This delicious and refreshing Watermelon Granita is the perfect healthy treat when the temperature rises. Half snow cone and half slushie, this crowd pleasing dish will be a hit at your next summer BBQ. Plus, it’s vegan and couldn’t be easier to make. All you need are 3 ingredients and a blender.
My mom first served Watermelon Granita at a dinner party in fancy wine glasses and I couldn’t believe how delicious it was. Then she told me how SIMPLE it was to make and I was sold. With a few simple swaps I was able to reduce the sugar and make it vegan.
Now, I make a big batch and keep it in my freezer anytime I have watermelon (which is a lot, I love watermelon). I have to remind my husband not to eat it all and save it for our daughter, who absolutely adores it and calls it “watermelon snow.” She asks for it morning, noon and night until it’s all gone.
It’s also a delicious way to get more fruit into your child’s diet and a great recipe to cook with your kids. Just make sure you include lots of extra watermelon for snacking!
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WHAT IS GRANITA
Granita is an Italian dessert made by blending fruit and sugar, pouring it into a pan, freezing until icy, and scraping it into tiny pieces.
Unlike traditional granita, which has a lot of sugar, this recipe uses one tablespoon of sugar to sweeten six cups of watermelon. Feel free to use whatever sweetener your family prefers.
WATERMELON GRANITA INGREDIENTS
- Watermelon (seedless is best)
- Limes (or lemons)
- Vegan sugar ( I use Wholesome Organic Cane Sugar. If you are interested, here is a link to PETA’s post about sugar and vegan alternatives.)
COOKING WITH KIDS
Feel free to modify or tailor tasks based on your child’s abilities. Here are some kid-friendly tasks:
Have your child scoop the watermelon into a bowl or blender. When it’s a hot day I like to slice a watermelon into quarters and let my daughter eat while she scoops. This can be a bit messy but is a fun outdoor activity and takes up quite a bit of time. A melon ball scoop is a great tool and makes fun melon balls, but a regular spoon works fine too.
Cut the watermelon into slices and let your child practice chopping. Two of my favorite cutting tools for kids are the Vegetable Crinkle Cutter (pictured below) and the Fruit and Vegetable Wavy Chopper Knife.
You can also have your child slice and juice the limes, pour the mixture into the dish, and scrape the mixture into snow like consistency. My daughter loves helping me scrape. She samples quite a bit, but I’m okay with that!
WATERMELON GRANITA INSTRUCTIONS
Step 1: Blend everything together
Place the watermelon, lime (or lemon) juice, and sweetener into the blender. Process until smooth.
Step 2: Pour and Freeze
Pour the mixture into a 9 X 13 (or similar size) freezer safe dish and place level in the freezer. Cover with a lid, or kitchen towel if desired.
Step 3: Scrape the mixture
Method 1: Scrape while it freezes
After 1 hour, remove the Watermelon Granita from the freezer and use a fork to scrape the frozen parts until they break apart into small pieces. The sides will be more frozen and the middle softer.
Return the Watermelon Granita to the freezer. Remove 1 to 2 hours later and continue scraping. Repeat the occasional scraping process until the entire mixture is scraped and it’s turned into a snow like consistency. This usually takes around 4 hours.
Method 2: Let it freeze completely, then scrape it
You can skip the in between scraping and let the Watermelon Granita completely freeze, it’s just more labor intensive this way. I do this a lot as I forget about it, or I make the mixture before bed and scrape it the next day.
To scrape the Granita into snow once it’s been frozen, remove it from the freezer and allow it to partially thaw for about 10 minutes. Then, scrape the watermelon mixture with a fork.
Step 4: Enjoy!
Once it’s all scraped, enjoy immediately or transfer to an airtight container to save for later. If you don’t transfer it, the mixture will freeze again, and you will have to scrape it all over. When you are ready to serve, you may need to let the mixture sit at room temperature for a couple minutes, give it a quick re-scrape, and serve.
- Use a large, shallow baking dish (not a small, deep one). A shallow dish allows the watermelon mixture to freeze faster and makes it easier to scrape into snow.
- Store in an airtight container. Once you’ve scraped it into a snow like consistency, transfer to an air tight container. If you don’t, it will refreeze, and you will have to scrape it all over again.
- Reduce or replace the sugar. Feel free to reduce the amount of sugar or replace with your favorite sweetener. I’ve made it without sugar before and its still sweet and delicious.
- Use limes or lemons.
- Using a watermelon with seeds? After you blend the mixture, strain out the seeds.
- 6 cups Watermelon
- 1/4 cup Lime juice
- 1 tbsp Vegan Sugar
- Place the watermelon, lime juice, and sugar in the blender. Process until smooth.
- Pour the mixture into a 9 X 13 freezer safe dish, cover with a lid, or kitchen towel, and place level in the freezer.
- After 1 hour remove the watermelon mixture from the freezer and use a fork to scrape any ice that has formed. Replace the cover and return to the freezer. Remove 1 to 2 hours later and continue scraping. Repeat the occasional scraping process until the entire mixture has been scraped.
- Serve immediately or transfer to an airtight container. You may need to let the mixture sit at room temperature for a couple minutes, give it a give re-scrape, and serve.
MORE KID SNACK IDEAS
- Cookie Cutter Watermelon Shapes
- Maple Roasted Chickpeas: A Sweet & Salty Snack
- Perfectly Crispy Kale Chips
Did you make this recipe? Please rate this recipe and leave a comment. I’d love to know how it turned out for you!