Thursday, May 23, 2013

May Pass the Cook Book Club...Featuring Low-Cal Cuba Libre Granita from Slushed!

A couple of months ago, I signed up to take part in a monthly blogging group called Pass the Cook Book Club. The lovely Kita from Pass the Sushi selects a three or four recipes from one of the many cookbooks in her collection, and participants pick one to cook and share on their blogs on the assigned day. Fun, right?!?!? After two months of last-minute issues that kept me from participating, I was determined to take place this month. We’re featuring Slushed!, which is full of fun, boozy desserts. Since this is Healthy Eating Month around here, I was able to take part by making a couple of tweaks to the Cuba Libre Granita. Instead of regular soda, I used Coke Zero. As the name says, it has zero calories...but it has -- to me -- a more true Coke flavor than Diet Coke.

The only tweaks I made were to add the juice of one key lime to the simple granita mixture. I also added the zest from a lemon to augment the lime zest from the smaller key limes. This slushy dessert couldn’t have been easier to make: mix up a few ingredients in about 5 minutes, pour into a pan, and put it in the freezer. Then, give it a scrape with a fork every so often until it’s frozen. That’s about it. What you’re left with is sort of like a grown-up snow cone. We’re already in the 90s most afternoons here in Texas, so this is just the kind of refreshing treat I enjoy. Let me show you how insanely easy this is to whip up.

Low-Cal Cuba Libre Granita
Slightly adapted from Slushed!

 Step 1: Add the following ingredients to a freezer-safe 8x8 pan: 4 cups Coke Zero, ¼ cup rum, the juice from one small key lime, and the zest from 2 limes OR 1 key lime and 1 small lemon. Give everything a quick whisk to combine.

Step 2: Place the pan on a level part of your freezer. After 1 hour, use a spoon to scrape down the ice that’s formed along the sides. Place back in the freezer and repeat this process for at least 4 hours, until the mixture is icy and slush. Because of the booze, it won’t freeze like an ice cube. To serve, use a fork to scrape the granita into shaved ice. It’s really easy to do and sort of fun! Spoon the granite into a chilled glass or bowl, and dig in!

This granita is the perfect way to cool off on a warm Summer evening! The only calories in this dessert is from the rum…and the ¼ cup is divided among four servings, so it's not much! It’s not overly potent, so you can enjoy as is…even on a work night. If it’s the weekend, feel free to pour a bit more rum on top…I won’t tell! 

Now that I know how simple granitas are to make, I’m sure I’ll be making lots more varieties this Summer…booze is totally optional. The possibilities are endless: margarita granita, watermelon-lime granita, sangria granita. I feel like a whole new door has been opened!!! Make sure to click on the links below to check out the other recipes that my fellow Pass the Cook Book Club friends are sharing today.

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