Six Healthy Summer Treats that Will Keep Your Sweet Tooth Satisfied
One of the best combinations in life is arguably an ice-cream cone and a hot summer day, but if we gave in to that craving everyday during the mercilessly hot summers in DC we would all need to hit up VIDA twice a day.
And I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time for that. Five sweat sessions a week is my current threshold, so that means being pretty selective about what summer treats I decide to indulge in.
To keep from caving in to typical summertime cravings like ice-cream and milkshakes, here are six healthy summer treats you can easily make at home that will keep your sweet tooth satisfied:
I can’t even begin to suggest flavor combinations for you because the options are endless. You can do fruit and juice based popsicles, popsicles with yogurt, pops with fruit and lemonade, pops with almond milk and coffee, the list goes on and on.
Only thing to keep an eye in the ingredients you use. If you’re going to incorporate juice or lemonade, go for the all-natural options that aren’t from concentrate. You don’t want to thwart your efforts of making a healthy treat by accidentally using ingredients with high levels of refined sugar.
My personal favorite combo: mixed berries such as sliced strawberries, blueberries and blackberries with coconut water for the liquid ingredient. It’s delicious and great for hydration! P.S. you can pick up a popsicle mold at any Bed, Bath and Beyond.
For the ice-cream lovers that just can’t resist, sorbet will become your new best friend. You can make it with just about any fruit and it’ll satisfy your hankering for a sweet in scoop form.
This go-to recipe for making sorbet with any kind of fruit has been a consistent winner in my house, and with only one cup of sugar going in to one quart of sorbet, it’s not too bad for you on the sweet scale. But, as always, consume in moderation.
So this may not be the solution if you’re looking for something cool and refreshing, but seriously, you have to try it. Grill the right fruit and you’ll be sold on this healthy summer treat.
Some of my personal favorites fruits to grill are pineapples and peaches, which are perfect with a dash of cinnamon or drizzle of honey, and you really don’t need much since the sugars from the fruit will caramelize, creating a more sweet crust.
Chia Seed Pudding Parfait
I have yet to try this particular recipe, but I have a full bag of chia seeds in my pantry currently calling my name to whip this up.
Between the health benefits that the fruit and chia seeds provide, you’ve got a pretty healthy dessert option with this vegan and gluten free Fresh Mango Coconut Chia Seed Parfait from Vegetarian Gastronomy.
A what? A granita is an Italian dessert that’s kind of like an Italian ice, but it’s more granular than an Italian ice or a sorbet would be. Granitas are typically made with pureed fruit, but some are coffee based (and they’re amazing), and some granita recipes incorporate wine for all you boozy dessert lovers.
However, be on the look out if you search recipes for granita flavors because some will be heavy on the sugar. But in all honesty, a quality fruit flavored granita (this is coming straight from my Italian mouth by-the-way) shouldn’t need much, if any, refined sugar.
If you get in season fruit that is juicy and fresh, that’s all the sweetness a granita needs, in my Italian loud-mouthed opinion. Here’s a great recipe from the blog Oh She Glows that knocks it out of the park without bringing any refined sugar in to the picture.
You’re thinking “duh,” I just know it, but I think so many people underestimate the deliciousness that is a simple bowl of fresh berries. However, if you really want to get fancy with it, take an extra minute to make homemade whip cream to top your berries and you’ll feel like you got >more of an indulgence.
You can even make healthy whip cream by chilling a can of full-fat coconut milk in the fridge overnight and then scooping out the thick coconut cream that separates from the coconut water, which will be left in the bottom of the can, into a mixing bowl and then whisking it with a touch of vanilla extract and pinch of cinnamon until you have a thickened whipped cream.
What are some of your healthy dessert go-to’s? We’re always on the look out for new recipes to try, tell us about them on Facebook or Twitter!