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Recipe: watermelon agua fresca

Focused on Health - July 2012

watermelon agua fresco recipeAgua fresca is a popular drink in Latin cultures. It means “fresh waters” and is usually made from fruit.  

Stay “fresh” on a hot summer day with this watermelon version. It’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

Even better: watermelon is packed with the potent antioxidant, lycopene. And, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research, foods containing lycopene may reduce prostate cancer risks. Researchers also are testing lycopene’s potential to protect against breast cancer.

Mix this recipe for watermelon agua fresca the next time you want to cool off.

Recipe ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon grated lime rind
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 12 cups cubed seeded watermelon
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Recipe preparation

1. Bring the water and sugar to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 30 seconds or until sugar dissolves, stirring frequently.

2. Let the sugar and mixture cool. Stir in mint, lime rind and lemon rind and let it rest for 20 minutes. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve. Throw away the solids.

3. Put about a third of the sugar syrup and a third of the watermelon in blender and blend until smooth. Pour the pureed mixture into a large pitcher. Repeat with the remaining sugar syrup and watermelon. Mix in lime and lemon juice. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Yield:  9 servings
Serving size: 1 cup

Each serving provides:
Calories: 108
Fat: 0.3g
Saturated fat: 0.0g
Monounsaturated fat: 0.1g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.1g
Protein: 1.3g
Carbohydrate: 27.7g
Fiber: 1g
Cholesterol: 0.0mg
Iron: 0.6mg
Sodium: 3mg
Calcium: 19mg

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© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center