The Frozen Essence of Summer: Watermelon Granita

When I lived in Texas summer was my least favorite season.  It’s so hot and dry and miserable that I never enjoyed it.  Summer is totally different in Colorado.  We have a lovely garden that is finally producing, the weather isn’t too hot (it hasn’t been over 95 yet), and often it rains in the afternoon.  (The thunder right now is suggesting that it will do again soon).

The fresh foods are the best part.  We got a lovely watermelon for the 4th of July but had half of it still left.  It was taking up a large part of my fridge so I needed to find something to do with it.  While flipping through the Bon Apetit I came across the interview with Gweneth Paltrow and her recipes.  The watermelon granita looked fast, simple, and tasty.

Watermelon is indigenous to southern Africa.  There it grows wild and can be sweet, bland, or bitter.  It was cultivated in Egypt as early as the second millennium BC, and was in China by the 10th century.  Colonists and African slaves brought the fruit to the Americas.  It was noted being grown by Native Americans by the end of the 1600s.

Watermelons, though mostly water (92%), are also a good source of vitamin C, beta carotines, and lycopene.  The rinds are a good source of nutrients, far better than the fruit, but most people don’t eat them because they are so bitter.  They can be cooked or pickled to be more consumable.

Like many other fruits and vegetables, watermelons come in many colors and varieties.  You can get them in red, pink, orange, yellow, or white.  They can be from only a few pounds to hundreds.  I’ve only had red or pink, I would love to try the others.

This recipe is the essence of summer.  It is sweet, cooling, refreshing, easy, and fun.  Kids can help make it by flaking it with a fork.  Like the article said, it really does pack a huge flavor punch.  You could even use it as a dessert for a fancy dinner party, it’s so good.  Make sure you make plenty–it will be gone in a flash.  And since it is mostly just frozen watermelon you don’t have to have any guilt at having a second (or third) serving.

Watermelon Granita


  1. 4 cups watermelon, seeded and cubed.
  2. 1/2 c sugar (or less, if you choose)
  3. Juice from 1 lime.  (I only had bottled lemon juice and used 1 Tbsp–it gave it a nice fresh tang, I would recommend it.)


  1. Blend together all the ingredients in a blender.
  2. Pour into a cookie sheet and put in the freezer.
  3. After an hour mash it with the back of a fork to break it up a little bit.
  4. After 2 more hours (3 total) take it out of the freezer and flake with a large fork.  I used the back of the fork to mash up the chunks that won’t flake.
  5. You can make it up to 3 days ahead (though if it’s in this house it won’t last that long).  Just scrape it again before serving.
  6. Enjoy!

About dietforfoodies

I am a lawyer who loves to grow, cook, and eat food.
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One Response to The Frozen Essence of Summer: Watermelon Granita

  1. A great way to enjoy fresh watermelon on the bar side of things is to muddle it with lemons, add your choice of vodka and soda water, with 1 splenda. Delicious!

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