Vitamin Water: Home-made/ Zero-waste


Macerate herbs to make your own original healthy at home or take-away drink. Industrial sugary refreshments are out of fashion.

Coca-Cola supplies the world with Vitaminwater (trademark). A sugar loaded drink with additives and colourants, not to mention its plastic bottle. A 591ml Vitaminwater drink contains 31grams of sugar, an amount our surpassing daily sugar recommendation. Many common refreshments incur high personal and societal costs.

Estimates point to 60 MILLION plastic bottles ending up in landfills EVERYDAY from soft drink companies. These seem rather conservative estimates. According to the Guardian, "British households fail to recycle a 'staggering' 16million PLASTIC BOTTLES A DAY. That is almost half of all plastic bottles used" in UK homes that end up in landfill and impacting not only the marine life. Besides being energy intensive recycling is not negligible either, especially if we calculate the energy (from production, collection, recycling) per litre of drink!

Your everyday drinks do not have to cost the earth nor your health

Hydrating your body is pretty easy. The best drink for your body is obviously clean water. Ideally, coming directly from your tap (with or without a water filter).

Local water is a treasure to cherish. Above, Czech Krondorf, a unique water, hardly comparable to others due to it mineral content with natural carbon dioxide distributed to restaurants in returnable bottles.

If you would like to add a bit of no-guilt sophistication and vitamins to your water, then try macerates. Although macerates usually contain fresh herbs, in winter you can make them from dried herbs that are available unpackaged at herbalist stores or markets. The best is, of course, to handpick and dry your own herbs during their season.

I chose local rosa canina and more exotic hibiscus for winter/ spring macerates since they contain vitamin C. Recipe at the bottom of the page.

Rosa canina contains a high amount of vitamin C, even more than lemons or oranges. Due to its high vitamin content, I have rosa canina on my list of local superfoods.

Although widely available on the Western market, hibiscus sabdiriffa, known also as karkade in Arabic countries, is a more exotic plant grown in tropical or subtropical areas. Roselle (hibiscus other common name) is used in numerous products including herbal teas, herbal medicines, syrups and food colouring. Mexicans know it as aqua de Jamaica, although their recipe contains high amount of processed sugars. Mexico together with the USA rank highest in obesity, Czech Republic is within the first three dozen countries.

Hibiscus sold in bulk at Ombdurman souk (market), Khartum, Sudan, where hibiscus is grown and handpicked.

Recipe:

To increase your daily dose of natural vitamin C (more concentrated)

1 table spoon of dried crushed rosa canina

1 glass of water

For a refreshing drink

1-3 table spoons of dried crashed rosa canina

1litre of water

Let rosa canina soak overnight or during 6-8hours, then strain over a thin cloth or a handkerchief to filter out the plant's tiny hair (avoid drinking those). Drink without warming the same day. You might find rosa canina shells already cleaned. Just make sure they have been dried naturally since high temperatures deprive the plant of vitamin C.

The leftover mixture can be used as a base for a tea. Do not store the wet mixture, use it up within the next few hours.

Hibiscus macerate

Similarly, as in the previous recipe, place dried hibiscus (you do not need to crush it) and soak for at least 2-6hrs. You may leave out the straining with this plant.

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