Manuel Gomez Ruano photo credit from wikipedia commons

One of the most important things you can do for yourself in general, and especially during a global pandemic is to keep yourself hydrated and an interesting, gourmet way to do this is to make one of the many variations of an authentic Agua Fresca. Agua Fresca is a Mexican term that simply means “fresh water” or “cool water.” It is usually made by squeezing liquid from a fruit into a glass or jar of very fresh cold water. Agua fresca can also be made from chia seeds, dried hibiscus flowers, rice or tamarind, but also from vegetables such as cucumbers, celery or cooked beets. Although it is not necessary you can also flavor the water with your preferred sweetener, such as stevia, honey or agave syrup. However most people find the fruit or vegetable flavored water to be sweet enough.

In essence, an agua fresca can be made with almost any fruit and you can mix different fruits to create your favorite flavor comb. It is also common to use a hand blender to mix chunks of fruit, such as melon, pineapple, apples and berries.

A basic recipe for making an Agua Fresca is:

  • 4 cups water (spring, distilled or even sparkling water
  • 2 cups fresh fruit
  • 2 teaspoons of lime or lemon juice
  • Sweetener of choice to taste

It is easy to combine everything in a blender with a handful of ice and then puree it until smooth. If you would like a clearer Agua Fresca then you can put it through a sieve. Whether or not you want to serve it up on ice or not is up to you.

Here are some great combinations of ingredients for you to try to make an amazing Aqua Fresca.

Agua de Chia Lemonade or Limeade

Use Lemons or Limes as the fruit and throw a cup of chia seeds into the mix. The chia will add texture to the drink, as they become slightly gelatinous. Chia seeds can be used to ad fiber, protein and omega-3 fats to any fresca that you make but are particularly delicious when made with lemonade.

Agua de Lemon, Hibiscus and Cranberry

This is a hibiscus flower tea, known as Agua Fresca de Jamaica, with raw cranberries thrown in to give it bit of a tart taste, Add a cup each of hibiscus petals and whole raw cranberries along with flesh and peel of one whole lemon to blender and whirl with ice. If you make the Agua fresca with tea made with hibiscus flowers and skip the cranberries, it is known as Agua Fresca de Jamaica or Jamaican Iced Tea.

Agua de Tamarindo

This earthy tasting water is made from the pulp of the tamarind pod. Tamarinds have a very bracing sweet and sour flavor. Simply remove the seeds and blend the flesh of the fruit with ice, water and a sweetener.

Agua de Watermelon

Watermelon is already full of water and also electrolytes so chop up as much as you like, using the base recipe. Watermelon also combines well with strawberries, mint and chia seeds.

Horchata a.k.a Rice Agua Fresca

This traditional drink is made by soaking white rice in water or milk and then blending the drained liquid with ice cinnamon and a sweetener. You can also add a pinch of cardamom or turmeric, to modernize it or ground seeds or nuts. Horchata is a classic remedy for dehydration in Mexico.

The variations for making this water are endless. As agua frescas are so rustic, you can keep as much fruit or seed pulp as you want in the brew and you don’t have to serve it on ice. Be aware too that most aqua frescas tend to have some pulp settle at the bottom of their pitchers, so always stir the drink well before serving. Keep this classic Mexican drink in mind as a great way to stay hydrated in a healthy way during the hot summer days.

For more information about nutrition, your immune system or to book a consultation about anti-aging, naturopathic testing, weight loss programs or any health issue you may be experiencing, visit the Pinewood Natural Healthcare Centre website that has a list of full services and products at www.pinewoodhealth.ca or call our Toronto Office at  (416)-656- 8100.  We also have an office in Pickering, Ontario at (905)-427-0057. You can also email us at info@pinewoodhealth.ca and we would be happy to answer any question that you have about our holistic health services.

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