If you like agua fresca de fresa, then you’re going to love my strawberry agua fresca with beets. Quench your thirst with a vibrant and nutritious drink made with a refreshing blend of fresh fruits and veggies and no artificial sweeteners, perfect for the warm days ahead.
Given that strawberries are in season year-round in the U.S., I enjoy experimenting with this delicate and delicious fruit any time I’m in the kitchen. When I came up with this spin on my traditional agua fresca de fresas recipe, I knew I had to share it. It incorporates the sweetness of the strawberry and the earthy flavor of a beet. The flavor combo is second to none (even for those of you who insist that you don’t like the flavor of beets!) and perfect for spring and summer.
WHY I LOVE THIS RECIPE
Health benefits: Strawberry agua fresca with beets is a nutritious drink packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can boost your health and well-being.
Hydration: This refreshing drink is a perfect way to stay hydrated during hot summer days while enjoying a delicious flavor.
Unique flavor: The combination of sweet and tangy strawberries with the earthy taste of beets creates a unique and flavorful experience that you won’t find in any other beverage.
WHAT IS AGUA FRESCA?
Agua fresca is a traditional Mexican drink made with water, fresh fruits or vegetables, sugar, and sometimes herbs or spices. The ingredients are blended together to create a refreshing, fruity beverage that can be served over ice. Agua fresca comes in a variety of flavors, including watermelon, cucumber, hibiscus, and strawberry, to name a few. The “holy trinity” of aguas frescas includes agua fresca de jamaica, agua fresca de tamarindo, and horchata.
Strawberries: Strawberries are low in calories and high in nutrients such as vitamin C, folate, potassium, and antioxidants. They may help with heart health, digestion, and blood sugar control.
Beet: Raw beets are low in calories and high in nutrients such as fiber, folate, potassium, manganese, and antioxidants. They may help with blood pressure regulation, digestion, and inflammation reduction. Additionally, the pigment betalain found in beets may have anti-cancer properties.
Agave syrup: Agave syrup has a lower glycemic index compared to other sweeteners, meaning it causes a slower rise in blood sugar levels. It is also sweeter than sugar, so less can be used to achieve the same level of sweetness. Agave syrup is also vegan-friendly and has a mild flavor that can complement various foods and beverages.
HOW TO MAKE AGUA FRESCA DE FRESA CON BETABEL
Prepare and blend ingredients: everything is raw when blended, which means we are preserving as much nutrients as possible.
Strain mixture: agua fresca should be light in texture, similar to freshly-squeezed lemonade, not thick like a nectar or smoothie.
Serve over ice: agua fresca should be served ice cold, which means it is typically served over ice.
HOW TO STORE
Agua fresca should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Stir or shake before serving, and add ice before serving. Note: it is always best served fresh, hence the name!
TOOLS, SUPPLIES, AND EQUIPMENT
Metal mesh strainer
Pitcher and glasses for serving
TIPS, TRICKS, AND SUBSTITUTIONS
Instead of fresh strawberries, use blueberries, blackberries, or frozen strawberries (frozen fruit is typically frozen at peak ripeness).
Instead of agave, use organic pure cane sugar, pitted dates, raw honey, or coconut sugar. For people watching their sugar intake, sweetener amounts can be reduced or excluded from recipe altogether.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Strawberry agua fresca is healthfu alternative to soda and bottled juices, as it is made with fresh fruit and contains no artificial additives. Strawberries are low in calories and high in vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber and beets are high in folate, potassium, and manganese, making this a nutritious drink.
“Agua fresca” translates literally to “fresh water” in Spanish and refers to a traditional Mexican drink made with fresh fruit or vegetables and water.
Yes, frozen fruit can be used to make agua fresca. It may require less ice and sugar due to the sweetness of the fruit because it is typically frozen at peak ripeness.
Yes, agua fresca is typically sweetened with sugar, honey, or agave syrup to enhance the flavor of the fruit or vegetable used. Although if someone is watching their sugar intake, enhanced sweeteners can be reduced or excluded from the recipes. Additionally, ripe fruits require less added sweeteners. I find that agua fresca sold in Mexico and in restaurants is extremely sweet, so I enjoy having control of the level of sweetness by making mine at home.
Agua fresca is typically made with fresh fruit or vegetables and blended with water, while juice is made by extracting the liquid from the fruit or vegetable. Agua fresca is often less sweet and more refreshing than juice.
WHAT PAIRS WELL WITH AGUA FRESCA DE FRESA Y BETABEL?
Tacos: the sweet and tangy flavor of agua fresca pairs well with spicy and savory tacos.
Tostadas: refreshing agua fresca pairs well with crispy tostadas.
French toast: agua fresca is the perfect drink to serve for brunch and to mix with champagne for a Mexican spin on mimosas.
LOOKING FOR MORE INSPIRATION?
Strawberry Agua Fresca with Beets
- 1.5 pounds strawberries, hulled and rinsed
- 1 small beet, peeled
- 1/2 cup agave, or to taste
- Blend strawberries, beet, and agave with six cups of water.
- Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large pitcher. You may need to agitate the mixture to let the juice through; avoid pushing through the pulp to keep juice light in consistency. Discard or compost pulp.
- Serve over ice.
A Note from Lola
Originally published: August 9, 2019
Photography + Styling: Casey McReavy
Lola Wiarco Dweck
Lola is a Mexican-American recipe developer, writer, and cooking instructor who loves sharing her culture with the world. Growing up in California and spending summers in Mexico, Lola celebrates her family’s Mexican recipes and vibrant culture through Lola’s Cocina.