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Beat the Summer Heat with Watermelon Granita

watermelon granita

Melons are the ideal food for refreshing the body on a hot summer day and calming the yang of Summer body types. Watermelons, in particular, are one of the most cooling fruits according to Traditional Chinese Medicine dietary theory. With over 90% water by weight, watermelons are beneficial for clearing heat and nourishing yin. They also have a mild diuretic effect. Red-fleshed varieties are high in the antioxidant lycopene. Eating too much watermelon should be avoided by Fall and Winter body types, or those with weakened digestion, as it is very cooling and may not be well tolerated in excess.

This simple recipe from our upcoming book uses just four ingredients. The pure flavor of the watermelon is enhanced with a touch of acid, sweetness, and salt. But you can also make this recipe with watermelon juice alone, especially if you have a ripe, sweet fruit picked during the peak of the season. Freezing the juice and transforming it into an icy treat makes the thermal nature of the food even more cooling and refreshing, perfect for those blistering hot days.

Serves 4 to 6

  • 5 cups chopped watermelon, seeds and rind removed

  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

  • 2 teaspoons honey or agave nectar (optional)

  • 1 pinch sea salt

In a blender, purée watermelon in batches.

In a large, freezer-safe dish, mix watermelon purée with lemon juice, agave nectar, and salt. Place the mixture in the freezer. After 30 minutes, scrape the surface and sides with a fork, breaking up any large chunks. Continue scraping every 30 to 45 minutes for about 3 to 4 hours, or until the mixture is frozen and has a flaky texture.

Store in a covered container in the freezer until ready to serve.

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