Kid-friendly Italian Peach Granita Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Italian Peach Granita

Recipe: Italian Peach Granita

Italian Peach Granita

by Erin Fletter
Photo by photosimysia/Shutterstock.com
prep time
5 minutes
cook time
makes
4-6 servings

Fun Food Story

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Italian Peach Granita

The fresh, summery flavor of peaches makes this granita, similar to an Italian ice, an easy, light dessert to have on summer days. However, you can enjoy it anytime using frozen peaches, which are available year-round.

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Equipment Checklist

  • Blender (or pitcher + immersion blender)
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
scale
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Ingredients

Italian Peach Granita

  • 1 C water
  • 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 1 to 1 1/2 C frozen peaches
  • 1 T lemon juice

Instructions

Italian Peach Granita

1.
combine + blend

Have kids combine 1 cup water, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 to 1 1/2 cups frozen peaches, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice in a blender (or pitcher for use with an immersion blender). Blend until everything is well mixed, icy, and smooth. Serve before it melts!

Surprise Ingredient: Peach!

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Photo by Elena Sherengovskaya/Shutterstock.com

Hi! I'm Peach!

"Did you know I'm related to almonds, apricots, cherries, and plums? We're all part of the Rose family! You may know my cousin, Nectarine, who has smooth skin compared to my fuzzy skin. We're both juicy and delicious summer fruits that are wonderful to eat whole or sliced and added to fruit salads and ice cream! 

History & Etymology

  • Archeological evidence points to the peach's domestication in China as early as 6000 BCE.
  • In China, peaches are considered a symbol of good luck, protection, longevity, and friendship and are found in many Chinese paintings, poetry, and on porcelain as far back as 551 BCE.
  • China is the biggest producer of peaches worldwide, and Italy is the second largest.
  • Columbus brought several peach trees to America on his second and third voyages.
  • Spanish monks established the first peach orchard in Florida in the mid-1500s.
  • Georgia, also known as the Peach State, has many peach orchards, although California produces about 50 percent of all peaches in the USA.
  • Georgia claims it makes the "world's largest peach cobbler" at the annual Georgia Peach Festival. It measures 11 feet by 5 feet and uses 75 gallons of Georgia peaches. 
  • The Guinness World Record for the largest fruit cobbler is a 2,251-pound peach cobbler made by Hampton Inn of Ruston, Louisiana, for the Louisiana Peach Festival in 2015. It used 819 gallons of peaches!
  • The peach is the official state fruit of both Georgia and South Carolina.
  • The word "peach" comes from late Middle English, from the Old French "pesche," from the medieval Latin "persica," from the Latin "persicum." These European derivations came from the belief that peaches originated in Persia (modern-day Iran). In fact, the scientific name for peach, "Prunus persica," means "Persian plum."

Anatomy

  • The peach is a member of the Rosaceae family and a close relative of almonds.
  • Peaches are stone fruit related to apricots, cherries, and plums. They have soft, fuzzy, pinkish-yellow skin, and their flesh can vary from almost white-yellow to almost red. Each peach has a pointed, furrowed, egg-shaped seed in the middle, which either comes away easily (freestone) or is difficult to remove (clingstone).
  • A nectarine is a variety of peach that has smooth skin. Its skin is usually redder, and its flesh can be either white or yellow. 

How to Pick, Buy, & Eat

  • It is an ideal snack between meals—eating a peach can give you the feeling of being full, so you will eat less, which is great for losing weight. An average peach contains about 35 to 50 calories and an insignificant amount of fat.
  • Peaches are best from June to the end of August.
  • A ripe peach will smell sweet and have a slight give when pressed, but squeeze very gently since the fruit bruises easily. It should be dark yellow with no green and have a round shape.
  • If a peach is not ripe when bought from the store, it will ripen at home if you leave it on a counter at room temperature. Refrigerate peaches to slow their ripening. 
  • Peaches are a great snack fruit to eat whole, but you can also add sliced or cubed fresh peaches to hot or cold cereal, fruit salads, cakes, pies, cobblers, and ice cream. You might even try cutting them in half and grilling them.

