Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Quench Your Thirst

I am one of those people who does not like to drink water.  Yes, I teach in a nutrition department and I do not like to drink water.  There! I have admitted it!

However, I have also learned that I need to drink water.  So drink I do.  I find that if I add something to water, it becomes more like a beverage and can be quite enjoyable.  When I was a poor and broke graduate student, I used bottled lemon juice.  Occasionally, I reach back for the lemon juice.  Hey, old habits die hard.

Since I am from the south, I am also a semi-reformed Coke-a-holic.  Yes, I have been trying to kick the habit for several years.  Now I am down to less than one (12 ounce) can per week.  To help me drink water and fight my Coke habit, I have started making flavored water.  I start with a simple syrup (sugar and water) and add a few extras, like fruit, ginger, citrus zest.  In addition to using these syrups for water, they can also be used to sweeten lemonade and ice tea. 

Simple Ginger Syrup

Makes about 2 cups.

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 piece (about 4 ounces) ginger 

1.  Bring water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar.
2.  Peel and coarsely chop ginger.  (You should have about ½ cup ginger.)  Add ginger to syrup.  Remove from heat, and let steep for 30 minutes. 
3.  Strain syrup to remove the ginger.  Store in an airtight container.  Refrigerate up to one month. 

Raspberry-Lemon Syrup

1 cup water
2 cups sugar
Zest of 2 lemons
1 (10 ounce) package raspberries

1.  Bring water and sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar.
2.  Add lemon zest and raspberries.  Refrigerate for 24.  Strain the syrup.  Store in an airtight container. Refrigerate up to one month.
Note:  For extra tartness, use the juice from one lemon.

Carrot-Ginger Elixir

Serves 4. 

cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons chopped peeled ginger
1 cup carrot juice
½ cup fresh lime juice

1.  Bring sugar, ginger, and 1/3 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. 
2.  Remove from heat; let steep for 10 minutes.  Strain to remove ginger.  Cover and chill syrup. 
3.  Combine syrup, carrot juice and lime juice.  Divide among four glasses and serve.

Source:  Bon Appetit, April 2012

For addtional syrup recipes check out the Dallas News site.

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