Orange Granita (All-Natural Frozen Italian Dessert from Scratch)

By Jess

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Every now and then I just love to have a delicious frozen dessert. Paleo-friendly ice creams are a personal favorite of mine for sure, but just recently I had the chance to try out some orange granita made with real freshly squeezed orange juice, mint, and honey. Needless to say, I think I just might have found my new favorite frozen dessert option. Granita is a dessert that originated in Italy and is typically made with sugar, water, and various flavorings. In place of sugar, this recipe uses honey to add a deliciously sweet taste that is infused with the citrus and mint flavor of orange peels and mint.

granita recipe

Granita is an extremely popular frozen dessert dish in Italy made using water, sugar, and various ingredients for flavor such as oranges, berries, and even chocolate. This paleo-friendly version of orange granita uses orange juice that’s been freshly squeezed along with other natural ingredients to make an extremely tasty frozen dessert that’s bursting with flavor.

Real Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice Gives Fantastic Natural Flavor

The base of this granita is made by combining water with honey instead of sugar and then boiling it. This gives the granita a naturally sweet flavor that’s also loaded with nutrients thanks to the honey. Unlike refined table sugars that have been linked to inflammation in the body, natural honey sugars provide many benefits that can actually lower inflammation and potentially help prevent many types of modern disease. (1) After combining the honey and water, the next step is adding a few strips of orange peel and mint sprigs to the boiling mixture. This will infuse the mixture with a wonderful citrus flavoring from the peels and add a nice minty aftertaste thanks to the sprigs.

The thing that really makes this granita recipe stand out along with the honey mixture is the use of freshly squeezed orange juice. If you’ve ever had fresh orange juice, you know that it’s miles ahead of the store-bought varieties in terms of flavoring and how much better it is for you. There are few things more refreshing than a glass of orange juice that’s been freshly squeezed. Not only is it loaded with vitamin C which helps boost your immune system, but long-term orange juice consumption has also been shown to lower LDL cholesterol (the bad kind of cholesterol) in the body. (2) Just like apples, an orange a day is a great way to keep the doctor away, and what better way to do so than by enjoying a delicious frozen dessert.


boiling orange peels

Top Your Granita with Fruit Leathers

Fruit leathers? Say what? Fruit leathers, also called fruit roll-ups, are great for adding a touch of presentation to any dish, particularly frozen desserts such as this one. Simply choose your fruit leather of choice and add a small piece to your frozen granita in addition to any other toppings of your choice. It looks so elegant and as an added bonus, it’s 100 percent paleo approved.

paleo orange granita recipe

Who needs ice cream when you can make a delicious orange granita for a frozen dessert that will help you cool off on those hot summer days. Using honey instead of refined sugar still ends up giving the granita a delightfully sweet taste, and fresh orange juice along with an infusion of flavoring from orange peels and mint sprigs add a delightful aftertaste that really take this dessert to the next level.

P.S. – If you’re looking for another delicious paleo-friendly recipe that uses oranges, check out this great creamy homemade orange julius. It uses honey as well along with coconut milk to give it a fantastically sweet and creamy flavor.

P.P.S. – Are you looking for a paleo style frozen dessert offering but you’re not sold on the granita? You still can never go wrong with a healthy paleo-friendly vanilla ice cream or banana ice cream. You can even add more ingredients to the banana ice cream to make several other flavors, including chocolate and strawberry.


    • 2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
    • 3-4 strips orange peel
    • 3 springs mint
    • 1/3 cup honey
    • ¼ cup water


  1. In a small saucepan, combine the honey and water. Bring to a boil, add orange peel and mint and remove from the heat. Let it set for 5 minutes then discard orange peel and mint.
  2. Allow to cool completely.
  3. Combine the orange juice and honey mixture in a bowl.
  4. Pour the mixture into a shallow container and place in the freezer for 2 to 3 hours, scraping around sides and breaking into crystals with a fork every 30 minutes until it forms ice crystals and thickens.
  5. Keep in freezer until ready to serve.


Serving Size





Total Time

20 minutes

Prep Time

15 minutes

Cook Time

5 minutes

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