Dragonfruit Italian Ice

June 10, 2020

Lighter than gelato, Italian ice provides a wonderfully simple non-dairy alternative to frozen desserts made with eggs, milk, and cream. Quite simply, Italian ice is very finely crushed or scraped ice flavored with eye-catching, flavorful syrups. Italian ice can be made at home easily with the wait-and-scrape method, which entails making a fruit, herb, or fruit-and-herb combo flavored water, stashing it in the freezer, and then using a fork to scrape the top of the freezing flavored water at timed increments. 

Italian ice recipes remind me of the languid, steamy summer afternoons of my childhood when we'd empty the ice cube trays out of the freezer and into our Snoopy snow cone machine, pile the pulverized ice shards into Dixie cups, and drench the ice with unnaturally colored store-bought syrup (in shades from race-car red to  blue). If you weren't fortunate enough to grab a cup of homemade Italian ice from the first batch, you'd be relegated to the kitchen, anxiously waiting for the ice cube trays to finish freezing but halting progress as you'd impatiently open the freezer door every 5 minutes. 

Our version of Italian ice doesn't include neon-colored, over-the-top candied syrup, but it does get a pleasing pink hue and sweetness from fruit powders and watermelon. Serve as is in a glass, or layer on top of chilled coconut yogurt for a cold and creamy summertime dessert.

Dragonfruit Italian Ice

Time: 5 hours, 5 minutes

Servings: 4



  • Place the first five ingredients in a blender. Blend on high speed until smooth.

Dragonfruit Italian Ice

  • Pour the mixture into a metal pan and freeze for 2 hours. Remove pan from the freezer and use a fork to scrape the mixture. 
  • Place the metal pan back in the freezer for 45 minutes. Remove pan from the freezer and use a fork to scrape the mixture. Repeat process every 45 minutes for another 3 hours.

Dragonfruit Italian Ice

  • Remove the metal pan from the freezer. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop up the Italian ice into serving dishes. Layer on top of 1 cup of chilled coconut yogurt per serving, if desired.

Nutrition info (per serving) without plain coconut milk yogurt:

Calories: 70

Carbs: 11 grams

Fat: less than 1 gram

Protein: 6 grams

Dragonfruit Italian Ice

Nutrition info (per serving) with plain coconut milk yogurt:

Calories: 257

Carbs: 49 grams

Fat: 7 grams

Protein: 7 grams

You might also like these other summer dessert recipes:

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