July Fourth Drink Recipe: Agua Fresca

Agua FrescaBy now, we all know (or at least we should know) that soft drinks are terrible for us and especially for children.  Those “fruit” punches are only slightly better.  Even 100% fruit juice has way more sugar in a single serving than children need.

So what’s a loving mom to do?  The Mexican street beverage, Agua Fresca, is the answer.  In essence it is just watered down fruit juice.  By mixing 2 parts water to 1 part of your favorite fruit juice you can make a refreshing and healthy drink for your kids.  Plus by having a cool name like Agua Fresca (aka Aguas de Frutas) your kids may not realize they are drinking something healthy.  You can also make it by pureeing fresh fruit with water in your blender (honeydew and cantaloupe are great for this).

Imagine getting a whole week out of one small bottle of juice and it only takes seconds to prepare.  Plus you always have fruit juice on hand for gastriques and other fancy reduction sauces.

The Agua Fresca pictured was made by mixing 1 quart orange/pineapple juice and 2 tablespoons raw local honey with 2 quarts water.  Some of my other favorites include mango, blueberry/pomegranate and honeydew.  Mixing in the raw local honey will add ample sweetness to boost the flavor of the drink without adding unhealthy processed sugar.  Honey is remarkably healthy.  Agave nectar is another healthy option.  Additionally, fresh squeezed juice is better than buying bottled juice but is not always practical.

Be sure to check out my full Easter Brunch Menu HERE.

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Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
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