FOOD & TRAVEL
I don’t know what it is about summertime, but during the warmer months I crave refreshing, satisfying sweet treats. Rather than craving heavy chocolate cakes and overly sweet danishes, I have my eye on desserts with plenty of fresh fruit (bonus points if the dessert is cold or frozen). Thankfully, summertime desserts are chocked full of fruit that’s in season which is good for all of us with a sweet tooth. Rather than eating desserts with many cups of sugar, we can feel guiltless eating desserts with a natural sweetness from fresh fruit.
While grocery stores may stock fresh berries and other fruit year round, the season for these naturally sweet beauties is usually the summertime. Because of this abundance of fresh fruit, there is no need to buy canned fruit that contains many extra sugars and preservatives that are typically a part of fruity desserts during the colder months. I love how during barbecue season there are large bowls filled with a variety of fresh fruit for dessert. If you crave a little more sweetness, there are low-calorie ways to incorporate some additional sugar. Top off your bowl of fresh fruit with a dollop of Cool Whip or fresh whipped cream or a scoop of low-calorie ice cream (my favorite is Halo Top Chocolate) or frozen yogurt. If you’re watching your wallet in addition to your calories, I have good news. It is very inexpensive to make fresh whipped cream and frozen yogurt in your very kitchen. If you’re craving the cool sweetness of ice cream, Halo Top ice cream always has coupons or cash back deals if you use shopping apps like Ibotta.
When the weather is consistently peaking above 90 degrees, my inner child craves a Popsicle. Unfortunately, now that I’m older I know that one Popsicle can have as many as 16 grams of sugar, which is a lot of sugar. Thanks to modern kitchen technology (if you want to call a fancy ice tray technology), you can pick up a silicone Popsicle mold from any big box store for a few dollars. Once you you’re your mold, read the washing directions and wash it thoroughly. Some molds cannot get washed in the dishwasher so make sure you follow the directions. Making fruit pops at home is as simple as filling the molds with your favorite fresh fruit and fresh fruit juice or lemonade. It takes about two hours for the fruit pops to freeze completely; the time may vary depending on your freezer.
One dessert that is commonly considered to be a healthier option is Jell-o, both their pudding and clear gelatin mixes. No one can deny how simple it is to whip up any of those mixes and serve for a large crowd. Similarly, you cannot deny how much sugar is in just one serving of either of those desserts. One serving contains about 19 grams of sugar; this number may fluctuate depending on the flavor, but not by much. If you crave some chocolatey flavor, I recommend tossing in a handful of dark chocolate because of the low fat and sugar content. While many people opt for milk chocolate instead of dark because of the sometimes-bitter tasting quality of dark chocolate, it provides a good balance when tossing in while a bowl of fresh fruit.
This is by no means an extensive list of every healthy dessert out there – these are just some of my favorites. I’d love to know what your favorite healthy desserts are – let me know in a comment down below!
With help from Kristine Circenis.