Summer is in full swing now, and even though we've had more than our fair share of rain lately, I'm still craving some light, fruity, refreshing drinks! That's why I wanted to share this recipe for Strawberry Watermelon Agua Fresca.
This has everything in it that makes me think of summer....okay well almost everything! While not exactly a traditional agua fresca, I like it just the same. And I bet you will too!
Strawberries and watermelon are naturally sweet, and using them in season guarantees you won't need any sugar in your recipe. The mint further enhances the sweetness, and the basil adds a little something unexpected to the drink.
Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C - just one cup contains 150% daily value. We tend to think of vitamin C as a winter nutrient, but it's really important all year round! Vitamin C is an antioxidant, which means that it helps prevent your cells from becoming damaged. This is incredibly important during sunburn season (but seriously put on sunscreen, too!).
Watermelon on the other hand, is a good source of both vitamins A and C. But its real claim to fame is its lycopene content. When it comes to lycopene, tomatoes and prostate health get all the attention. But other red produce like watermelon, papaya, and red peppers (but not strawberries) also have lycopene! Lycopene is a carotenoid, which is an antioxidant that gives a red, yellow, or orange color to foods.
Lycopene's benefits extend well beyond prostate health. This potent antioxidant has been linked to reduced rates of certain types of cancers (prostate and breast), skin damage as a result of ultraviolet radiation, cataracts, and memory loss. Excitingly, lycopene may also play an important role in heart health. It seems the carotenoid may be helpful in lowering LDL ("bad") cholesterol, and reducing stroke risk. It's important to note that in nutrition research, it's often difficult to know which nutrients are responsible for an observed effect, or if it might be the combination of nutrients. Studies that have relied on supplements have shown harm in some populations (here and here). But the good news is that a diet high in fruits and vegetables will cover your bases with no harmful side effects!
And suffice it to say herbs contain additional (in some cases more) powerful antioxidants to contribute. All that in a little glass?! And here's arguably the most important part:
Seriously refreshing and perfect for lounging at the pool or following a day of yard work! Strawberry Watermelon Agua Fresca is truly summer in a glass!
Strawberry Watermelon Agua Fresca
- 2 cups Watermelon cubes
- 1 cup Strawberries, roughly chopped
- Small handful Fresh Mint leaves
- 1-2 Large Basil leaves (depending on how much you want to taste it)
- Add all ingredients to blender, and blend on high for a minute or so, until you can't see anymore green specks.
- Pour over ice, and garnish with a strawberry and mint leaves, if desired.