Summer Snow: Watermelon Lime Granita

This incredible dessert transforms two simple ingredients into the yummiest, healthiest summer treat EVER!

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Watermelon lime granita = perfection.

Who doesn’t love frozen treats? Growing up in Phoenix, my summers were full of Otter Pops, ice cream sandwiches, Popsicles, virgin strawberry daiquiris by the pool, and massive bowls of ice cream. My new favorite frozen dessert is granita, which I make almost weekly now that we’ve reached triple digit temperatures.

watermelon lime granita

Granita in the family of shaved ice, snow cones, sorbet and Italian ice   And while so many frozen desserts are full of fat and sugar, granitas can be made incredibly healthy, like this one. With just two ingredients, this 100% fruit treat is perfect. I can eat a massive bowl without guilt, and my son can enjoy it as a sweet treat without getting twacked out on tons of refined sugar.

Let’s make some watermelon lime granita!

Ingredients:

  • About 1/2 watermelon, preferably chilled
  • About 1/4 cup lime juice
  • Optional: Pineapple juice or sugar to taste (in case your watermelon isn’t sweet enough)

photo 1 Step one: Wash and cut up your watermelon into small cubes.  Wash, slice, and squeeze your limes.

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I like to cut my watermelon in half, slice it up, and then use a smaller knife to take all the flesh off the rind.

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Lime time! I used about five key limes for this. If you don’t have a citrus squeezer, I highly recommend investing in one. I bought this stainless steel squeezer online and I use it constantly.

Step two: Blend! Fill your blender with chopped watermelon and lime juice. Turn it on low, using a tamper to get the lowest pieces blended, which will help the rest of the fruit work its way down. Slowly increase it to high and blend until everything is liquefied.  If you don’t have a tamper, you can put a little bit of water or more juice (pineapple, grape, etc) in the bottom of the blender to get things moving. photo 4 Step three: Taste and adjust. Your watermelon-lime juice should taste sweet, tart and refreshing. If you find it’s lacking flavor, add some more lime juice and/or sugar (about a tablespoon at a time), blend again, and repeat the process until it tastes perfect. Make your granita as sweet and tart as you like! Instead of sugar, you can also add some fruit juice to bump up the sweetness. Pineapple juice would be amazing in this granita! In the end, my granita juice measured out to about seven cups.

photo 5

Blended watermelon and lime. Since watermelon is mostly water, there’s no need to strain!

Step four: Freeze and stir. Pour your juice into a large, shallow glass dish and pop it in the freezer. After about an hour, pull it out and break up any ice crystals (especially around the sides) with a fork or potato masher. Return to the freezer and continue to break up ice crystals every half hour. Within about two and a half hours, the granita will look like beautiful, pink watermelon snow. Note: Using chilled watermelon will help it to freeze much more quickly.

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Granita liquid poured into a 9 x 11 inch glass baking dish.

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After about an hour, the top and edges are frozen. Each time you take it out, break up any ice with a potato masher or fork.

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More freezing and stirring every 30 minutes and it’s looking more and more icy.

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Getting there!

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Summer snow! You can serve it at this point or let it freeze more. I didn’t have the time or self control to wait any longer!

Step five: Serve! Once it’s fully frozen and snowy, you can either keep it in the freezer for later or serve it right away. If it’s extremely hard, you’ll need to allow the granita to sit at room temperature for about ten to fifteen minutes. Break it all up one more time and spoon into glasses, cups or bowls. For presentation, add a sprig of fresh mint or basil or even some lime zest! Or for an “adult” version, serve it in a wine glass and throw in a splash of rum, tequila vodka or your favorite fruity liqueur.

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So there you have it! Watermelon lime granita—my new #1 summer treat. It’s an icy and delicious, virtually 100% fruit dessert that’s bound to please kids and adults alike. Enjoy!

Awesome fact: Did you know you can use a piece of watermelon rind as a mini-facial? Just rub the rind all over your face, and feel its tightening and moistening effects. You’ll be surprised to find your skin isn’t sticky at all (unless you rub the actual watermelon flesh on yourself).

Granita is Ellis's new favorite food!

Granita is Ellis’s new favorite food!

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