Papaya agua fresca is a refreshing and delicious drink made with fresh papaya, orange juice, and water. It is naturally sweetened and has no added sugar, making it a healthy and refreshing option for hot days – and also a great way to get your daily dose of vitamins and minerals.
On a scorching hot summer day, there’s nothing more satisfying than an ice-cold luscious tropical drink to quench your thirst.
Papaya agua fresca, a traditional Mexican beverage that captures the vibrant flavors of fresh papaya fruit, delivering a burst of natural sweetness without any added sugars.
So whether you’re hosting a backyard fiesta, having a barbecue party, or simply looking for a delightful way to beat the heat, this refreshing papaya agua fresca recipe is sure to become a crowd-pleaser.
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What is Papaya Agua Fresca?
Agua frescas are a popular fruit-based drink originating from Mexico.
They are typically made by blending fresh fruits, or nuts, or seeds or grains with water. They can have fresh herbs, like mint, added and they can be sweetened with sugar or honey or piloncillo.
We are also going to use freshly squeezed orange juice both to help blend, sweetened and add a burst of fresh citrus flavor.
Amigos, this papaya agua fresca with orange juice is such a refreshing and delicious way to cool off on a hot day. Promise!
Sugar Free Agua Fresca Recipe
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now you’ll know that I don’t like to use sugar (or sweeteners) in my agua fresca recipes. If I do, the amounts are very low.
The reason for this is because I feel that fruits are sweet enough already, so there’s no need to add a sweetener.
Below are my low-sugar and sugar free agua fresca recipes you can try out.
- Dragon Fruit Agua Fresca Recipe (Pitahaya Agua Fresca)
- Watermelon Agua Fresca
- Agua de Piña
- Agua de Jamaica | Hibiscus Tea
- Blackberry Mint Agua Fresca
- Prickly Pear and Coconut Agua Fresca
- White Cucumber Agua Fresca
- Chocolate Frio
What Does Papaya Taste Like?
If you’ve never tasted papaya before, you’re in for a treat!
In Mexico we consume the sweet and juice maradol papaya variety.
It’s naturally sweet, juicy and refreshing.
Health Benefits of Papaya Agua Fresca
This papaya agua fresca recipe is a healthy and refreshing drink that offers a number of health benefits.
- Papayas are a good source of vitamins A, C, and E.
- They are a good source of potassium.
- Are a good source of antioxidants.
- Loaded with natural fiber.
- Improve digestion due to their fiber content.
- Papayas can help to boost the immune system.
- Believe to protect against cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
Papaya Agua Fresca FAQ
Is Papaya Agua Fresca Vegan?
Yes! There’s no animal products used in this recipe. If you are wanting to use sugar make sure it’s a vegan sugar like unrefined or muscovado sugar or agave nectar.
Can I Make This Ahead of Time for a Party?
Yes, absolutely! Simply make the agua fresca then store it in a sealed container in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Give it a good stir before serving over ice cubes.
Is Papaya Agua Fresca Suitable for Children?
Yes, as long as they don’t have an allergy to papaya, it makes a perfect drink for children. It’s a great way to get more fruit, vitamins and minerals in them without the added sugar of soft drinks.
Can I add Sugar to This Agua Fresca?
Yes you can easily customize this agua fresca by adding sugar or honey or agave nectar. Just wait to add sugar until you’ve blended everything and tasted it. Start with a small amount.
The ingredients are easy to find and you can do so at any grocery store or Hispanic food store.
- fresh papaya (maradol variety if possible)
- ice cubes
I like to add a very small pinch of salt to help bring out the flavors, you can omit if desired.
How to Make Papaya Agua Fresca
Step 1: Place the papaya, freshly squeezed orange juice, salt if using and water into the blender.
Step 2: Blend until perfectly smooth.
Step 3: Strain the blended mixture through a fine sieve and into a pitcher. Discard any leftover pulp.
Step 4: Pour in the remaining water into the pitcher and stir until well combined. Taste and add more orange juice or sugar if desired.
Step 5: Pour the papaya drink over plenty of ice cubes and serve immediately. Salud!
What to Serve with Papaya Agua Fresca?
Wow there are so many foods that pair perfectly well with this refreshing sugar-free papaya drink.
The sweetness is great for pairing with spicy foods or savory ones. Let me share some ideas.
- Enchiladas Michoacanas (Red Enchiladas)
- Ensalada de Pollo (Mexican Chicken Salad)
- Tacos de Bistec or Mexican Steak Tacos (Made Vegan)
- Mexican Vegan Tuna Salad Recipe (Ensalada de Atun)
- Torta de Jamón (Made Vegan)
- Mexican Pasta Salad
How to Store This Papaya Drink
You can stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 or 4 days. Make sure it’s in a pitcher with a tight lid on it.
Before serving give the pitcher a good stir then pour over ice cubes.
You could freeze this papaya agua fresca in ziploc bags or freezer safe containers for up to 3 months.
Papaya Agua Fresca Recipe with Orange Juice
Amigos I truly hope you give this refreshing and delicious papaya drink a try. It makes a perfect summer drink that is both healthy and easy to make.
It is a great way to get your daily dose of vitamins and minerals, and you won’t be disappointed!
Papaya Agua Fresca with Orange Juice
- 2 1/4 cups chopped papaya it’s about 14oz or 400gm
- 1 1/2 cups orange juice freshly squeezed if possible*
- pinch salt optional
- 5 cups water
- ice cubes to taste
- Place the papaya, orange juice, salt and 1 cup of water into the cup of a blender.
- Blend until completely smooth, you can add more water to the blender if needed to get it moving.
- Place a fine sieve over a large pitcher and strain the agua fresca into the pitcher. Depending on your blender you may or may not have any extra pulp to remove.
- Pour in the remaining water and stir until well combined. Taste and add more orange juice or sweetener if desired.
- Serve over plenty of ice cubes or store in the fridge until ready to use.
Nancy Lopez is a food blogger and author of the cookbook Mexican Tamales Made Meatless. Born in Mexico, raised in the US, and currently living in Southern Mexico, she has followed a meatless diet for almost 10 years. It is her passion and mission to share all she has learned about vegan Mexican cooking and vegetarian Mexican recipes. Mexican Made Meatless is a blog dedicated to preserving the authentic flavors of Mexican cuisine just without the meat. It’s a place to celebrate Mexican culture and all it’s delightfully delicious traditional foods. Read more…