The summer is upon us and with it, barbecues, cook-outs, and picnics galore. When you’re enjoying a nice evening with friends, it can be easy to over indulge and mindlessly nibble on that second, maybe even third piece of pie or brownie. To help keep you from overdoing it, but still having a sweet summer, here are a few of my favorite go-to “desserts” for the summer. Light enough to not make you feel heavy on a hot day, indulgent enough to satisfy your sweet tooth, and all oven-free to keep you from further heating up your kitchen on those already hot days!
- Dark Chocolate Dipped Fruit – whether it’s strawberries or orange slices, bananas or kiwi, sliced fresh fruit dipped in a little dark chocolate shell is a great way to finish off an evening meal. Try sprinkling chia seeds or crushed nuts on top before the chocolate sets for an even more nutritious bite.
- Banana Soft-serve – freeze several bananas in 1 inch chunks. Add to food processor and process, pulsing, until smooth and creamy. Optional add-ins: nut butter, mini chocolate chips, other frozen fruit like strawberries or mangos, fresh spinach (makes for a gorgeous green color!)
- Fresh Whipped Cream with Fruit – whipped cream, homemade, fresh whipped cream, is wonderful! Light and fluffy, add a bit of buttermilk for a more tangy final product, or a bit of honey or maple syrup for a lightly sweetened one. Add a dollop to freshly cut mixed berries for a wonderful dessert.
- Grilled Fruit – pineapple slices, peaches, plums – all of these caramelize beautifully on the grill. Add some whipped cream for an extra special treat!
- Shakes – not the ice cream laden ones, but try out some milk, PB, cocoa powder, banana, and dates for a sweet, frosty treat sure to please and refresh.
Make your summer delicious and nutritious!
Aubrey Phelps MS RDN LDN