I love functional food and this one hits the spot perfectly – the frozen dessert granita siciliana but with a twist – made with antihistamine herbal tea.
Traditional Sicilian granitas are made from sugar, water and citrus fruit or coffee/tea so the flavours of our garden grown range of herbal teas are not a million miles away.
It is a great treat for children traumatized by a summer sting but it soothes more than tears away. I am a big kid myself and one with a sweet tooth so I keep a granita on the go in a freezer for times I get a sting and the odd hot Sunday afternoons too.
Ingredients (per 2 cups of granita)
• 1 mug of strong herbal tea. I personally prefer a blend of Chamomile, Echinacea, Fennel – but you can mix and match any antihistamine herbs to suit your tastes – spice it up with some Ginger etc.
• 1 cup fruit juice – Pick one flavour to supplement/compliment the taste of the herbal teas – orange, lemon, lime, apple, or experiment with pineapple, blackcurrant, cranberry, guava, mango, papaya or even homemade cordial or elderberries lemonade – all rich in vitamin C and loaded with antihistamine action.
• ½ cup brown sugar
• A spoon of honey
1. Make a strong cup of herbal tea with boiling water – you can use fresh ingredients in a teapot or cafetiere or use store bought teabags in a mug. ‘Strong’ is just a long soak in boiling water to extract the most.
2. Make simple syrup by combining the hot tea, honey and sugar and stirring until sugar dissolves.
3. Add fruit juice – to boost vitamin c and begin the cooling. Stir and let sit a few minutes.
4. Prepare to freeze by pouring the mixture into a flat-bottomed dish. I like to dust with a little sprinkle of sugar grains to start the granulation.
5. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
6. After 30minutes, remove from freezer and thoroughly stir/rake the mixture with a fork. Then replace in freezer for a further 30 minutes.
7. For the best granita it is best to repeat the fork raking process every 30 minutes for 3 to 4 hours – the aim is to prevent water ice-crystals from forming and keep a consistency similar to sorbet.
8. After 3-4 hours you can serving the granita immediately or let it hold over for a further 24 hours. After that ice crystals will form and change the nature of it (but still good to savour).
that’s it – the next time a bee or wasp stings you have a thing for it… revenge best served cold……like your gonna wait.