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Recipe: aqua fresca


This weekend after my run I was feeling especially dehydrated and was craving a light refreshing drink that wasn’t necessarily water. While perusing my fridge I noticed a huge watermelon begging to be used so I decided to make my version of an agua fresca.

Agua frescas are popular in Mexico and Central America but also show up on Mexican restaurant menus and at fairs and festivals throughout the country. They are made with a combination of fruit, sugar, water, and possibly seeds or floral flavorings like vanilla or hibiscus. If you’ve ever had one you’ll probably remember how sweet they are. After 5 miles, I was not interested in a super sweet drink, so I skipped the sugar and let the fresh summer fruit add its own natural sweetness.

You can use any combination of fruits you prefer. Some of the more popular are cantaloupe, honeydew, mango and guava but I prefer watermelon for its flavor and water content. I mix it with some fresh apricots I had on hand from my mom’s apricot tree that desperately needed to be used. The combo of the ripe apricots with the watermelon was more than sweet enough.

After the fact I thought to include chia seeds for some additional omega 3s, protein and fiber, so they are included in the recipe but not in the above picture. Agua frescas are also often run through a sieve for a smoother drink but I was feeling impatient and skipped that step. If you use a sieve, strain only the fruit mixture then add the chia seeds afterward.

Watermelon Apricot Agua Fresca (makes 1) 

  • 2 cups sliced watermelon
  • 2 pitted apricots
  • ½ cup crushed ice
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds (optional)
  1. Put fruit and apricots in a blender with the ice.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Add chia seeds to the fruit mixture.
  4. Stir and drink.

Photos and article by Lisa Horvath.

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