THERES MORE TO SUMMERTIME DESSERTS THAN ICE CREAM BARS AND GELATO.
While these classics make tasty occasional treats, a steady diet of frozen milk and sugar is sure to leave you feeling heavy and sluggish. The next time youre in the mood for a warm-weather dessert, try one of these healthy alternatives.
1. COCONUT FRUIT BOWL
This quick dish gives you fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and beneficial fats all in one bowl. Create a colorful fruit salad by mixing whole and sliced blueberries, raspberries and strawberries with chunks of melon and any other fruit you feel like eating. Sprinkle unsweetened shredded coconut over the top and add a dash of cinnamon if desired.
2. WATERMELON PIZZA
To make the best kind of pizza for a hot day, slice a watermelon widthwise and lie the slices flat. Top it with chunks or slices of other fruits such as kiwi, peaches and bananas. Grate on a little orange zest for added flavor or sprinkle it with some pumpkin seeds for a delicious crunch. Cut your pizza into wedges and enjoy.
3. LAYERED FRUIT POPS
Break out the blender and make your own popsicles using a wide variety of fruits. Simply puree each fruit separately and pour them one at a time into Popsicle molds. Freeze until solid and pop one out when youre in the mood for a refreshing finish to any meal.
4. GRILLED FRUIT
Since youre already cooking more meals on the grill, why not whip up dessert while youre at it? Peaches, pineapple slices and bananas all taste delicious when grilled. The heat causes the sugars in the fruits to caramelize, resulting in a natural sweetness that needs no adornment.
5. FRUIT CRISP LIGHT
The bountiful berries and stone fruits of summer are perfect for fruit crisp, but the streusel topping of this traditional dessert is loaded with sugar, flour and oil. Make a lighter version by using rolled oats, unsweetened applesauce and maple syrup for the topping instead. You get the same satisfying crunch and you can enjoy the flavor of the fruit more without unhealthy ingredients weighing it down.
6. CHOCOLATE AVOCADO PUDDING
Healthy chocolate pudding does exist, and it only requires three ingredients: avocado, raw cocoa powder and maple syrup. Scoop the flesh of a ripe avocado into a blender and add a couple of tablespoons of raw cocoa powder. Drizzle it with a little maple syrup and blend until smooth. Lastly, pour the blend into four bowls and chill until its time for dessert, if you can wait that long.
7. RAW CHOCOLATE BALLS
There are many variations of this popular raw food dessert, but the basics are the same. Nuts and dried fruit such as dates or raisins form the base while raw cocoa powder or cocoa nibs provide the chocolate flavor. When combined in a food processor, this all makes a nutrient-dense dough that can be formed into balls, chilled and served as a dessert or a wholesome snack.
Whether youre a fan of fruit or a sucker for chocolate, you dont have to give up tasty treats to enjoy a healthy summer.
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