Summer ‘tis the season for ripe, juicy WATERMELON! And, paired with tangy lime juice and seltzer water in this sparkling watermelon limeade, it makes for a naturally sweet, refreshing beverage to keep you cool this summer. Or, enjoy it frozen into fun, fizzy popsicles!
Most of us are used to seeing the same fruits and veggies in the grocery store year-round. But, all produce has a certain season or seasons during which they’re at their ripest and most nutritious. And, because watermelon is in season in summer, it’s sweetest and juiciest during the warm months.
Of course, chowing down on watermelon wedges is a treat all on its own. But, it’s also the perfect ingredient for healthy summer drinks and healthy popsicles. As a watermelon lover, this bright, bubbly watermelon limeade is one of my go-to summertime refreshments!
Surprisingly, watermelon is a sneaky superfood that’s loaded with nutrients! As the name implies, watermelons are made mostly of water (over 90%). Not only does that keep watermelon low in calories, but it also makes it a super hydrating summer snack!
And, if you struggle to drink enough water or prefer flavored drinks, this sparkling watermelon limeade is much better way to boost your hydration than other sugary juices and beverages. But, even with water making up most of its weight, watermelon is still jam-packed with nutrients.
It adds a wholesome dose of vitamin A and vitamin C into each cup of this sparkling watermelon limeade, along with the potent antioxidant, lycopene. Tomatoes are famous for their rich content of heart healthy, inflammation-fighting lycopene. But, it’s also the source of the red/pink pigment in watermelon!
And, by using in-season watermelon to make your sparkling watermelon limeade, you’ll pack even more free-radical fighting antioxidants into your healthy summer drinks. The more ripe, red, and juicy your watermelon is, the higher it’s lycopene content!
Use Ripe Fruits for Sugar Free Watermelon Limeade!
Most limeades and lemonades are made with TONS of added sugars to balance out the tangy, sour citrus. But, watermelon is teeming with natural sugars that make it plenty sweet all on its own. So, using ripe watermelon keeps this sparkling watermelon limeade totally sugar free AND sweetener free!
Unlike added sugars, these natural sugars come from a real, whole food source with other essential nutrients for our bodies to digest. So, our bodies metabolize natural sugars slower than added sugars, meaning we avoid major blood sugar spikes!
Best of all, watermelon’s natural sweetness makes this healthy summer drink just plain DELICIOUS. It offsets the intense sourness of the limes, so you can enjoy its bright, tangy flavor without your face puckering up!
But, if you’d like you can also turn this sparkling watermelon limeade into a lemonade simply by using lemons instead of limes. I also like to add some mint leaves to make this sweet-tangy drink even more refreshing!
Fizzy & Frozen Summer Fun
Finally, the last element is your seltzer water, which gives this sparkling watermelon limeade a fun, bubbly twist! Of course, you can also use regular water if you prefer. And, I personally think that fizziness is the most fun to eat in popsicle form!
Since this recipe yields a whopping 8 cups of sparkling watermelon limeade, why not pour half into popsicle molds and freeze them? At just 30 calories a pop and NO added sugars, it’s a refreshing summer treat that you can feel GOOD about!
5 cups watermelon juice (~10 cups seedless watermelon, cubed/1 medium watermelon)
5 limes, juiced (or ½ cup lime juice; substitute lemon juice for watermelon lemonade)
3 limes, zest
handful of fresh mint leaves
2-3 cups seltzer water (or regular water, if preferred)
To make Sparkling Watermelon Limeade:
Add watermelon to a blender and blend until smooth. Strain blended mixture through a fine mesh strainer and set aside.
Add mint and lime zest to a pitcher, then crush with a muddler.
Add 2-3 cups of ice to the pitcher. Pour in lime juice and strained watermelon juice, along with seltzer water, to taste. Stir with a wooden spoon.
Serve with mint sprigs and a lime wedge and enjoy!
To make Sparkling Watermelon Limeade Popsicles:
Pour into popsicle molds and freeze (6-8 hours, or overnight).
Once frozen, remove desired pops from mold and enjoy! (You may need to allow pops to sit outside of the freezer for a minute or two in order to easily remove from mold.) You can leave pops in molds in freezer for a few days.
For longer storage, remove from molds and place in individual freezer bags, or in an airtight plastic container with layers of wax paper or plastic wrap in between. Will last 3 to 4 weeks stored this way.