A week and a half ago when I had my parents around with my dad helping on house projects my step-mom and I ventured to the farmer’s market. I probably haven’t been to our local farmer’s market for more than a year at least because I get my locally grown organic produce shipped to my door (for now) and so am usually catching up on using a shipment and can’t bear the thought of more produce. However, with two extra people to help eat and a hankering for peaches (did you know that peaches stop getting sweet once they’re removed from the tree? For the best peaches you must pluck them when they’re already ripe from the tree) we headed to the farmer’s market.

Among the peaches, corn, oranges, blueberries, melon, beef jerky and sauerkraut (that’s right, our farmer’s market has been jerky AND sauerkraut) we brought home a huge half flat of strawberries. Once home, we set to work cleaning, cutting and eating the berries. I froze some– on a tray on wax paper then once frozen put in a bag so that they don’t stick together– and ate some but still had loads more.

Inspired by many helpful Facebook friends and then by Mark Bittman’s agua fresca I set to work making some agua fresca. Side note: On Facebook I was told you can soak the berries in balsamic vinegar then spoon over ice cream and I still REALLY want to try that out.

My basil is still growing wildly and I’ve been interested in trying the strawberry basil combination, so what better opportunity?

 Add lots of quartered berries to a blender and put two large handfuls of basil in there.

 I was crossing my fingers that I wasn’t about to waste a bunch of berries and beautiful, fragrant basil.

 You can be like me and try blending dry. Depending on your fruit, it may not work. It needs more liquid.

 Add some cold water and give it another go and it blends right up!

 Keep blending until mostly smooth.

 Check out the color of that bad boy! The basil adds little flecks of bright green to the deep pink of the blended strawberries.

 Once it’s all blended you can keep it as is or add some sugar. Give it a little taste to see if you like the flavor.

 Did I mention to make sure you have enough strawberries leftover to let the other important people in the house to have some? Don’t forget that step.

 I just put in some regular ol’ sugar and it didn’t make it gritty at all. I blended again once the sugar was in to make sure it was mixed up.

 Pour the mixture into a pitcher. It’s pretty much like thick juice so to make it into agua fresca…

 Add cold water. Ratio is up to you, it should be about 50-50 water to blended fruit but you can also do about 25% water and then mix in some other fun things (see below).

 It tries to separate a little so just stir before pouring.

 Try it with sparkling water added in.

 It was great with sparkling water but definitely didn’t need the bubbles.

 Or try it with something else bubbly. Strawberries and bubbly and basil? Oh my.

It was a big hit and along with my aunt we finished this whole pitcher off. I used some of the frozen strawberries as ice cubes as well and they were melt-in-your-mouth delicious. I would most definitely make this again!

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