07/27/2012 11:25 EDT | Updated 09/26/2012 05:12 EDT

Make Latin American-style cool drinks with Canadian homegrown fruit

Hot weather year-round in Latin America has prompted citizens to create thirst-quenching fresh-water drinks based on tropical fruits.

For a twist, here is a way to make similar drinks using local homegrown fruit.

Agua Fresca

For a variation, cucumber is interesting: peel the cucumber before pureeing and add a little fresh mint. The amount of water, sugar and lime juice can be adjusted to your taste.

1 muskmelon or 1 l (4 cups) cubed watermelon, strawberries or raspberries

375 to 500 ml (1 1/2 to 2 cups) cold water

30 to 45 ml (2 to 3 tbsp) lime juice

15 to 30 ml (1 to 2 tbsp) granulated sugar

Melon cubes, for garnish

Peel and seed muskmelon. Cut into chunks and measure out about 1 l (4 cups).

Place in a food processor and puree well along with 375 ml (1 1/2 cups) water. Place sieve over large bowl. Using back of ladle and pressing in circular motion, press fruit through sieve.

Stir in 30 ml (2 tbsp) of the lime juice and 15 ml (1 tbsp) of the sugar. Add a bit more water if mixture is too thick (it should be thin, not thick like a smoothie). Taste and add additional lime juice or sugar, if needed. Refrigerate and serve very cold.

Makes about 1 l (4 cups).

Nutrition information per 125-ml (1/2-cup) serving: 34 calories; 8 g carbohydrate.

Source: Foodland Ontario.