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    The weather is heating up, and so is the battle against childhood obesity.  To inspire tasty alternatives to sugary sodas,   a “Rethink Your Drink” flavored water contest will take place  this Wednesday afternoon  at the Santa Rosa Wednesday Night Market.  

     Infused waters can be made with fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices, in cool combos such as s  cucumbers and mint, watermelon and lime, basil and ginger, nasturgiums and lemon zest.     

    The contest, sponsored by a North Coast Nutrition and Fitness Collaborative,  will feature recipes from nine farmers’ markets managers representing 11 markets throughout Sonoma County, including Bodega Bay, Cloverdale, Petaluma, Windsor, Healdsburg, Sonoma and Oakmont, Cotati, Sebastopol and Santa Rosa. .

     Apprentices from the Worth Our Weight program will create the refreshing entries. The public is invited to sample the waters and vote for their favorite. The top 3 winners will be announced on the main stage at 6:30 p.m.

    This recipe for a refreshing agua fresca recipe comes from Santa Rosa chef, author and teacher John Ash:

 
    Agua Fresca
    Makes 3 cups
    4 cups coarsely chopped seedless watermelon flesh
    1 medium fresh lime, juiced
    1 cup crushed ice or 1 ¼  cups ice cubes
    1 tablespoon superfine sugar (or to taste)
    Orange slices and mint sprigs for garnish
       
    Puree the melon in a blender. Add the lime juice, ice and sugar and blend until smooth. Pour into tall glasses and garnish with the orange slices and mint.

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