Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Aqua Fresca and The Importance of a Quiet Weekend

Aqua Fresca de Sandía

"It is odd we often consider fatigue a sign of weakness of character,
when we honor other natural urges.  If we are hungry, we eat.
If we are thirsty, we drink.  But, if we're tired, we immediately think,
'what's wrong with me?'  It may be that there is nothing wrong.  
You simply need to rest.  The Ayurvedic classics advise that 
we stop the activities of the body, of speech and of the mind before
getting exhausted.  This can help preserve prana - our life 
force - and stay healthy."  ~ Dr. Claudia Welch 

I came across this quote today in an article by Dr. Welch (or Dr. Claudia), and it perfectly sums up my thoughts on this past weekend.  It has been awhile since I had a Quiet Weekend, and I made an intention to have one.  Invitations were politely declined, and interesting workshops were not registered for.  We've been on the go, and this little introvert wanted to re-charge.  Ayurvedic-ly, I am vata predominant (more on all that another time), and it's easy for me to get unbalanced.  I try to take preemptive measures to prevent this.  For me, an unstructured weekend at home is very grounding.  I had a massage, went to yoga class each day, took care of some miscellaneous projects around the house, had deep refreshing sleep, and spent long stretches of time on the back deck.  

While grocery shopping, I spotted a watermelon, and immediately pictured myself enjoying a tall refreshing glass on the deck.  Literally "fresh water," I was introduced to the Mexican beverage by Chef Leyla during the first Common Threads summer camp.  Fruit pulp was everywhere, the floors tacky with juices.  If you've ever spent time with kids in a kitchen, you know how it is!  

Aquas Frescas are very easy.  You can use watermelon, cantaloupe, or any fruit that is soft enough to puree, such as strawberries, pineapple, mango (or a combination, the beauty of making it yourself!)

Peel, seed, and chop the fruit.
Puree in a blender or food processor.
Squeeze in some lime juice.
Add water (about 2 parts fruit to 1 part water) OR I found seltzer to be quite nice.
Add sugar, if desired.  I find fruit plenty sweet enough on its own.  
Chill and / or serve over chopped ice.

Peel and chop.  Don't worry about the small
seeds, they'll get blended or strained out.

Strain - don't forget to scrape both sides to get every bit!

A bowl scraper works great for this task, but any spatula will do.  

Other ideas -
* If you are going to add sugar, you could make simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water simmered until sugar dissolves, then cooled) and add in a flavor, such as mint, basil, or ginger.
* You could muddle mint in the bottom of your glass, such as for a mojito.
* For an adult beverage, add in your favorite liquor.  

So simple, right?  Enjoy some yourself this weekend!


P.S.  A few other photos I took over the weekend.


  1. Such a lovely blog post, my mouth is watering! thanks so much for sharing the recipe, I can't wait to try it, and take some time out myself too - I always seem to be rushing around! I love keeping busy - but sometimes some 'me' time is on the cards. I'm very interested to hear more about Ayurvedic-ness :) I am aware of it, but don't know much about it and can't wait to read more. Katie. xxx

  2. Thanks, Katie! So many interesting things to do, it's easy to go go go. It's important to take it easy sometimes. I am by no means an expert in Ayurveda, but it has helped me find balance. Cheers!