Mid-Winter Let It Snow Cones-MainPhoto

Mid-Winter Let It Snow Cones-MainPhoto
Need a light dessert to cleanse your palate after a heavy meal? Go for a naturally flavored shaved ice. With so many hot, spiced dishes, a shaved ice is just the cooling counterpart you need to soothe your tummy and freshen your mouth. This simple shaved ice recipe combines ingredients that are most likely already in your fridge, pantry or leftover from other meals: green grapes, basil, sugar, orange and of course, ice!

Green grapes make for a lightly flavored dessert. Not only are they refreshing, but they are very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. They are also a very good source of vitamins C and K. Since grapes are naturally sweet, this recipe does not need a lot of added sugar. Any leftover grapes can be tossed with Brussels sprouts and walnuts in extra-virgin olive oil, roasted until sprouts are tender and grapes are caramelized and drizzled with balsamic vinegar for a tart, finishing touch.

Or freeze them in plastic baggies for a fun snack. Fresh basil adds an herbaceous twist to this sweet and tart shaved iced. It is a very good source of vitamin E, protein, riboflavin and niacin, as well as dietary fiber. I love using orange zest—it is extremely aromatic and potent, so you only need to use a little bit to get lots of citrus flavor. It is mildly anti-inflammatory and is a good source of dietary fiber. The orange juice is full of vitamin C and folate. I prefer to use raw, freshly squeezed orange juice as it maintains the sweetest, brightest flavor possible. Toss any leftover orange peels onto a cookie sheet and into the oven to create homemade potpourri.

Read Related: Lúcuma Ice Cream

If you do not have any green grapes on hand, red grapes will easily do the trick—just make sure all your grapes are seedless. No basil? No problem. Play around with fresh spices in the kitchen. Try cilantro to discover what your favorite shaved ice spice is! Kids will love helping out in the kitchen; this recipe is so simple that little hands can easily help prep ingredients and squeeze orange juice. They won’t think twice about asking for ice cream after they’ve had a lick of these green grape shaved ice cones. Serve shaved ice in pretty or wildly fun decorated snow cone holders for a festive touch.

Storing is just as simple as making shaved ice itself. Simply pour any leftover grape mixture into a sealable plastic baggie or plastic container and store in the refrigerator for a couple of days, or freeze for future use. As for the leftover shaved ice? You better watch out—those could easily become indoor snowballs!

Serves: 4

4½ cups green grapes
¼ cup fresh basil, finely chopped
1 TBSP sugar
1 TSP orange zest
3 TBSP freshly squeezed orange juice
4 cups shaved ice


  1. Puree all ingredients but the shaved ice in a food processor. Transfer to a small saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 1 minute then strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Discard solids.
  2. Using an ice machine, shave 4 cups of ice into four tall glasses.
  3. Pour grape liquid on top of shaved ice and serve.