Summer is almost here! I can feel it. I’m downright giddy about the explosion of colorful summertime fruit at the farmers’ markets right now. My dear strawberries, cherries, blueberries and cucumbers, it’s been too long since I last saw you!
It seems serendipitous that the hottest season of the year would produce produce that hardly requires any help. I treat ripe strawberries like dessert; just rinse and eat. Of course, I love them roasted in a crisp, too, but on the hottest of summer days, I just want fresh fruit.
One of my favorite ways to enjoy fresh fruit is in agua fresca form. Agua frescas are refreshing fruit drinks made simply of fruit blended with water, lime juice and a bit of sweetener. They’re popular in Mexico and Central America, although I ordered the most incredible pineapple agua fresca in Austin, Texas, earlier this year.
I’m not much of a juice drinker, but I love agua frescas because they can be served unfiltered. So, unlike regular juice, you’re sipping up all the fiber that is inherent in the fruit rather than filtering it out. In theory, that means that they won’t cause quite the blood sugar spike that regular juices can. Plus, you can make it in a blender and skip the filtering step.
I experimented by making agua frescas with quite a few kinds of fruit. Strawberries, cucumbers and cantaloupe turned out marvelously, and you should be able to find those at farmers’ markets this time of year. Pineapple is another favorite. Cherries turned into a cherry lime-aid, but their color changed pretty quickly. Blueberries and blackberries weren’t sweet enough and required filtering through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds.
The key to making perfectly smooth, unfiltered agua frescas is a high-powered blender. Vitamix sent me their Professional Series 750 blender, which takes “high powered” to a new level! This machine is amazing. It has a total of five pre-programmed settings for making smoothies (which is the setting I used to make these drinks), hot soups (no stove required!), frozen desserts and purées. The fifth setting is a cleaning setting to make sure the container is squeaky clean once you’re done. I really like the tamper that comes with the blender, which lets me push down any ice or nuts that need help in super thick mixtures.
It’s totally magical to transform fresh produce into new forms with just the press of a button. My new Vitamix blends up super smooth agua frescas in less than a minute flat! Summertime, coming up.
- 1 cup roughly chopped fruit (I recommend hulled strawberries, peeled cucumber, cantaloupe or pineapple)
- 1 cup water
- ½ medium lime, juiced
- 1 teaspoon pure cane sugar or agave nectar or sweetener or choice (if your fruit is perfectly ripe and sweet, you may not need any sweetener at all)
- Optional: 2 large mint leaves (perfect with cucumber)
- In your blender container, combine the fruit, water, lime juice, sweetener and optional mint leaves. Purée until smooth using the smoothie feature. Taste and, if necessary, add more lime and/or sweetener, then blend briefly again. Serve immediately, over ice.
This post was sponsored by Vitamix and I received compensation for my participation. Opinions are my own, always. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who support C+K!.