Agua Fresca is the New Summer Beverage to Know

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Agua Fresca is exactly what it sounds like. Cool water or fresh water. And with summer temperatures gone wild, that is exactly what we need. What’s really cool (no pun intended-lol) is that you can make this refreshing drink with almost any fruit. I love the flexibility that comes from making agua fresca with whatever we have. Sometimes it’s cantaloupe. Sometimes it’s pineapple. Today’s recipe calls for watermelon, strawberries and lime.

When leaning into a plant-based lifestyle, there are so many new and interesting ways to get more fruits, grains and vegetables onto your plate. This beverage is an awesome way to do that. I prefer this drink to straight up fruit juice. I would absolutely serve this to my daughter before handing over a can of soda. Making this agua fresca recipe gives you the chance to try something different.

Where Did The Agua Fresca Come From?

This is for the foodies who love history. It is said that the Agua Fresca was created by the Aztecs. They gathered fruit in the capital city of Tenochtitlan which is now Mexico. The beverage is a staple in Mexican and Central American food culture. Today, thanks to vendors who sold agua fresca in local markets during the 1940’s, the tasty beverage can be enjoyed by everyone.

So when I say new, I mean new to some of us as this beverage has been around for centuries. There are many versions of agua fresca which is another reason why the drink is so popular. All you need to get it going is some kind of fruit, water and a kiss of sweetness. I don’t suggest using blueberries or cherries but check out the list of the most popular fruits used.

  • Watermelon
  • Cantaloupe
  • Pineapple
  • Cucumber
  • Tamarind
  • Lime
  • Strawberries

Two Special Versions of Agua Fresca

Flor De Jamaica: The hibiscus flower is known as the Flor de Jamaica. Once dried and added to water and sweetener, the Agua de Jamaica emerges. The beautiful deep red flower came to us from a journey that includes Africa, the Philippines and Acapulco, Mexico. This is a beautiful agua fresca to serve on a warm summer day.

Horchata: The horchata is the perfect example of an agua fresca that is not fruit or vegetable based. This drink originated in North Africa and made its way around the world via Spanish and Portuguese explorers. The Mexican version sold in many US locations is made with rice, milk and cinnamon.

Enjoy making your own agua fresca. All you need is a blender and a sharp knife. Don’t forget that many of the fruits used are awesome for their anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Fruits are also great for so many vitamins and of course much need hydration for great hair, skin and nails. Plant powered beverages are definitely the way to go!

LA is a plant-based advocate from the Bronx who is currently studying to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Want to stay connected?

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