Thursday, March 31, 2011

Dessert Wars: Go Green

Dessert Wars

March’s Dessert Wars challenge is Go Green. To celebrate St. Patty’s Day and the color green, the challenge is to create a dessert using naturally green ingredients. We must use at least one traditional dessert ingredient and at least one non-traditional ingredient.

Traditional Non-Traditonal
Green Apples Cucumber
Green Grapes Green Tea
Limes Wasabi
Pistachios Green Chilies
Basil or other green herbs
Green Pears Soybeans/Tofu
Vegetables like Spinach or Peas
Lemon Grass
Green Cheese

My inspiration came to me in a funny way. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do for this challenge. Then one day I was adding wax to my Scentsy warmer. It smelled so good, and I realized that the scent was Cucumber Lime. Perfect! Now what to make with that? I settled on a granita, something I’ve never made before, but it’s so easy I don’t know why I haven’t yet.

Granita is a Sicilian dessert with many variations. It can either be coarse and crystalline or smooth and slushy. The technique I’m giving provides the coarse texture.


Cucumber Lime Granita

Serves 4


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • pinch of salt
  • zest of two limes, divided
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • 2 cucumbers


In a small saucepan, add the sugar and water. Swirl the pan to mix. Then bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Reduce to medium-low and simmer for 2 minutes to make a thin syrup. Take the pan off the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

Now is a good time to zest and juice your limes. Then, using a peeler, peel the cucumber, cut off the ends and slice the cucumber in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds using a melon baller or a spoon. Chop the cucumber into smallish cubes until you have 2 cups.

Add to a blender the cucumber, lime juice, half the zest, salt, and 1/3 cup of syrup. Puree until it is nice and smooth. Pour into a shallow dish, cover and stick it in the freezer for 2 1/2 hours.

Remove the dish from the freezer, uncover and rake a fork through the mixture. Recover and return to the freezer for another 1-2 hours. Repeat the raking/freezing process every 1-2 hours until you are left with nothing but tiny ice crystals.

Serve in chilled glass vessels of your choice. Garnish with the remaining lime zest.

Pioneer Woman has a great step-by-step for making granitas. Check it out!

Click here for the Printable Recipe at Tasty Kitchen.

As February’s Dessert Wars Winner, I’m not currently eligible to win any more challenges until December. But I can’t leave you without showing you what this month’s winner will receive.

The March prize package includes:

Whisk and cupcake necklace from Moon & Star Designs

Beanilla Sampler Pack of Vanilla Beans

Lenox Personalized Musical Cupcake

1,000 ideas for Decorating Cupcakes, Cookies & Cakes

Organic Valley $50 Gift Certificate

Organic Prairie $50 Gift Certificate

Theme Kitchen $50 Gift Certificate

BEKA Cookware Crepe Pan

Click here to see the Dessert Wars rules

Lark's Country Heart


Lark (SparkyLarky) said...

I am your newest follower! YAHOO!

I am so glad you linked up your recipe to Made it on Monday! :)

This sounds so light, and refreshing.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE how you came up with your idea! It sounds delicious and looks refreshing. Thanks so much for the good luck comment :)

Congrats on your dark chocolate DW win last month - well deserved! Your pain au chocolat looks just, well..unbelievably perfect and 'melty chocolate, flaky' mouth-watering.

Rosie Hawthorne said...

I love your granita. Beautiful!

Joanne said...

i don't think I ever realized how simple a granita was to make! I love the fresh flavors in yours. You get that hint of sweet without feeling totally weighed down!

Raina said...

This looks delicious, great flavors. I love how you got your Good luck in Dessert Wars:)