Stacy M. Peercy
Blog Category:
Alumni Life

We’ve all heard that we should drink 8-10 glasses of water each day, but the heat of an Arizona summer means that you may need to take extra steps to stay healthy and prevent dehydration. 

Refreshing Agua Fresca 

These creative recipes will help you consume more liquids without drinking too much caffeine or sugar.

In a hurry? Try adding chopped fruits, vegetables, or herbs to a pitcher of filtered water. As the pitcher refrigerates, the produce will infuse the water with flavor and provide a refreshing drink that will keep fresh for 5-7 days in the refrigerator (just don’t forget to wash your produce well before chopping).

Some of our favorite flavors are pineapple, berries, mint, citrus, and basil — give any combination a try. Have a little more time? Make agua fresca — all you need is a blender, citrus juice, your favorite fruit, and ice.

Did you make more than you need? Store it in the refrigerator for up to five days — or make popsicles.

8 cups roughly chopped watermelon
½ cup lime or lemon juice (about 3 limes)
8 cups of water
¼ cup chopped basil or mint (optional)
Ice (optional)

1. Wash hands with soap and warm water. Wash watermelon and basil
well and chop as directed.
2. Chop watermelon and basil or mint, if using. Squeeze limes or
lemons into the liquid measuring cup.
3. Place watermelon and lime juice into a blender and blend well.
4. Transfer to a one gallon pitcher. Add water to mixture and stir well.
5. Stir in basil or mint, if using.
6. Place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve over
7. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Mix It Up!

Change the recipe by using any melon or other chopped fruit your family enjoys! Give any of these a try: cantaloupe, honeydew, berries, oranges, pineapple, mangos, peaches, etc.

Serves 16 (1 cup per serving)
Nutrition: Cal: 25, Protein: 1g, Total Carb: 6g, Total Fat: 0g, Sat Fat: 0g, Trans Fat: 0g, % Fat Cal: 4%, Cholesterol: 0mg, Fiber: 0g, Sodium: 0mg, Calcium: 8mg, Folate: 4mcg, Iron: 0mg

Download a PDF of this recipe.


Healthy Gazpacho 

Staying hydrated isn’t just about what you drink, but what you eat as well. Around 20 percent of our daily water intake comes from the foods we eat. Fruit and vegetables have a high water content that can help you stay hydrated — so the next time you reach for a snack, try an apple with nut butter or cucumber slices with hummus. 

Beyond whole fruit and vegetables, try making refreshing chilled dishes like gazpacho, a refreshing starter that never disappoints. This is another flexible recipe eager to take on whatever catches your eye at the farmers’ market.

2 medium cucumbers, seeded, peeled, coarsely chopped
½ medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 red bell peppers, coarsely chopped
2 cups tomatoes, cored, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or 1 tablespoon garlic powder
3 cups tomato juice
½ teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 tablespoon vinegar (red or white wine)
1 teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup packed cilantro leaves
Red pepper flakes, to taste

1. Wash hands with warm water and soap. Wash vegetables well and
chop as directed.
2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.
3. In batches, blend in a blender or food processor until smooth.
4. Chill before serving.
5. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Serves 6 (1 cup per serving)
Nutrition: Cal: 71, Protein: 2.5g, Total Carb: 11g, Total Fat: 2.5g, Sat Fat: 0g, Trans Fat: 0g, % Fat Cal: 31%, Cholesterol: 0mg, Fiber: 2g, Sodium: 332mg, Calcium: 30mg, Folate: 49mcg, Iron: 1mg

Download a PDF of this recipe.

— Stacy M. Peercy, MPH, of the Garden Kitchen