A wonderfully refreshing and healthy dessert for summer.
Granita is the quintessential Italian summer dessert, made of fine frozen crystals of strong coffee or fruit juice. While granita di caffe is possibly the most popular way to enjoy this iced treat – at least in Italy and in posh Italian restaurants on this side of the world – I can think of nothing better than whiling away a sultry afternoon with a fruit ice in hand, watching the world drift by. And at home, how blissful to sit, contented after a meal of simply prepared vegetables and pasta, and let the sparkling shards of this homemade watermelon granita melt gently between tongue and palate. Heavenly.
In my Food To Glow version of this classic, classy and simple dessert, I am using ripest unseeded watermelon, a good bit of complementing and mouth-puckering lime, and possibly very strangely to most readers, chia seeds.
I added the chia seeds to make this dessert easier on the blood sugar and up the satiety, but it offers an unexpected bonus – no interminable scraping. The hallmark of a proper granita is the fine-grained crystals achieved by scraping the fruity mixture (or coffee, or alcohol) as it sets – as many as 12 times is recommended (by Marcella Hazan, in her most wonderful book, The Classic Italian Cookbook).
Well, I am far too lazy for that. And forgetful. So it was a happy discovery to find that – through neglect of my first go at this granita – one scraping gave the crunchy, near-dangerous crystals that makes a good granita (they melt rapidly – no one is going to get hurt eating granita!). The gelling properties of the chia seed seem to keep the juice from setting completely hard, but still setting and easily forked to serve as a ‘properly made’ (i.e. painstakingly attended-to) granita.
The chia contributes no discernible taste, and you can certainly leave it out and carry on with your scraping (or blitzing broken up chunks in a food processor or blender, which may warm it slightly), but I won’t be leaving out these minuscule protein bombs. And I won’t be scraping. I will be sitting on my back step, in Edinburgh’s weak summer sunshine, pretending that Marcello Mastroianni has just strolled past, cigarette in hand, and tipped his hat to me.
Watermelon & Lime Granita with Chia Seeds
Desserts don’t get easier, more classy or more nutritious than this.
600g (22.5 oz; 4 heaped cups) chopped, ripe watermelon
4 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp acacia honey or other desired sweetener – if needed
2 tbsp chia seeds
Blitz everything in a blender or food processor and pour into a shallow metal tin or a loaf tin. Cover the tin with cling film and freeze for 1 hour. Stir vigorously – really scraping the more solid bits from the side of the tin – and return to the freezer. When you are ready to eat the granita, pull a fork through the ice and serve in beautiful glasses. You deserve beautiful glasses.
The granita will keep for up to two weeks – should there be the need. Just scrape with a fork and serve. A wonderfully refreshing and healthy #TasteofSummer.
Note: add 1-2 tbsp of vodka, white rum or tequila for a very adult dessert, leaving out the chia seeds in this instance.
33 thoughts on “Watermelon & Lime Granita with Chia Seeds”
Beautiful! As a blogger, I know what time an effort are required to produce such gorgeous blog posts (I’m still trying to get the quality of yours….maybe someday 🙂
Thank you for all the time and effort you for forth to give us something we can enjoy!
or pour forth
Ha ha! My mind read “pour forth” in the first instance. And thanks for the very kind ‘big up.’ I love your blog Susan, and how I know I will always learn something when I visit. You are always researching and succinctly writing up the latest health and cancer information, which I know must take a long time too. And many of us appreciate your efforts on our behalf. xx
beautiful and classy indeed!
This is such a great post, the pictures are phenomenal. I’m going to try this recipe for sure, it’s perfect for the summer!
Thanks for taking the time to leave such an uplifting comment. I really appreciate it. 🙂
I love this one too, Kellie… I have a similar recipe on Good Things… it’s absolutely exquisite in the heat of summer!
Gorgeous photos! This sounds so refreshing!
What a nice healthy and cool summer snack!
This looks beautiful! So yummy and pretty!
Thanks so much, Cassie. It tastes as good as it looks 😉 Or, so says my family.
this looks very healthy and delicious!
Yum, when the sun comes back out I will definitely try this.
That looks amazing Kellie!!! And seems so easy to make, definitely must try this out very soon.
Thanks so much, Margot. I appreciate the exclamation marks 😉
This looks so good (and also has me wishing the sun would shine here in England!)
I know what you mean, Lucie. Today is rather lovely though. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. 🙂
This looks great for summers day and delicious, definitely
….gonna try this!
So interesting with the Chia and I know what you mean about scraping. 😉
Oh. My. Goodness. Looks so good. Love that fact that the chia seeds keeps it from a hard freeze. I’m with you about being lazy — er or forgetting to scrape. Kat
This recipe is just perfect! I have been looking for a healthy and easy watermelon recipe. Not to mention your pictures are gorgeous! Thank you I will be trying this soon.
That’s so kind of you, Ceta. I do hope you like it. Chia or no chia. 🙂
I will most definitely be trying Chia! I love it in everything. Thank you!
Wow, this looks refreshing and delicious. It would be the perfect addition for tonight’s date night treats.
Gorgeous photos as always Kellie. And your beautiful writing reads like a poetic memoir. It’s always a treat to see your posts and I can’t wait to try this granita! Chia seeds = yum!
yummy and pretty ! Love this pic ! 🙂
This looks delicious and healthy too
Still got half a watermelon in the fridge – now I know just what to do with it! Thanks a lot for the inspiration. Great blog <3
And I love your name. Me too. 😆
Wow Kellie, these look scrumptious! I am new to using chia seeds and have always used them in baked goods exclusively. I like the idea of using them in something frozen as well! If you like, check out my personal favorite use of chia in my banana muffins,
I saw this only a few days ago and tried it today. I have no words to describe at how amazing it tasted. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful recipe!