Saturday, August 8, 2009

Sugar-Free Watermelon Sorbet

The sultry days of summer are upon us and refreshing, cooling foods seem to be the daily mainstay. Watermelon has a high water content and is naturally sweet making it perfect for sorbet. This recipe is very easy to make and does not require an ice cream maker.

Before I give you the recipe I thought I would highlight a few health benefits of watermelon. This pink, juicy fruit is an excellent source for the potent carotenoid antioxidant, lycopene. Watermelon, as well as tomatoes, offers high amounts of lycopene. Lycopene has been found to be protective against various forms of cancers including, prostate cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, endometrial cancer, and colorectal cancers.

What exactly is an antioxidant you say? Well, since every cell in our bodies is exposed to oxygen and other potentially harmful substances every day, we need to offer protection. Thankfully nature puts protective chemicals in whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables, which do a fabulous job at protecting us. These protective chemicals are called antioxidants. Antioxidants offer protection to our cells by donating electrons to counteract any damage that may have been done. This damage occurs every day so this is why it is impotent to eat fresh fruits and vegetables all day, everyday. Disease can manifest when too many cells have been damaged. What better way to enjoy dessert than with fruit!

Watermelon Sorbet

The trick to making this recipe at a moment's notice is to have your freezer already stocked with chopped watermelon. Then all you need to do is toss everything into the food processor and you can have a healthy, refreshing dessert in minutes!

4 to 5 cups frozen (seedless) watermelon chunks
the juice of one lime
1/4 to 1/3 cup honey
1/8 teaspoon guar gum (optional)

Place all ingredients into a food processor fitted with the "s" blade and pulse. Continue to process then pulse until all of the chunks have become a smooth sorbet. The pulsing is really the trick here, so if the watermelon chunks just are not breaking down, turn off your machine, then pulse. Taste and add more sweetener if necessary. Pulse again.

You can serve it right away or scoop it out and freeze for a few hours in a container. Use an ice cream scoop to serve. Source:

Please note: I have not frozen this recipe for more than a few hours because my children eat it all up right away!

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About the Author

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University. She is the founder of Whole Life Nutrition, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them, and offers elimination diet recipes, healthy gluten-free recipes, paleo and vegan recipes, as well as tips for feeding your family a nourishing, whole foods diet. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!


  1. Your watermelon recipe post reminds me of this song:

    Every little cell in my body is happy
    Every little cell in my body is well
    I'm so glad, every little cell
    In my body is happy and well!

    The first two You-Tube video hits when I searched for the song give a sample of the tune if you don't already know it :-). It seems like a good song to sing while eating Watermelon Sorbet on a sunny day!

  2. Jennifer - Thanks for the song - I have not heard of it before - very cute! :) Enjoy the sorbet!

  3. I somehow forgot to mention in the recipe that you need to use SEEDLESS watermelon. I just updated this in the post. :)

  4. Hi there Ali,
    I see you are using Guar Gum in this recipe. Does it function differently than Xanthan Gum? Are they interchangeable?
    Thanks so much!

  5. I figured out today that getting a seedless watermelon might be more time saving! I tediously removed all the seeds from 3/4 of a watermelon this afternoon to freeze it and it was a messy process! While shopping, my husband had to ask where the guar gum was hidden and they told him xanthan gum and guar gum were the same, so he came home with more xanthan gum. I also forgot the lime. Hmmm. Company will be coming in about 2 hours--do I keep the frozen watermelon for another day, or venture ahead with lemon juice and xanthan gum? (Thinking aloud :-))

    I am making the balsamic fish, the balsamic beets, and the berry salad with hazelnuts. Maybe some watermelon sorbet for dessert...if we can wing it!

    I think I will. I'll post results--dud or delightful. :-) It might also help answer the question of whether or not they're interchangeable (xanthan-guar...)

  6. Barbara - You know, I am not sure. Tom sometimes uses a pinch of guar gum in his vegan ice cream recipes, so I thought I would try it here too. It was purely intuition though and so this recipe may even work without any gum. If you try it with xanthan gum, please let us know how it works. Happy Summer! :)

  7. Jennifer - Funny, your comment came through as I was typing my response to the last one. Gosh, sorry for my mistake in not adding the "seedless" part of the picture. Long day yesterday! :)

    I think lemon would be fine and go ahead and try the xanthan and post results.

    Thanks as always for all of your comments and feedback! :)

    Enjoy your yummy dinner! :)

  8. Hi Ali,I made the sorbet this weekend for company and everyone loved it. I fortunately did use a seedless watermelon, much easier! Are there other fruits that could be substituted, like peaches? I loved that I could just use my food processor and they could eat it right away. Thanks, as always, for all of your fabulous recipes, our eating habits have definately changed for the better because of your recipes!

