This watermelon lime granita is a simple, refreshing and healthier summer treat to help you beat the heat.
I do my grocery shopping on Mondays. In the morning I sleepily menu plan and make lists while my three year-old watches Curious George or plays with trains. Then it’s off the store, where we hopefully score one of those shopping carts with a car on the front for John to “drive”, and where I inevitably spend more than my budget.
During the summer, one of the first things to go into my cart is a watermelon. Every week, without fail. It stays in the fridge all week for snacks or as an easy dinner side-dish.
Sometimes the watermelons I pick out are less than perfect, or we just don’t go through it like I think we will and at the end of the week I still have a big chunk of watermelon in the fridge. Instead of throwing it out, I blend it up and turn it into a refreshing beverage. Or, like I did last week, I make granita!
Granitas originated in Italy and are distinguished from other frozen desserts like ice cream and sorbets in that they have a coarse and icy texture. And they couldn’t be easier— all you need is a fork and a freezer to create this treat.
Since I’ve had to cut out the alcohol this summer (thank you, pregnancy!) I’ve been all about getting creative with homemade beverages and easy frozen treats. This watermelon lime granita is full of summertime flavor and really hits the spot on a hot day. I love this kid-friendly version, though next summer I may try adding a little tequila or rum to the mix.
baking tip:How to pick a watermelon
- Pick up the watermelon. It should feel heavy for its size, no matter how big it is.
- Look for a yellow spot that shows it was allowed to ripen on the ground before picking.
- Give it a little knock and listen for a hollow sound.
Watermelon Lime Granita
- 5 cups (750 grams) watermelon chunks
- 1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) freshly squeezed lime juice (2-3 limes)
- Zest of 2 limes
- 2 cups (500 ml) water
- In a blender, food processor, or juicer, puree the watermelon chunks. Pass through strainer to remove seeds and pulp.
- In a small saucepan set over medium heat, combine the sugar, lime juice, and lime zest. Heat until sugar is melted and mixture is smooth, stirring occasionally. Pass through strainer to remove zest.
- In a large bowl or pitcher, combine the watermelon juice, lime syrup, and water. Chill completely.
- Pour chilled mixture into a 9x13-inch (or similar sized) dish. Place in the freezer. Every 15-20 minutes, remove from the freezer and use a fork to scrape and stir frozen pieces from around the edges into the rest of the mixture (each time the mixture will be more and more uniformly frozen). The whole process should take about 1 1/2 hours.
- Cover granita tightly and store in the freezer for a few days. If hoping to store longer, transfer to an airtight container to prevent freezer burn.