Growing up in South America I feel pretty lucky to have had all the exotic fruits I used to eat when I was a kid; and there are yet so many more fruits I’ve never tried. That’s why when I was choosing some fruit from Melissa’s I decided to go with Pepino Melon. A fruit I had never had before, native of Peru and Ecuador. It is a beautiful yellow teardrop shape fruit with purple stripes. When I first cut into it I could see a high content of water which makes the fruit not only super juicy but also very delicate. The flesh is light yellow, almost velvety, with edible tiny seeds in the center of the fruit. The taste is very similar to a cantaloupe, although it is much softer and very sweet. The entire fruit is edible, an absolute treat!!!
Because of its resemblance to the flavor of cantaloupe it brought back memories of my mom bringing out a plate full of cantaloupe slices sprinkled with sugar for an afternoon snack. Another way we used fruits was to make natural juices. A refreshing juice made with real fruit was always a part of our afternoons after school. If there was any leftover juice, my mom would pour it into plastic cups and freeze it. We would have it later scraping it out of the cup with a fork. We didn’t have a name for such refreshing treat. The first time I watched someone make granita on a TV show, I knew that’s what we were having!!
Granita, is a very simple, easy to make Italian dessert. All it takes is your favorite fruit juice placed in the freezer in a shallow container and scrapping it with a fork few times during the freezing process to obtain the flaky shaved ice consistency. I love making granita for the kids and the love it too. It is the perfect refreshment for a hot summer day while they run around in the backyard. For this recipe I used the beautiful Pepino Melon from Melissa’s with a mint & lemon syrup. I also added some chia seeds for more texture. Are you ready to make granitas? Let’s get to it!
(makes about 4 servings)
6 Pepino-Melons from Melissa’s
1 Lemon (peel & juice)
1/4 Cup organic sugar
1/2 Cup water
10 Mint leaves
1 Tablespoon chia seeds
For the syrup:
Cut two stripes of lemon peel. In a small sauce pan add water, sugar, lemon peel and mint leaves. Cook gently over medium heat stirring until sugar dissolves completely. Turn the heat off and let it step for 10 minutes. Strain the syrup, discard lemon peel and mint.
For the Pepino-Melon juice & granita:
Cut the Pepino Melon in quarters. Add the fruit, juice of a lemon, mint-lemon syrup and chia seeds into a blender. Blend on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour the juice in a shallow plastic container. Place in the freezer. Every 30 minutes or so, scrape with a fork and put it back in the freezer.
After 2 hours and 4 scrapes your granita is ready to serve. The granita can stay in the freezer longer after you get the flaky ice consistency, just scrape one more time before serving. Enjoy!
This post was sponsored by Melissa’s – you can find Melissa’s produce on the organic section of your local supermarkets throughout the U.S. or you can place an order online and get it delivered to your door. Visit their website, to see the array of fresh produce they offer.