Nutrition

  • Peaches are a moderate source of vitamin C, which helps your body heal and boosts immunity against disease. They also provide small quantities of vitamin E, niacin, potassium, and other vitamins and minerals. 
  • Potassium helps maintain proper fluid levels inside cells, which helps maintain blood pressure. It also aids proper muscle function.
  • Yellow-fleshed peaches also supply some beta-carotene that converts to vitamin A in the body, which is good for eye health.
  • The dietary fiber in peaches aids digestion, and antioxidants help to protect cells by preventing oxidation.

 

Let's Learn About Italy!

Photo by Marina Andrejchenko/Shutterstock.com
  • Italy became a unified country in 1861, only 150 years ago. It is sometimes called "bel paese" or "beautiful country."  
  • Italians invented the piano and the thermometer! 
  • In ancient Roman mythology, two twin brothers named Romulus and Remus founded Rome, Italy's capital city. The myth says the twins were abandoned and then discovered by a she-wolf before being found and raised by a shepherd and his wife. Eventually (and after many exciting adventures), they found themselves at the location of Palatine Hill, where Romulus built "Roma." The Italian wolf became Italy's unofficial national animal. 
  • In the 1930s and 40s, Mussolini, Italy's prime minister, and dictator tried to eliminate all foreign words from the Italian language. How did he do that? He just changed them! For example, in soccer, "goal" became "meta." Disney character names changed, too: Donald Duck became "Paperino;" Mickey Mouse became "Topolino;" and Goofy became "Pippo." Although they're not banned anymore, these words and names have stuck. So now if you go to the Italian Disneyland, called Gardaland Park, you will see Topolino and Pippo! 
  • About 60 million people call Italy home, and it is 116,350 square miles, slightly larger than the US state of Arizona. If you compare that to the United Kingdom, 67 million people live there, and it is about 94,350 square miles. So, the UK is smaller than Italy but has a bigger population! 
  • The Italian flag is green, white, and red. These colors represent hope, faith, and charity.
  • The average Italian eats close to 55 pounds of pasta annually. If you think about how light pasta is, that is a considerable amount! There are more than 500 different types of pasta eaten in Italy today. 

What's It Like to Be a Kid in Italy?

  • Kids begin school at 6 years old. They grow up speaking Italian, but they learn English in school, so many become bilingual in Italian and English.
  • The most popular sport for kids is football (soccer). The Italian word for soccer is "calcio," the same word they use for "kick." A favorite of younger kids is "Rody, the bouncing horse," a plastic horse that a small child can hop onto and bounce around the room. Rody was invented in Italy in 1984.  
  • The family ("la famiglia") is a central characteristic of Italian life. Children have great respect for their older relatives. It is traditional to name the first male child after the grandfather and the first female child after the grandmother.
  • If kids live close to school, they can go home and have lunch with their families! Lunch at school might be pasta, meat with vegetables, a sandwich, or a salad with lots of ingredients. Families typically eat dinner later (7 to 8 pm), so kids end up staying up later, too!
  • Between lunch and dinner, kids often enjoy "merenda," which is an afternoon snack that translates to "something that is deserved." It is really a mini-meal that can include both savory and sweet foods. Examples of savory foods are a salami or mortadella sandwich, a slice of rustic bread rubbed with a cut, raw tomato, or "pizza bianca" (white pizza without tomato sauce). Types of sweet foods eaten during merenda are "gelato" (a lower-fat type of ice cream), any kind of cake, or biscotti dipped in warm milk.

The Yolk's On You

How do you make a peach into a vegetable? 

You step on it and make it squash!

The Yolk's On You

Did you hear the joke about the peach? 

It's pit-iful!

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