Refreshing Healthy Beverage Recipe
- Posted on August 6, 2015
- in All Recipes (Gluten|Grain|Soy Free), Dairy Free Recipes (+Gluten|Grain|Soy-Free), Paleo Recipes, Uncategorized, Vegetarian Recipes
- by GGF Gourmet
When removing gluten, grains, and soy from your diet, it doesn’t take long to realize that the majority of those types of beverages generally need to be eliminated (and yes, that includes diet sodas, thanks to things like caramel color, artificial and natural flavoring, and artificial sweeteners).
I was rarely a soda drinker before I changed my diet (read my whole story here), so the transition to drinking water wasn’t a big issue for me – at first. Somewhere along the way, though, I started drinking a diet Dr. Pepper when I was craving something sweet, thinking it wouldn’t do me any harm (it’s just flavored water, I told myself).
My body was quick to point out that it wasn’t too happy with my new drink of choice. I experienced inflammatory symptoms and digestive issues, until I pinpointed the culprit while keeping a food journal (see the reasons to keep a food journal in this post I wrote for Stuffed-Pepper).
I returned to my normal habit of drinking water only and quickly cleared out my system. However, every now and then I found myself wanting something a little more interesting, so I started experimenting.
Dressing up my water glass
Through my various travels, I had tried fruit-infused waters, which were delicious and refreshing. However, if you’re watching carb intake or managing your blood sugar, fruit-infused water can have an effect (mostly if you’re like me and drink a gallon of it because you “discovered something you could drink/eat”).
On the hunt for something refreshing, low carb, healthy and tasty, I stumbled across a taste of cucumber-infused water. It was so refreshing! It didn’t sound the greatest, but the taste was incredibly smooth, and I found myself wanting more.
I have a full patch of spearmint leaves in my backyard (please, for the love…only plant this in POTS and NOT in the ground- it has overtaken an entire garden and then some as an invasive plant!) so I threw some of those in with the cucumber. Just before serving, I added a couple of tablespoons of lime juice, and voila! A delicious, refreshing, healthy beverage with no added sugar, corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, etc. AND almost no carbohydrates. Added benefit: Lime juice is chock full of vitamin C!
To really “spice things up,” you can add sparkling water/seltzer water, or do it with half carbonated and half plain water. I try to watch adding too much carbonation because it can incite a desire for soda with my clients who are trying to break free from the soda world (but this is a much, much better replacement!)
Here’s the super simple, refreshingly delicious and healthy recipe!
What you’ll need:
- 1/2 small cucumber, peeled and sliced thick
- 1 gallon water
- Handful of fresh spearmint or peppermint leaves
- 1-2 tablespoons lime juice per individual serving
- Place the cucumbers in the bottom of a pitcher
- Fill the pitcher with filtered water (and ice, if desired)
- Place the pitcher in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes to allow the cucumber infusion
- Add 1-2 Tablespoons of lime juice to each individual serving glass (I love using wine glasses!) and ice, if desired
- Pour the chilled cucumber-mint water over the ice and lime juice
- Give it a quick stir before serving