Spring has finally arrived and we are quickly entering the season when the fruits and vegetables will be rolling into your local grocery markets. This means sweet and healthy choices will be available that are both cost effective and delicious. To help you get ready for the season of sleeveless tops and short skirts, it is time to be smarter than the sweets!
HERE ARE SOME INDULGENT SUMMER TREATS WITHOUT THE GUILT!
It’s not often that the words “dessert” and “low-calorie” appear in the same sentence. Well, except when an array of fruit is in season and frozen treats rule. Here are some guilt-free treats that are low calories and every bit as satisfying as those diet-busting desserts that seem to tempt you at every turn.
For your after-dinner sugar cravings, keep low-calorie fruit desserts on hand. It’s a great way to indulge (just a little) and sneak in some fiber at the same time, which can help prevent weight gain or even encourage weight loss.
How to make: 1 strawberry; 1 piece each kiwi, cantaloupe, pineapple; and 2 blueberries skewered and drizzled with 1 tsp. Hershey’s chocolate syrup.
For a bubbly treat this summer—with a little vitamin C from strawberries and kiwi—cool off with a homemade adult Popsicle. Of course, if you want to make a liquor-free treat, simply substitute apple juice for the Prosecco.
How to make: 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup flat prosecco (stir to make sure all bubbles are gone), 1/2 cup sliced strawberries, 2 sliced peeled kiwi. Here’s the full recipe.
TROPICAL TRAIL MIX
If you’re traveling this summer—be it by car, plane, or boat—it’s always nice to bring a healthy snack to prevent road-trip temptations. This tropical snack mix is packed with protein and tastes deliciously light when you are on the go.
How to make: 2 teaspoons coconut flakes, 6 raw almonds, and 2 teaspoons chopped dried mango.
WHITE CHOCOLATE STUFFED RASPBERRIES
These really couldn’t be easier to make and they are wonderfully satisfying. Plus if you are trying to shape up for summer this is a very low calorie dessert option. They are fun for picnics or as a little dessert option to munch on during a late afternoon meeting.
How to make: Simply stuff the raspberries with one white chocolate chip. That’s it! You can also use milk chocolate chips if you prefer.
FROZEN CHOCOLATE BANANAS
No need to overdo it on a loaded banana split sundae. These chocolaty banana pops are the perfect frozen treat to satisfy your craving. Make a bunch and store them in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 week.
How to make: 4 large ripe bananas, peeled and cut into thirds crosswise, 3/4 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips, melted 1/4 cup shredded coconut.
A graham cracker smeared with Nutella and topped with banana and coconut is a light way to satisfy your sweet tooth. Not to mention it is portion-controlled in order to keep the calories in check. It’s indulgence, without the guilt.
How to make: 1 square graham cracker broken into 2 rectangles, 1/2 teaspoon Nutella or chocolate spread, 2 slices banana, 1/2 teaspoon sweetened shredded coconut.
Refreshingly simple, these summer fruit granitas are flavored with nothing but a little sugar and fresh herbs. You can make watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew versions for a colorful variety of healthy snacks.
How to make: 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup water, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup fresh basil, mint or tarragon, 2 lbs of your favorite melon. Here’s the full recipe.
STICKY CINNAMON FIGS
This is a simple and stylish nutty fig pudding ready in just 10 minutes. You can also swap the figs for canned peaches or pears if they are in season and readily available.
How to make: 8 ripe figs, large knob of butter, 4 tbsp clear honey, handful shelled pistachio nuts or almonds, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, mascarpone or Greek yogurt. Here’s the full recipe.