Making the Imperfect Perfect
Picking a good watermelon or canteloupe isn't just luck. It's a skill. A learned skill that isn't based on how good the fruit smells, or so I've come to learn.
You've got to turn it, tap it, smell it, push on it...well, you get the idea.
I am the first to admit that I don't always pick the best fruit. But not everything any farmer grows (or everything anyone makes) is 100% perfect. So I'm not complaining because I of all people understand the beauty of imperfections. It's what you do with imperfect things that's important...
The melons smell good, they look good, but when you open them up, they might be mediocre and not enjoyable at all.
So when even our gourmand dogs, Nacho and Guero, turn their nose up at a not-so-good canteloupe, what do you do with it?
Agua fresca, a drink commonly found throughout Mexico, is a great way to use fruit that's about to turn or fruit that's just so-so. Mexicans are incredibly resourceful, never wasting anything, which is one of the things I admire most.
Just cut up the fruit, place it in the blender with a little sugar (which it will need if it's not good enough to eat by itself), add some water, puree and you've got a refreshing and delicious drink.
Not only is this a great way to use not-so-great fruit, it's a sneaky way to get your family to drink something that's good for them and tastes delicious! I bet the next time you buy a so-so melon, you and your family will be happy to enjoy another pitcher of agua de melon.
Agua de Melon
The Cowgirl Gourmet
Makes enough for 8 glasses
You can use a variety of fruits for this recipe. Watermelon (agua de sandia), pineappple (agua de piña) and honeydew are also great choices. Because my canteloupe wasn't 2 lbs., I threw in a few not-so-gorgeous peaches (see picture below) that were in the fridge as well. So, feel free to add what you have or what you need to use up.
1 canteloupe, sedded and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 2 lbs. of fruit)
1 1/2 cups water, plus an additional 2 1/2 - 3 cups
1 T. sugar or Truvia, to taste (optional, of course, if you use a great melon, no sugar is required)
Juice of 1/2 a lime
Lime slices for garnish, optional
Place the cut fruit in the blender and add 1 1/2 cups water.
Cover and puree. Add 1 Tablespoon sugar or Truvia, lime juice and blend again.
Pour into a pitcher and add the remaining 2 1/2 cups of water. Stir until well blended. Taste. If needed, add another 1/2 cup water and stir again.Fill your glasses with ice, pour agua de melon, garnish with a slice of lime and enjoy!