We continue to see money savings as a result of our meal planning endeavours. And this week was exciting!
This week, we added another dimension to our meal planning with a two-fold aim. Primarily to reduce our spending and then also to add some much-needed hydration because it has been really hot the past few weeks.
Some days, apart from fruits, we have nothing to eat. But oh, we can’t do without hydrating with some delicious liquids that are still healthy.
If we were to continue buying drinks and juices we would be tempted to buy more than we normally would because it has been so hot. We (I) have taken the decision, however, that this week we would not purchase any juice or drink but have our liquid from what we already have at home in our fridge, freezer or in the garden. Read on. There is even an offer of a set of environmentally friendly drinking straws later (for one lucky reader).
In our household, we are not big tea or hot beverage drinkers. We might have a hot drink with breakfast but on most days that is it. Occasionally, especially if it is cold, we might have one or two other hot beverages (unlike many British families who have significantly more each day.). We do however drink mostly fruit-based juice or drink.
We would love to have more fruits planted at home but for the moment, we make use of that which we have. We have strawberries and blackberries only. From the previous week’s shopping, we still had apples, pears, mangoes, plums, and kiwi. Additionally, in our garden, we have mint, two different varieties which we use for hot and cold drinks alike. In the fridge and freezer this week as well we have ice cream, strawberries, ginger, lemons and also an assortment of frozen fruits. So let the hydration begin.
Some of the hydration meal plan beverages we have had so far include:
- Fruit smoothies: We bag together 3 or more different fruits which have been washed, chopped and frozen We thaw for about an hour in the fridge then we blend together with some juice or sometimes water with a bit of honey and lemon. We make lots of different varieties depending on the fruits we have, and we do have a lot.
- Lemonade: this takes us right back to our childhood. Lemon juice, sugar or honey along with water and lots of ice.
- Iced Tea:: This is a new favourite of ours. For this, we peel and grate ginger and boil it for about 5 minutes in a large saucepan. Whilst that is boiling, we get a batch of strawberries or blackberries previously picked from the back garden. They are washed in a colander. Once the flame under the ginger water is turned off. The fruits are added, the saucepan lid is returned and the fruits steep for about 5 hours. Once cooled, we strain, bottle and refrigerate. Try this one and if you can manage, try it without sugar. I think the fruits add enough sweetness. We really love it! Sometimes we put both strawberries and blackberries. This can be had either hot or cold. Once in a while, we even add some mint to it near to the end and it adds an additional dimension of flavour.
- Hot mint: This aromatic drink is enjoyed hot. We pick it fresh from the garden. Wash it. Place it in a teapot and then pour hot water over it and allow it to steep. This too can be had without being sweetened.
- Hot ginger and mint combination:: Ginger boiled in water. Mint added once the flame is off. Sweeten or not.
- Milkshakes: Easy, milk, ice cream (flavour of choice) and additional ingredients like chocolate or strawberries are welcome additions. Frozen bananas blended with milk also make for a smooth and delicious milkshake. Add a teaspoon of vanilla for an even yummier taste. I recently shared this on Instagram.
We are enjoying this new dimension to our meal planning. Try some of our beverages and tell us what you think. Also, have a go at winning our set of stainless steel straws. Comment, telling us what is your favourite non-alcoholic drink when you really need to feel hydrated. Good luck!
So for next week, as long as the heat is on, hydration meal plans will be the order.
Have you got a special recipe that you want to share with us? Let us know in the comment section below. We are linking with Katy Kicker and can’t wait to see what she has planned for next week.
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