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“Watermelon Agua Fresca & A New Pea”

I have not known watermelon until this moment. I obsessed over the watermelons in my garden at Tulipwood this summer. “How do I know if they’re really, truly ready?” I proclaimed across the woods, and then on twitter, and facebook, and to random family members who gave me funny looks. Twitter produced the most answers, as it often does.

“The stem will be dry and brown,” one person said.

“It will be heavy and smell like watermelon,” another said.

“The underside of it will be yellow but the rest green,” someone else said.

My watermelon was none of these things. But it had been sitting there in the garden all summer, bigger than the rest of the watermelons, and it was perfectly green and round.

It looked like a plump pea, shelled right from the pod.

And so, because I knew I was going to write this post in honor of Maria from “Two Peas and Their Pod,” I decided it was time to snip it and turn it into something festive…

This beverage is for you Maria, and the new pea you are about to introduce into the family…

I gathered a little mint as well… mint is so prolific around these parts.

And because I couldn’t help it, I filled the basket with some other things and skipped over the hill like Laura Ingalls from Little House on the Prarie.

Not.

But that’s a nice image isn’t it?

I decided to try out watermelon agua fresca, which is Spanish for “fresh water.” It isn’t a smoothie and it isn’t flavored water.

Instead it is the perfect middle ground between water and fruit, thin and clean tasting, but decidedly filled with the fruit flavor.

And guess what else…

The watermelon was ripe!

It was beyond ripe. It was ruby and as sweet as watermelon has ever tasted. Like I said, I have not had watermelon until this moment.

To make an agua fresca with watermelon, you carve it out of its rind…

Slice it vertically…

Then horizontally…

Until you have a bowl of sweet pieces ready for the blender.

Pour in water now…

And blend until smooth and frothy.

I love froth.

Then you strain it. That’s what gives it that smooth clean feeling in your mouth.

With a spatula, press it through the strainer to get around the seeds and pulp.

Then you can add your own personal flair. Normally I would use fresh limes. But I didn’t have any handy so this fun lime juice was a good substitute.

Pour in the lime juice along with any sweetener that you’re in the mood for. This lime juice already had some so I didn’t add any extra. But this would be a good place for some agave sweetener or honey. Or as my grandmother would prefer, fresh stevia leaves.

Or nothing at all! This watermelon was already so sweet.

Before serving, muddle some mint in a glass.

Then pour ‘er in.

You can even add the mint flowers for good measure.

And of course you could use so many other kinds of fruits here too. Honeydew perhaps? Juicy peaches?

Cheers to you Maria and the new addition to your family!

“Watermelon Agua Fresca”

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

“Watermelon Agua Fresca”

Ingredients

  • 8 cups cubed seeded watermelon, (about 6 pounds with the rind)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon agave or honey (optional)
  • Lime slices, for garnish (optional)
  • Mint leaves, for garnish, or your other favorite herb
  • Crushed ice to serve

Instructions

  1. Cut the watermelon flesh from the rind into cubes.
  2. In a blender, process half the watermelon pieces with 1/2 cup of water until smooth.
  3. Pour through a strainer into a pitcher, using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to press the liquid through the pulp and seeds. Repeat this process with the remaining melon and water.
  4. Stir in the lime juice and optional agave or honey. Muddle some mint into the bottom of a glass along with some ice, and pour the liquid into the glass. Garnish with lime slices and mint.
http://georgiapellegrini.com/2011/08/31/recipes/watermelon-agua-fresca-pea/

Here are all of the other fun recipes from my friends who are participating in this Virtual Baby Shower for Two Peas & Their Pod

Drinks

Simple Bites – Lemon Balm infused Lemonade

Ingredients, Inc. – Healthy Fruit Punch

Food for My Family – Lemongrass Soda

Heather’s Dish – Mixed Fruit Punch

She Wears Many Hats – Mini Pistachio Smoothies

Georgia Pellegrini – Watermelon Agua Fresca & a New Pea

Appetizers/Savory Bites

With Style and Grace – Truffle Popcorn

Family Fresh Cooking – Baby Peas & Cheese Frittata

Barbara Bakes – Creamy Orange Fruit Dip and Fruit

Aggie’s Kitchen – Pasta Salad with Balsamic Basil Vinaigrette

Reluctant Entertainer – Nutella Berry Bruschetta

Dessert

Dorie Greenspan – French Lemon Cream Tart

TidyMom – Blue and Chocolate Cake Balls

i am baker – Baby Pea Baby Shower Cake

Brown Eyed Baker – Pavlova

Picky Palate – Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Sandwich

What’s Gaby Cooking – Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

Cookin’ Canuck – Nutella & Cream Cheese Swirled Blondies

Kevin and Amanda – Baby Blue Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Cups

Sweetopia – Decorated Sugar Cookies

Mountain Mama Cooks – Lavender Shortbread Cookies

Sweetapolita – Little Pea Sugar Cookie Pops

Bake at 350 – Petit Fours with fondant pea pods

RecipeGirl – Baby Button Cookies

RecipeBoy – Mud Cups with Gummy Worms

Add a Pinch – Blackberry Tartlets

Dine and Dish – Oven Baked Cinnamon Apples

Crafts

Wenderly – Handmade Sweet Pea Cards

Our Best Bites – How To: Make a Diaper Cake Centerpiece

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Comments

  1. Ah, love this Georgia!

  2. Wow does that look good!!!! Love the “pea” in your garden… great shot! :)

  3. This looks delicious Georgia! I’ve never had a watermelon drink…..I MUST try this!!

  4. So refreshing! And perfect for a shower or ladies party.

  5. I agree with Amy, so refreshing & perfect for a shower! Beautiful Georgia!

  6. This looks so refreshing. I like that it uses an unrefined sweetener! A great drink to celebrate a lovely lady and her new “pea”.

  7. I actually don’t even like watermelon and I want a big glass of that! The color is stunning and it looks so perfect for summer- beautiful!

  8. Makes me want to grow watermelon next year. What a great refreshing drink!

  9. Love agua frescas especially with all the great watermelons and cantaloupes right now.

  10. Love your giant “pea!” :) And these drinks look so refreshing!

  11. This looks fabulous Georgia, so refreshing!

  12. What a beautiful watermelon! You must be so proud!

  13. Not crazy about watermelon but I love this drink. So refreshing and perfect for a shower. I just wish we could have all been together in real life to help celebrate with Maria! :) Thanks for sharing, G!

  14. This sounds like the most fabulous drink in all the land ;) .

    Also, what a pretty watermelon!! GO YOU!!

  15. Oooo, I love how frothy and refreshing it looks!

  16. Absolutely going to have to make this! It looks so refreshing and delicious. Love it.

  17. It’s so funny, I’ve had “Watermelon Agua Fresca” on my list of things to make all summer long and haven’t gotten to it. I guess there is still time. Looks absolutely delicious!

  18. Yummy and refreshing to eat watermelon, best for sunny days. I never thought that you can do lot o things on watermelon. You give me an idea on what to prepare tonight for our beverage. Thanks a lot for posting such terrific watermelon presentation.

  19. Great recipe, very fresh!..so nice of you all to do this for a fellow blogger :)

  20. I’m skipping myself over to the market in hopes of hunting down a melon as pretty as yours; I need this drink in my life… like now.

  21. How beautiful. I can only imagine how refreshing this is on a hot summer day. And I’m envious of your melon – I just can’t seem to grow them!