Happy National Watermelon Day! To celebrate, I called on Lori Zanini, RD, and creator of the free 7 day meal plan who I knew would have the perfect use for this summer fruit. Her recipe for Strawberry Watermelon Granitas is exactly what I want on a hot summer day. A super simple dessert that quenches my thirst, improves my skin, AND satisfies my sweet tooth? That’s definitely something that deserves its own holiday!
Take it away, Lori!
Watermelon is in its peak season during August, which is perfect, because the hot summer weather requires a major boost in hydration. And, with its high water content (about 92%), watermelon is the ultimate summer snack. Watermelon is also a great source of lycopene, which acts as an antioxidant and protects against certain cancers as well as decreased risk of cardiovascular disease.
So it’s confirmed! Watermelon is a delicious way to promote a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, some initial research indicates foods high in lycopene have a “sunscreen effect,” and may have the ability to improve our skin’s natural SPF. That’s amazing, right?
Here are some more incredible watermelon facts. One cup of watermelon is:
• Less than 50 calories (46 to be exact).
• A good source of vitamin C and potassium.
• Eating watermelon can help reduce puffiness/bloating related to excess salt intake, making it the perfect poolside snack option.
• It’s a GREAT source of Vitamin A (about 40% of daily needs in just one cup)! Vitamin A is important for vision, immune system and fertility.
Strawberry Watermelon Granita Recipe
Serves 4 / Prep Time: 5 minutes, plus 15 minutes rest time
There is nothing more refreshing than a granita on a hot summer day. This pleasing cold dessert is a treat for adults and kids alike. Made using only fruit, it is low calorie and lowfat, but still manages to satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthy way. To add to the bright flavor, an infusion of rosemary is first made, which gives another layer of complexity to the simple dessert.
• 1 sprig fresh rosemary
• 3 cups watermelon cubes, seeds removed
• 1 cup sliced strawberries
In a small pot, combine the rosemary and a ½ cup water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for about 8 to 10 minutes, until the water is reduced by half. Strain the rosemary infusion and transfer the liquid to a blender.
Add the watermelon and strawberries and process until uniform in texture.
Pour the mixture into a 9-by-9-inch square baking pan.
Place the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, use a fork to stir the mixture to break it up. Again, place the dish in the freezer and freeze for an additional 30 minutes. Break apart again with a fork until it is grainy.
Nutrition Info (1 cup)
Calories: 47; Total Fat: 0g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 2mg; Carbs: 12g; Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 9g; Protein: 1g