Is it already July?
Since it’s true, today’s July 1st, I found myself waking up with two thoughts:
1) I’ve made it to the halfway mark of my summer cooking adventure in the garage.
PS: If you’re new to Live Simply, we’re in the middle of a kitchen remodel. Garage cooking isn’t a trendy summer fad– unless your last name is Marr. Here’s a little sneak peek at the progress. Slow and steady wins the beautiful kitchen, right?!
2) I haven’t even started to dive into the bounty of recipes I could be making and sharing with all the berries and other fresh fruits that abound this time of year. Shame on me! I’m sorry, guys.
I’m a bit of a planner. Okay, I should be more honest. I’m a if-I-don’t-have-a color-coordinated-planner-I’m-totally-lost kind of planner. It’s an innate quality that burns inside me: Must have organization and a schedule! Thank goodness for a Google Calendar and multiple color-coordinating options.
Back to the berries, because this whole planning talk is really about the berries and summer. Hang with me.
In May, I sat down to an early morning with me, myself, and I and planned out the rest of the summer–recipes, ideas, posts–you name it, I planned it! My calendar was (and still is) filled with berry recipes from cobbler to jam and fruit on the bottom yogurt cups. Sixty days, one hot kitchen remodel, and one very hungry family later, I still haven’t shared most of the recipes planned for this summer. Now, that’s not to say the summer hasn’t been 100% delicious. We’ve enjoyed nachos, summer pasta, chicken salad, pina colada popsicles, and even homemade almond milk. But the berries just haven’t quite made their way to the blog…yet.
One of the main issues with berries (maybe I’m alone when it comes to this issue), is they don’t really need any special treatment or recipe. Sure, cobblers and crisps are amazing. Yes, homemade berry jam is out this world good. But summer berries are best, in my opinion, enjoyed straight from the hand–fresh, sweet, and just as nature intended–naked! PS: That last statement is only for berries. I fully believe in clothing, just in case that’s not clear.
I guess today’s post is a semi-apology and semi-justification. Whichever it is, today, I’m finally sharing a berry recipe in the form of a super simple agua fresca.
Agua fresca is a fancy Spanish name (translated: “cool waters”) for a very simple and refreshing summer drink that combines fresh fruit, sweetener, and water. As we enter July, with fresh berries and watermelon crops entering stores and markets, now is the perfect time to use the fresh fruits of summer to create a classic aqua fresca with a soda-like sparkle!
Homemade aqua fresca only requires one cup of fresh strawberries and sixty seconds. That’s it! The perfect recipe for every berry lover–whether you’re cooking in a 105 degree garage kitchen, need some extra motivation to start enjoying some berry recipes before summer passes and they’re all gone, or just want to whip up a sparkling real food treat. This healthy drink is for you…and me!
60 Second Strawberry Watermelon Sparkling Agua Fresca
- 2 cups chopped watermelon
- 1 cup strawberries
- 7 fresh mint leaves optional–can be left out if you don’t like mint
- 1 in lemon juiced–I’ve tossed a whole peeled lemonthe blender before without any issue. If you don’t want to juice the lemon (I use this), just peel and toss the lemonthe blender.
- 2 TB honey a lighter honey like Orange Blossom, is my choice
- 1 cup sparkling water divided
- Place the watermelon, strawberries, lemon, and honey in a blender jar. Blend the ingredients for 40-60 seconds, until smooth. Note: I use a high-speed blender (Blendtec) so extra water isn’t needed. If your blender is having a hard time blending, add a small amount of water (2-3 tablespoons) to get the ingredients moving.
- Strain the juice through a fine mesh sieve to remove any extra pulp. Refrigerate the drink or serve right away.
- To serve: Pour the “juice” into glasses. Add 1/4 cup of sparkling water and stir to combine. The sparkling water will cause the aqua fresca to foam and fizz–similar to a soda.
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