Granita is the Italian word for fruit ice. It’s really just an elegant slushie, typically served as a palate cleansing intermezzo between courses.
by Tina Martini, The Medicine Chef
Granitas can be made out of anything. When traveling in Italy, I enjoyed a Red Wine Granita made with wood fire roasted grapes. Checkit! Look for that recipe, here, around the time of the “Crush” this fall. Meanwhile, I think you’ll find our Pineapple-Cucumber Granita the perfect treat and just the thing to help keep you cool as Summer heats up.
Mint Infused Simple Syrup
- 3/4 c Water
- 1/3 c Honey
- 15 Mint leaves (I have Pineapple Mint in my garden, so I used that. Any mint will do.)
- Pour water and Honey into a small sauce pan and whisk together.
- Bring the simple syrup up to a simmer. Do not boil.
- Stir until Honey is completely dissolved. turn off heat an add the mint leaves.
- Muddle the leaves with your whisk. (Crush them to release essential oil.)
- Set aside to cool.
- 1 1/2 c Pineapple, peel, core, and rough chop
- 2 Persian (Baby) Cucumbers, remove ends and cut into large cubes
- 1/2 cup Pinapple juice
- 1 tsp. Vodka (optional) Recommended to keep the Granita from freezing too hard.
- Place all the ingredients in your blender, including your freshly made, mint infused simple syrup.
- Blend until all of the ingredients are ground into a frothy puree, which will help create air-infused ice crystals later. This gives the Granita a smooth consistancy. We want to create a “fluffy” texture, and avoid sharp shards of ice on the palate.
- Chill your Granita base a minimum of 4 hours. I always chill mine overnight for a thorough infusion.
- Strain through a fine mesh sieve into an 8×8 baking dish.
- Cover and place in freezer. Here we go!
- Set your timer for thirty minute intervals. Every thirty minutes, stir Granita with a fork, scraping the sides to move ice crystals to the center.
- Cover and return to the freezer for another thirty minutes.
The more frequently you scrape the accumulated ice crystals the “fluffier” your end result will be. Remember to set your timer every thirty minutes, until you have the pictured result.
Pineapple contains Bromelain, a very powerful anti-inflammatory. The majority of this powerful enzyme is found in the stem and core. Chew on the core to help ease the pain of arthritis. Pineapple’s vitamin C mends damaged tissue and oxygenates the blood. Magnesium is also prevalent in Pineapple. This essential mineral is a great way to curb sugar cravings.
Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.
Checkit! Cucumber Tips & Tricks at Conscious Life News has more fun facts about cucumbers.