There have been times this summer when it has been hot, hot, hot in New Jersey-upwards of 100 degrees. When the weather gets hot, experts tell us to hydrate, hydrate, and hydrate. Unfortunately, I have not always been compliant with this advice, since I have always found plain water to be bleh, bleh, boring.
When I received an invitation from the folks at #ClearAmerican and #CBias to experiment with summer recipes using Clear American water (available at Walmart), I was intrigued. Perhaps I could do a better job of hydrating myself if I tried flavored water instead of the plain stuff. In addition, since we are at the height of summer fruit season, I thought it would be fun to combine the #ClearAmerican water and a little fresh fruit in a complimentary flavor for a refreshing treat.
I took a trip over to Walmart to peruse my flavored water options. There were so many: cherry, key lime, golden peach, honeydew melon, raspberry blackberry and more! It was hard to decide. I finally settle on the key lime and golden peach flavors, since I had some of our terrific Jersey peaches, a container of fresh strawberries and limes to work with at home
I surfed around AllRecipes for a while until I found recipes for peach iced tea and raspberry limeade. Using the flavored #ClearAmerican water as a base, I made the following thirst slaking beverages for my family to enjoy. I hope that you will give them a try, too:
Peach Iced Tea
8 Cups #ClearAmerican Golden Peach flavored water
3 large family size tea bags (I suspect 5 smaller bags would work, too)
2 fresh peaches-peeled, pitted and sliced
2 tablespoons sugar or 1 and 1/2 teaspoons Stevia powder
Bring 3 cups of the Golden Peach flavored water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Add the tea bags. Steep for 15 minutes and then remove tea bags.
While the tea is steeping, combine 1 cup reserved peach flavored water and the peaches in a blender and blend until very smooth. Put the peach mixture, tea and sugar or Stevia into a pitcher. Add 4 additional cups of Golden Peach flavored water. Stir until blended. Peachy perfection!
Juice of one lime
2 cups #ClearAmerican Key Lime flavored water
¼ cup sugar
1 and ½ cups sliced fresh strawberries
5 ice cubes
Place lime juice, Key Lime flavored water, sugar and fresh strawberries in a blender and blend on high until smooth. Add ice cubes one at a time and blend (with the cover on and your fingers out of the way, silly Biters!). Put into a pitcher and serve. This will pucker you up, but in a good way.
For my last hydrating trick, I decided to make peach popsicles. I modified a recipe that I found online that was originally published in Eating Well magazine:
4 medium peaches, peeled, halved and pitted
Juice of one lemon
¼ cup Golden Peach flavored #ClearAmerican water.
¼ cup orange juice
¼ cup sugar, or to taste
¼ teaspoon vanilla
Coarsely chop peaches in a food processor. Transfer one cup of chopped peaches to a bowl, reserving the rest in the food processor bowl. Add lemon juice, Golden Peach flavored water, orange juice and sugar to taste (depending on the sweetness of the peaches) to food processor. Puree until smooth. Add to the bowl with the remaining cup of chunky peaches and stir in vanilla.
Divide the mixture among 12 two ounce or 8 three ounce freezer pop molds. Freeze about 1 hour and then insert popsicle sticks. Freeze the mixture for about 1 more hour or until completely firm.
If you want to get more gourmet-ish, you can add 1 or 2 teaspoons of finely chopped basil, fresh mint or lemon verbena to the puree before freezing.
If you want to see how these cooling concoctions were created, you can follow along below:
“Disclosure: This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias (http://www.collectivebias.com/), which is a vendor for Cott Beverages Inc., the manufacturer of Clear American® brand beverages. All opinions and ideas for this post are my own. You can follow #ClearAmerican on Twitter (http://twitter.com/#!/clear_american) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Clear-American-flavored-water/124837632151).
Beth Christian subsisted primarily on cheeseburgers and liverwurst sandwiches during childhood and refused to try most new foods. Her culinary horizons were expanded during her college days in Schenectady, New York, where she learned the joys of trying slow-simmered Italian dishes, Szechuan cuisine, and everything in between. When not engaged in the practice of law in Monmouth County, Beth is busy scouting out interesting restaurants, farmer’s markets and food purveyors near her home in Burlington County. Beth’s primary dining sidekick is her husband John, but she also enjoys having her daughter Meghan, son Michael and her wonderful friends come along for the ride. Email Beth at BChristian@JerseyBites.com