Watermelon is a sure sign of summer and is a must serve item at a backyard barbecue or picnic. Local watermelons are usually quite inexpensive, so most of us try to choose one that is huge. The problem with that, of course, is that it has to be eaten. I’ve found that making the following easy Lemon Watermelon Granita is a good way to use at least half of a good watermelon; then it isn’t so daunting to finish the whole thing.
Granitas and Sorbets are very similar; they are both made with juice (usually fruit, but sometimes coffee and other liquids), sugar, and water. The biggest difference is the method of freezing. A Granita is usually coarser than sorbet – more like shaved ice. Both are usually fat-free and low in calories; this watermelon version is only 68 calories with no fat.
This recipe, which consists of only three ingredients can be made either as a granita, by freezing in a shallow dish and then shaved, beaten in a mixer, or pulsed in a food processor; it can also be poured into an automatic ice cream maker and frozen, resulting in a smooth sorbet. Either method is delicious and refreshing; the sorbet, made in the ice cream maker is quickest, but the granita has an interesting texture and is similar to a slush – it is worth the extra time.
8 1/2 cup Servings
1/2 small watermelon
1/4 cup sugar
1 6 oz. can lemonade concentrate
Fresh mint (optional) for garnish
- Scoop the pulp from the watermelon into a blender or food processor.
- Process, pulsing, until the watermelon is smooth. (The seeds miraculously go to the top and don’t seem to get caught up in the blades).
- Pour the mixture into a fine strainer that is set over a bowl and press the pulp through.
- Discard the seeds.
- Measure about 4 cups watermelon pulp with juice.
- Add the sugar and lemonade concentrate.
- Taste the mixture – if the watermelon isn’t sweet, you may need to add a little more sugar.
- For Sorbet: Pour the mixture into an automatic ice cream machine and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.
- For Granita: Pour the mixture into a 9 x 13" glass dish and freeze.
- Once frozen, place chunks of it in batches in the food processor and process until smooth, or simply shave into a serving container. It can also be placed in chunks in a mixer and beaten.
- For Both Methods: Place the frozen mixture in an airtight freezer container and freeze until serving.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 68 Calories from Fat 0
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 0% Protein 1% Carb. 99%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 0 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 1 mg
Total Carbohydrate 17 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 6 g
Protein 0 g
Vitamin A 1% Vitamin C 8% Calcium 0% Iron 1%