Saturday, May 19, 2012

Strawberry Agua Fresca - Thirst quencher for the hot summer

Don't go by the name in the title, Agua Fresca literally translates to Agua (~water) and Fresca (~Fresh). This light, natural, lemony drink made with succulent summer fruits is not only delicious but also manages your calories compared to milk shakes or bottled/canned drinks.

Strawberries are one of my favorite fruits. I was bowled over these beauties when we first came to CA, some of our wiser cousins who had already been exposed to the local charm took us on a drive in Spring where farmers had put up road side stalls to sell freshly picked strawberries in all sizes of crates. Though you get strawberries year round in super markets, the actual harvest cycle is Spring/summer and fall. Smart farmers extend this cycle to the entire year.

Couple of years back, the big time garden enthusiasts me & BH are, we fell into the trap of growing strawberries in our back yard. We had a United way sale going on at work and I brought home 6 small saplings of Strawberry marked for early Fall harvest. We planted those tiny things in the ground, made sure Flora didn't trample when she excitedly jumped over them, fed, watered and cared for the plants. Come August, saw tiny blossoms and then small, little fruits emerging. It was a wonderful experience to see the strawberries growing organically in our own yard. DD was super thrilled that she could pick and eat fresh fruits from the plant at home :-). We infact harvested a few cups of not so big but very juicy strawberries and enjoyed them. Then the weather turned chilly and cold, we moved our potted plants inside for hibernation and left the strawberries out in the cold. When Spring reappeared the next year, I was happy to see that the strawberries had survived the harsh winter and started growing again, but very soon we realized the extent to which this hardy plant can go and take over your back yard. It was almost a strawberry infestation, the plants go beneath the top layer of soil, put out roots and every few inches, a new leaf and a new plant springs up :-). We moved from that home with all the memories tucked in and I decided not to grow strawberries in the back yard again so we have space for other plants.  May be I will give into the temptation some time in the future years :-), I am back to buying the huge boxes of the fruit from Costco in the meantime.

As I said earlier, Strawberry agua fresca is a strawberry flavored, slightly lemony drink that is perfect for a hot summer picnic.

What do you need for Strawberry agua fresca?
12-15 juicy, unbruised strawberries
2 Tblsp sugar (adjust if the fruit is sweet)
juice from 1.5 lemon (about 1/4 cup) - adjust if the fruit is tart, see Notes below.
6-8 cups of water
How do you make Strawberry agua fresca?
  • Take the first 3 ingredients listed above and blend it till smooth. 
  • You can strain the blended mixture and then mix water, but I prefer to use directly and not lose the natural fibers from the fruit - This step is your choice. 
  • Add water to thin it down to a drink consistency.
  • Chill and serve.

Enjoy the strawberry agua fresca at home or pack with ice for a picnic. We are off to do some hiking on this balmy day here. Have a great weekend. 

Note: 
  • While you want the drink to pack the punch, you do not want the lemon juice to overpower. Remember it is strawberry agua fresca. 
  • Other fruits you can use to create yummy agua frescas are melon (watermelons, cantaloupes), pinneapple. 

3 comments:

NamsVeni Pothas said...

we will enjoy the cool drink in the hot summer. strawberries are really tasty

Jay said...

sounds interesting ..wonderful presentation ..;)
Tasty Appetite

RAKS KITCHEN said...

I love a lot, nice name, yummy recipe