I’ve been LOVING watermelon this summer, absolutely loving. Watermelon Lime Granita with Basil is another recipe (a.k.a. excuse for me to use watermelon) using a beloved watermelon in season this summer. This granita is bursting with flavors of sweet watermelon, bright citrus from lime, and a bit of freshly torn basil to garnish. Don’t be intimidated by the title nor the presentation, although incredibly beautiful, it’s so simple anyone can make this without knowing their way around the kitchen.
To be honest, I never really enjoyed watermelon as much as other fruits growing up and certainly not until recently- partially because I had an oral allergy to melons and kiwis growing up. Obviously things have changed because I’m able to eat watermelon like it’s my job with no negative effects, hooray! I’ve recently shared another super simple dessert, Watermelon Slice Popsicles, and today this granita is nothing short of simple. The only difference is the time you have to wait for it the granita to freeze, which I happily do knowing the end result is a sweet and healthy treat.
What is granita? Granita is a fancy word for, flavored ice chips- not to be confused with shaved ice, snow cones, or slurpees. It’s incredibly popular in Italy and it’s origin comes from Sicily. Granita is traditionally made with sugar, water, and additional flavorings and involves a process of occasional scraping with a fork or spoon repeatedly until the entire dish is frozen and scraped. Since I’m using watermelon, which contains natural fruit sugars, I don’t add extra refined sugars to the mix and it actually turns out beautiful (although I’ve provided how to use honey as an option). The fun thing about making your own granita is the texture can vary from person to person, for example I love my granita on the finer side, therefore I will scrape it more often in smaller strokes to really break up the frozen watermelon. On the other hand, if you prefer it to be chunkier, simply scrape in wider strokes and less frequent. Like I mentioned, this whole process takes quite a long time, it took me about 8 hours from start to finish to have it freeze all the way through, but honestly I really enjoyed the process- oddly enough the scraping method was a bit therapeutic and meditative.
Watermelon is one of those fruits that is incredibly hydrating, and at times I’ll simply blend it up with water and sip on it while gardening or while I’m out in the sun. It’s a great way to stay hydrated with added flavor… not to mention if you’re in your bikini it helps your body debloat by flushing out excess liquids (slightly a diuretic), an added bonus! Besides watermelon having great hydration benefits, it also contains other nutrients such as, read more about the health benefits and nutrition facts of watermelon on it’s pantry page!
- 1 whole seedless watermelon (about 8-10 cups)
- 2 whole limes, juiced
- 1 tablespoon honey, melted in 2 tablespoons water (optional)
- Place half the watermelon into a blender and process until smooth, add the remaining half and blend with the lime and honey, if using.
- Transfer the watermelon pureed to a large baking dish (9 x 13) and freeze for two or three hours.
- Take out of freezer and begin the process of lightly scraping the very top layer just until everything has been scraped and moved around.
- Return the dish to the freezer with the shaved ice on top; remove a couple of hours later and continue scraping in the same fashion. Repeat the scraping process every 2 hours or so until the entire mixture is shaved and frozen.
- Store covered in plastic wrap until serving- also keeps well in the freezer!
- Serve with freshly torn basil, additional lime to garnish before enjoying.
I’m off to enjoy this while sitting by the pool and basking in the sun. I’d love to hear how you enjoy this granita and if you’ve ever made it using other ingredients! I have SO many ideas of how to incorporate granitas in desserts for the cookbook that I can’t wait for you all to see- they’re going to be awesome!
Hope you all have a beautiful day and check back later this week for another simple dessert recipe to share this summer AND another helpful guide on shopping for healthy foods!