Watermelon Granita and Hot Summer Nights

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That. That is icy watermelon goodness in a glass. Sweet, light, and refreshing–perfect for summer!

All you need is a lime, watermelon, and blender!
(And maybe a little sugar)

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The Lime and the Watermelon. Sounds like the title of a children’s book.

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Nothing says summer like watermelon. For me, summers meant swimming at the community pool, reading all the books on the library’s summer reading list (nerd alert) and hot hot summer nights.

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I grew up in a house in Southern California that did not have central air conditioning so my brother and I had to get pretty inventive (and competitive) with ways to stay cool.

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Here are some examples:
The Refrigerator Fort. Prop open the fridge door and set up a chair in front of it. Take a big sheet from your bed and drape it over the fridge, chair and yourself. (Sorry, environment)
The Fan Ice Method. Fill a large bowl with ice. Position a fan behind it. Theoretically, the fan should blow air and the “cold” coming off the ice. I don’t know if there is any factual merit to this method, but psychologically, it worked.

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But the holy grail of staying cool was to sleep out on the bamboo mat out in the living room. So many nights I would stumble out of my bedroom a hot sweaty mess seeking the sweet cool relief of the night air and the cold bamboo mat only to find my brother already out there!

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If I had known about watermelon granita back then, you can bet that I would have eaten it by the ladle-full. If you can’t change the heat/temperature outside, just change the heat inside–your body, that is. This watermelon granita is a super refreshing and low calorie way to cool off.

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It’s also a great way to salvage an unripe watermelon! For all my crazy knocking on produce at the grocery store, sometimes you still just get a bad watermelon. If you blend it up into a granita, add sugar and lime to taste, it becomes a first-class dessert! Problem solved.

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Remember, when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. When life hands you watermelon (ripe or unripe), make watermelon granita!

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Watermelon Granita
Ingredients
Watermelon, peeled and cut into chunks
1-2 limes (to taste)
1-2 TBSP sugar (to taste)

Directions
1. Blend up watermelon. Squeeze in juice from limes. Taste and add sugar accordingly. (If you start with a very ripe watermelon, no sugar may be needed at all).
2. Pour mixture into loaf tin or baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze completely (at least 2-3 hrs).
3. Remove from freezer and use a spoon or fork to scrape the watermelon juice into ice particles.
4. Serve immediately. Extra shaved ice can be left in pan in the freezer.

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