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Super Strawberry Granita

Debra Redalia

 

Turn less-than-ripe strawberries (the kind you find in most stores) into luscious raw strawberry granita with just a little honey and time.

 

 I made this granita last week when I brought some strawberries home from the farmer’s market that were not quite as sweet as I expected. And it was just the right thing to do. It was so delicious I had to make another batch the very next day.

I’m calling this “super” strawberry granita because it is actually better than just plain strawberries in two ways.

First, it enhances the flavor of strawberries so it really tastes like STRAWBERRIES. Don’t ask me why or how it does this, it just does.

And second, the addition of raw honey to sweeten the usual not-quite-ripe strawberries provides all the superfood benefits of honey.

A WORD ABOUT THE RIPENESS OF STRAWBERRIES. A ripe strawberry is RED inside. If your strawberries are white inside, they are not quite ripe and will have an acidic taste. A red, ripe strawberry is sweet through and through. If you can get them, just eat them and love them and give thanks to whoever picked them correctly. We get them at our local farmer’s market from one particular vendor who always picks them ripe.

It takes a little attention to make this, but it’s well worth watching a timer for a few hours while you’re doing something else. 

SUPER STRAWBERRY GRANITA

For each serving, use 1 basket of strawberries. They don’t need to be perfect or fully ripe.

1. Remove the stems from the strawberries and cut them in half or quarters, depending on size. Place them in a shallow glass dish, such as a small casserole dish. I use a glass storage container without the top. Glass bread pans are a good size for 2 servings.

2. Using a potato masher or similar tool, mash the strawberries gently but firmly. They will release their juice and break apart. They do not need to be completely mashed into a puree, leave as much chunkiness as you want. It does need to be mashed enough to have all the pieces floating in the liquid strawberry juice.

3. Drizzle with a light raw honey. I use star thistle. Please buy it at your local natural food store as supermarket honeys may not be pure honey. The amount depends on the ripeness of your strawberries. I use about a teaspoon or so per basket of strawberries. I just drizzle it from the honey serving container. Stir it in with a fork all around and taste. Add more if needed. It will get less sweet as it freezes. The point here is to sweeten the strawberries, not to taste the honey, although if you want to taste the honey, that’s fine too.

4. Place the dish in the freezer for one hour. Set a timer. When the timer goes off, check the granita. If no ice crystals are forming around the edges, put it back in the freezer.

5. Set your timer for 30 minutes and when it goes off, check again. Continue to check at 30 minute intervals. When ice crystals begin to form around the edges, pull them to the center and break them up. Continue this process until all the strawberry mixture has turned into a pile of soft ice crystals.

6. Serve as soon as you can. It will keep, but the longer you keep it, the more it will freeze into a solid block.

This is sooooooooo delicious!