Warm days make "aguas frescas" (Spanish for "fresh (cold) waters") the perfect drink. Made from fresh fruit, they are healthy and oh so good. This recipe for Watermelon Agua Fresca comes from Cooking with the Seasons at Rancho La Puerta: Recipes from the World-Famous Spa by Deborah Szekely and Deborah Schneider. (A gorgeous book with great recipes by the way). I used fresh, local watermelon and made sure to use natural apple juice and frozen raspberries with no added sugars. A wonderful addition for "Simple Saturday Sippers".
Rancho La Puerta says: "Bright pink and naturally sweet, watermelon (sandia) agua fresca is hands-down the favorite in Mexico. The raspberries are an unusual addition. Garnish with a sprig of purple basil or a lavender flower."
Watermelon Agua Fresca
Cooking With the Seasons at Rancho La Puerta
(Makes 8 cups)
1 1/2 lbs seedless watermelon, rind removed, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries
1 cup fresh, unfiltered apple juice
3 Tbsp agave syrup (optional)
In a food processor, puree the first 3 ingredients until smooth (you may need to do this in batches). Taste and add some or all of the syrup if you prefer a sweeter flavor.
Notes/Results: Fruity, cold and very refreshing, this was the perfect drink for muggy day. The raspberries add a great flavor (and some added fiber), the taste of the watermelon still came through nicely and I found I needed no extra sugar. Rather than garnish with basil or lavender as suggested, I made little skewers of watermelon using my melon baller. Although I was looking for an afternoon pick-me-up and didn't add any, this would make a lovely cocktail with the some vodka or rum.
It also made a wonderful "paleta" or fruity popsicle, I just poured the extra into my molds. I did the math and for my 1/3 cup molds (without any added sugar or the alcohol of course), they are about 20 calories each--a great and healthy treat.
Don't forget to enter to win a free cookbook in my giveaway. A copy of "The Frugal Foodie Cookbook" will be sent to one lucky winner. Find out about the book and get the details on how to enter right here.