMAZING! We strolled through the whole spa menu while we were there: manicures, pedicures, facials...this spa had it all. One of our favorite indulgences was the spa water. Every day, there was a different version of the most refreshing and delightful water we ever tasted. Needless to say, this is not a trip we can make every year. It’s a little pricey and we each have life's little obligations that keep us from getting together as often as we would like. But we can spoil ourselves and have spa days--or even weekends--at home almost any time we like.
One way to enjoy the relaxing spa sensation is to create your own spa waters. I started doing this at home and the whole family relishes the delights of this flavorful and healthy way to quench their thirst. My daughter takes a full bottle to work with her every day. It’s the perfect supplement for the hot summer weather. But it’s not just the great taste that keeps us going back for more. It’s the advantages that drinking spa water affords that fills our glasses to the brim time after time.
We all know we’re supposed to drink water to stay healthy. A lot of water, too. What better way than with water that’s full of flavor and good for you. Depending on what you put in your spa water, you will reap a multitude of great healthy benefits.
* Berries are a wonderful addition with their antioxidant power and abilities to help your body ward off things like heart disease and cancer while adding a wonderful natural sweetness to your drink.
*Apples have been found in a new study to help keep Alzheimer’s away and fight the effects of aging on the brain. Flavonol-rich apples could even help reduce your risk of developing pancreatic cancer by up to 23 percent. They add a light apple juice crispness and freshness to your waters.
*Oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, and pineapple add an immune system boost of vitamin C and have cancer-fighting limonoids as well. It adds a lovely citrus note to your waters that makes you feel refreshed and rejuvenated.
*Cucumber has loads of potassium and also vitamin K which helps build bones. It has a mild melon sort of flavor when added to water.
*Watermelon has tons of vitamin c and beta carotene. It’s heart healthy and filled with nutrients. It adds a light, sweet, delectable flavor to any water you add it to.
*Mint is not only a perfect summer cooler for your water, it has been used for years to aid in digestive ailments.
*Ginger has been said to have the ability to aid in digestion, reduce arthritis pain and protect against cancer. It adds a lovely back note of heat to your waters.
I could go on and on because not only is the list of fruits, vegetables and herbs abundant--and their combinations almost limitless--so are the benefits each one provides. Here are just a few of my daughters’ and my favorite recipes.
Cucumber Mint and Watermelon Water
1/2 cucumber, sliced
1 cup watermelon, cubed
1 handful of fresh mint leaves
1 teaspoon agave nectar, optional
Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher or beverage server. Add water and one cup of ice. Chill for 2 hours. Serve with a garnish of mint leaves in each glass.
Pomegranate, Raspberry and Strawberry Iced Tea
1 pint of raspberries, washed
1 pint of strawberries, washed
4 Stash Pomegranate Raspberry Green tea bags
2 cups boiling water
1 pomegranate, seeds only
Steep the tea bags in the boiling water for 3-4 minutes. Remove tea bags and allow water to cool. Add strawberries, raspberries, and tea to large pitcher or beverage server. Top off with cold water and 1 cup of ice cubes. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Serve in a glass with a tsp of pomegranate seeds at the bottom.
Cranberry Orange Ginger Water
1 small bag frozen cranberries
3 oranges, sliced
1 inch of fresh ginger, sliced
Place fruit in a large pitcher or beverage server. Top off with water and one cup of ice. Refrigerate for 2 hours and serve in a glass with and orange slice in it.
Although you refrigerate these waters for two hours, they are actually best served at room temperature. At room temperature the fruits will release their luscious flavors and the water will be filled with all the healthy nutrients you could desire. So once you have chilled them take them out and leave them where you can see them and keep refilling your glass.
These recipes will last for two days at room temperature. After a few hours you will notice a beautiful hue to your water and a change in the taste as the dominant fruits recede and the milder flavors come forward. After the second day, dispose of the water, if there is any left, and start over with a fresh batch.
Don’t be limited by the recipes I’ve included. Be brave, try your own favorite fruit, vegetable, and herb combinations. Indulge in your favorite flavors and make some healthy, refreshing spa water for yourself.