  9. I made this the day after your class and it was sooo good! I have not had anything more refreshing than that! Ate it so fast it gave me brain freeze! lol

  10. Deb - Thanks, glad you enjoyed! Not sure how peaches would work but I'd be willing to experiment. :)

    Pavlina - Oh yes, forgot to mention here that this recipe was a hit in the last cooking class I did. Glad to hear you have been making it. I get the ice cream headache too after eating about 2 bites! :)

  11. Definitely going to try this one! Looks so good.

  12. Sounds heavenly refreshing. YUM! I have some frozen watermelon waiting to be made into sorbet right now. :)

    ~Kristen's Raw

  13. Oh, this is so beautiful, Ali! I have some watermelon in the fridge that we cut in the mtns on Sunday, but it's not seedless. My friend brought it and the label said seedless--surprise! I think I'll wait until I buy a seedless one though.

    I heard Dr. Oz say on Oprah that if you put your tongue to the roof of your mouth when you have brain freeze, it stops it immediately. I haven't had to try it yet though.

    Thanks, Ali! Oh, and love the new name and look of your blog. Beautiful! Glad you got the green smoothies in there ... wish I'd remembered to get some lemons yesterday ... maybe I'll improvise. Hmmm.


  14. That looks delicious, and it sounds so easy to make. Thanks!

  15. Instant sorbet? Genius! I love how simple the recipe is. I bet a pinch of salt would complement the sweetness. I'm going to try this recipe with erythritol/stevia. My mouth is watering!

  16. Meghan - Thanks, hope you enjoy! :)

    Kristen - Thanks, how do you raw foodies make this? Probably not with guar gum? I love your blog by the way! :)

    Shirley - Thanks for the Dr. Oz trick, I'll try that! Glad you like the new look of the blog! Happy summer! :)

    Linda - Thanks, this is very easy to make! :)

    The Gluten Free Dish - It is yummy, I bet you'll love it! :)

    Lauren - The sorbet in this photo had been frozen for about 2 hours to make it scoopable! Though it can be served right away too, it is just not as solid, but still solid enough to be eaten with a spoon. You have a lot of great sugar-free ice cream recipes on your blog too! :)

  17. I made this recipe over the weekend Ali. I couldn't wait to freeze it so I had a large bowl right out of the cuisinart. It was soft, cold, and perfect for the hot humid day we had. I have the rest in the freezer right now, we'll see how it goes 3 days frozen! :-)

  18. L - so glad you enjoyed, thanks for sharing! :)

  19. This recipe looks wonderful! Is there a possible substitute for the guar gum?

  20. We've been making this recipe at least once a week all summer long and everyone loves it (although I do microwave it for the baby because he likes it better melted!). I've made it with the guar gum and now I make it without because it doesn't seem to make much of a difference. I have also used fresh-squeezed lime juice and Lakewood organic lime juice and the fresh is WAY better. I also often do this quick short cut of pureeing unfrozen watermelon with all the other ingredients and then freezing it in the ice cream maker for 20 min. Then I don't have to plan ahead and have the watermelon already frozen.

  21. I just found your blog and I am loving all of your great ideas!! I have a watermelon in the fridge and I am going to have to whip this up right now. I love making healthy ice creams in the summer.

  22. We will save this for watermelon time. Last night we had frozen strawberries and a lemon. The pinch of guar gum is the key. I tried the same idea with blueberries without the gum and it melted so fast. Thank you. The kids loved it and felt like they had "ice cream".

  23. Just looked up the difference between the two gums.


    Guar gum is extracted from the seeds of the Guar Plant and has been safely used without incident for centuries. Xanthan, on the other hand, was created in the 1960's in a GOVERNMENT LABORATORY (USDA) and is made from the slimy bacteria that is harvested from fermented corn sugar. Corn is one of the most genetically artificially altered engineered foods on the market today, unless it is certified Organic, and the Organic variety is NOT the type used in the creation of Xanthan gum, which no doubt is a contributory factor as to why many experience gastric distress after consuming it. Also Xanthan also costs about 3 x as much as Guar. and Guar, unlike Xanthan, can be easily produced through home recipes and never required a laboratory for it's manufacture. Putting all these factors together, I use guar gum and feel it is clearly the wiser choice between the two. Thank you, and Bon Apetit !

  24. I wonder what else could be used in place of guar gum? Do you think something like kudzu or agar agar may work? Thanks!

  25. The title of "sugar free" is a bit misleading - sugar is sugar, whether it comes from fruit, melons, honey, or agave.


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Thanks and Happy Cooking! ~Ali :)