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The Watermelon Ice Cream Recipe You'll Crave All Summer

Photography: Irina Smirnova; Styling: Maria Marlowe

OK, so this isn't ice cream in the traditional sense—there's no dairy or refined sugar. But that means this "sundae" is way better for you. It's naturally sweet, has fewer calories than ice cream, and won't make your stomach hurt if you scarf down a cup of it. Plus, there are no sticky melting-cone fingers either! (Did you know watermelon is one of the foods that fight off belly bloat?)

All you need to make this watermelon recipe is a melon baller and a refrigerator...The End. It's the simplest #healthyhack for a perfect summer dessert.

Watermelon Ice Cream

Ice cream
1 small- to medium-size watermelon (chilled in the fridge overnight*)
1 can coconut milk, refrigerated overnight to create cream**
Slivered almonds
Cacao nibs
Coconut nectar (optional)

1. Cut watermelon in half. Use an ice cream scoop or melon baller to form balls. (Press down firmly into the melon, and then turn to form a sphere.)
2. Place watermelon balls in serving bowls (about five per person).
3. Add desired toppings to serve, such as 1 to 2 tablespoons coconut "cream," 1 teaspoon coconut nectar, a small handful of almonds, and cacao nibs.

Recipe notes
*Instead of pre-chilling the watermelon, you could make the melon balls and put them in a covered glass container and refrigerate or freeze for at least an hour. Take them out and add toppings before serving.

**When you refrigerate the coconut milk, the liquid will sink to the bottom of the can, and the cream will rise to the top. Flip the can over before opening so you can pour the liquid out into a container to be reserved for another use (like in smoothies). Then, carefully spoon out the cream for this dessert, reserving any leftovers in a separate container.

Don't stop the watermelon recipe train right there. Use the leftover fruit to make Watermelon Lemonade, Watermelon Salsa, or Watermelon Cake, which is perfect for a backyard party. It's made with whipped coconut cream frosting and topped with nuts and berries—as if you needed any more incentive.