With summer winding down (far too quickly to suit me), I find myself feeling a little desperate about the approaching disappearance of summer fruits and vegetables. I’ve been sneaking them into everything, from snacks to desserts to drinks. On a whim, I began adding fruit and cucumbers to my daily ice water. Nothing particularly new, but so delightful that one day I was inspired to prepare an entire pitcher filled with nutritious, nourishing citrus, Cucurbitaceae (the botanical family that includes watermelon and cucumbers), and herbs, and, voilà, DIY vitamin water!
Readers of my other blog know that I am deeply smitten with green juice, but I enjoy other other liquid refreshments, too, including iced green tea, and coldcoldcold ice water with a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime.
So, this fruit-infused vitamin water is a natural extension that can easily morph to accommodate the fruits, vegetables, and herbs of the seasons: strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, melons, apples, pears, cranberries, oranges, basil, thyme, verbena.
The fruits and vegetables in this recipe today are themselves highly nourishing:
- Watermelon: rich in vitamins A and C, plus phytonutrients including anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatories, and cucurbitacins.
- Cucumber: good source of vitamins B5, C and K, plus phytonutrients including anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatories, and cucurbitacins.
- Grapefruit: high in vitamins A and C, lycopene, plus phytonutrients including limonoids.
- Lemon: high in vitamin C, plus phytonutrients including anti-oxidants, and cancer-fighting limonoids. Also provides antibiotic effects.
- Lime: high in vitamin C, plus phytonutrients including anti-oxidants, flavonoids, and cancer-fighting limonoids. Also provides antibiotic effects.
- Mint: has anti-microbial properties and can ease digestive upset.
For a full day’s worth of nutrients, be sure to accompany lots of whole fruits and vegetables with your daily dose of vitamin water.
Labor Day is the last big outdoor party weekend of the summer, and as August’s intense heat has made a lingering return this week (it’s been unusually cool this summer — we’ve been spoiled), I know this vitamin water will get hit hard. I’ll be making plenty to have on hand to serve when the late day’s heat really kicks in. (Oh, the cocktails will be flowing freely, too, but tall, refreshing glasses of vitamin water over ice are a must to keep the body properly hydrated.)
To serve, fill your glass halfway with ice (ice chips are nice, for crunching), and pour in the vitamin water, stopping 2″ from the top. Spoon out a few pieces of fruit — make sure it includes a cube of the season’s sweet, sweet watermelon — and add to the glass. If desired, top off with a splash of seltzer.
Kick back — a hammock would awesome — and enjoy the sunshine.
As a side note, my little SoupAddict bloggie here turns Five in a few days, and I’m celebrating with a much needed face-lift (the blog, not me, although I probably need one of those, too). I hope you’ll find the blog easier to navigate in general, and view on a mobile device in specific.
After sticking with a red and gray color palette for many years, I’m a bit in love with the brighter colors I’ve chosen here.
Rebuilding a website is definitely a labor of love, and this particular change required that I touch every single post — more than 500 (why I chose to do this over the summer is beyond me. This is the kind of thing that’s better suited for cold winter nights, when the dark and gloom settle in by 5pm).
It was an entertaining trip down memory lane, cleaning up the older posts, and noting how the voice and style of this blog has changed over the years.
I took my very first blog vacation this summer — four weeks off, in fact. I had built up a cache of posts to keep things rolling, but by and large, I neither cooked specifically for the blog nor photographed food [gasp! the camera withdrawal!] during that stretch. I wasn’t sure at the time whether I was reaching the end of my blogging rope, or just needed a breather. The break was immensely refreshing. I was rejuvenated and ready to return by the end of two weeks, but forced myself to stick to the original plan of four, spending the time luxuriously thumbing through food magazines and cookbooks, which I never seem to make time to do anymore. As with most things, whether a hobby you love, or a frustrating task at work, or just the simple routine of the every day, stepping back now and then to clear the mind and recharge the creative reservoir is time well spent.
So, I enter year six with renewed spirit and a Google Drive file of recipe ideas. Thank you, friends, for coming along on the ride. Without you, it’s all just talking into the wind. Here’s to the many happy eats ahead!
- 2 cups watermelon, sliced into 1" cubes
- 1 lime, sliced
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 1/2 red grapefruit, sliced and quartered
- 1 medium cucumber, sliced
- 12 mint leaves
- 2 quarts water
- sparkling water (optional)
- Combine the fruit, cucumber, mint leaves and water in a large pitcher.
- Place in the fridge and let infuse overnight.
- To serve, pour infused water into glasses filled halfway with ice. Spoon in a piece or two of fruit for show, and top with a splash of sparkling water (optional).