Summer is in full swing, and that means a whole new array of scrumptious, ripe, in-season fruits that make for some amazing desserts.
With that in mind, we rounded up our 6 favorite summer fruits and tasty dessert recipes that are so full of flavor, you won’t even notice that they’re low in calories and fat, too.
Bananas are a great source of potassium and are usually pretty good year-round. But there’s something especially perfect about them in the warm summer months — particularly when they’re made into a ridiculously delicious piece of banana split pie.
Recipe: Banana Split Pie
Calories: 167 per slice
1 purchased reduced-fat graham cracker crumb pie shell
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 ½ cups low-fat or light chocolate ice cream
1 ½ cups low-fat or light vanilla ice cream
1 large banana, sliced
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
2 tablespoons reduced-calorie chocolate-flavor syrup
⅔ cup frozen light whipped dessert topping, thawed (optional)
Preheat oven to 375°F. Brush pie shell with egg white. Bake for 5 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
In a chilled small bowl stir chocolate ice cream with a wooden spoon just until softened. Spread chocolate ice cream in bottom of pie shell. In another chilled small bowl stir vanilla ice cream just until softened. Spread vanilla ice cream evenly over chocolate ice cream.
Cover and freeze for at least 4 hours or until firm.
To serve, arrange banana and strawberry slices on top of ice cream layers. Drizzle with chocolate syrup. If desired, top each serving with whipped topping
Nothing says summer like the iconic watermelon and its unique flavor that always makes it a fan favorite at every summer picnic. These popsicles blend your favorite fruit with another favorite (strawberries) for a tasty treat perfect for cooling you down on a hot summer day.
Recipe: Watermelon-Strawberry Popsicles
Calories: 57 per popsicle
¾ cup sliced strawberries plus 2 cups whole strawberries, divided
2 cups cubed seeded watermelon
¼ cup lime juice
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
⅛ teaspoon salt
Press sliced strawberries to the insides of six 3-ounce freezer-pop molds.
Combine whole strawberries, watermelon, lime juice, brown sugar and salt in a blender. Puree. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve set over a medium bowl, pressing on the solids to yield as much juice as possible. (Discard solids.) Divide the mixture among the prepared molds and insert sticks.
Freeze until solid, about 6 hours.
The tart-meets-sweet flavor in cherries can only mean one thing: Higher temperatures, walks in the park, sitting out on the patio and all the other things the warm months of summer bring. Plus, not only are cherries said to reduce inflammation, but they also have melatonin to promote a natural night’s sleep. Pair all that with the sweet taste of a chocolate crepe, and you’re in serious summer nirvana.
Recipe: Chocolate Cherry Crepes
Calories: ~130 per crepe
For the cherry filling:
4 cups fresh cherries, pitted and halved
juice, 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup water
2 T honey
1 T tapioca flour (non-gmo cornstarch works great too)
For the crepes:
3 large eggs
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 T butter, melted +1 T for pan (coconut oil works too)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup of tapioca flour (you can try arrowroot flour too)
2 T coconut flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup dairy-free chocolate chips, melted (for drizzle)
For the cherry filling:
Add the cherries, lemon, water and honey to a medium saucepan and bring ingredients to a boil.
Lower heat to a simmer and let simmer for 15 minutes, uncovered.
Stir in tapioca flour and simmer for another 10 minutes or until sauce has thickened.
For the crepes:
Combine eggs, almond milk, butter and vanilla in a large bowl.
Add in tapioca flour, coconut flour and sea salt and stir until well-combined and there are no clumps in batter. <–important! Make sure there are no clumps.
Add 1/2 tsp of butter to an 8 inch pan over medium-high heat.
Pour in a 1/3 cup of batter and swirl pan to coat.
Let cook for 1 minute before flipping and cooking for 1 minute on the other side.*
Repeat process 5 more times or until all crepe batter has been used.
Layer crepes on top of each other with paper towel between each.
Melt chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl.
Place a 1/4 cup of cherry filling into the center of each crepe.
Fold each side over and then fold the back piece over. Drizzle with chocolate.
Serve immediately for best flavor.
Juicy, orange and ridiculously versatile, peaches can compliment (or star) in a ton of recipes. Plus, they’re almost impossible to screw up, meaning making these grilled peaches with honey cream will be a cinch.
Recipe: Grilled Peaches with Honey Cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons honey, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
Dash of kosher salt
4 medium peaches, pitted and halved
1/3 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
2 1/2 tablespoons half-and-half
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup raspberries
Combine melted butter, 1 tablespoon honey, cardamom, and salt in a medium bowl. Add peaches, and toss to coat. Let stand for 5 minutes.
Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Arrange peaches on grill pan; grill 2 minutes on each side or until grill marks appear.
Combine yogurt, half-and-half, remaining 1 tablespoon honey, and vanilla in a small bowl; stir with a whisk.
Serve with peaches and raspberries.
Native to North America, these blue balls of delight can shine raw or in a wide array of dishes. Biting into every single one brings an explosion of flavor. Plus, they’re rich in antioxidants, which are shown to help prevent cancer. That, plus the calorie count, will you leave you feeling pretty dang good about enjoying a slice of Blueberry Crumble (maybe even add a little scoop of ice cream, too).
Recipe: Blueberry Crumble
¾ cup (75g) old-fashioned oats (gluten-free if necessary and measured like this)
¼ cup (30g) whole wheat flour or millet* flour (measured like this)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp (30mL) pure maple syrup, room temperature
1 ½ tbsp (21g) unsalted butter, melted
6 cups (840g) blueberries
3 tbsp (24g) cornstarch
Preheat the oven to 350°F, and coat an 8”-square pan with nonstick cooking spray.
To prepare the topping, whisk together the oats, flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Make a well in the center. Pour in the maple syrup and melted butter. Stir until fully incorporated.
To prepare the filling, toss the blueberries with the cornstarch in a large bowl until completely coated.
Transfer the filling to the prepared pan, and sprinkle evenly with the topping. (The topping tends to clump, so try to break it up into fairly small pieces.) Bake at 350°F for 45-55 minutes or until the juice is bubbling at the sides of the pan. Cool completely to room temperature; then refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving to allow the juices to fully thicken.
Raspberries don’t just look like jewels, they are jewels. Their tart flavor makes them perfect for people who don’t like too-sweet, and they have the right texture to make for a fun addition to plenty of dishes. (They also make a great puree.) These Raspberry Lime Gelatin cups are a light snack that also look great on the table at your weekend barbecue.
Recipe: Raspberry Lime Gelatin Cups
Calories: 50 per cup
1/2 teaspoon powdered gelatin
1/2 cup raspberry (and lime liqueur)
1/2 cup lemonade
1 cup greek style plain yogurt
1/2 pound strawberries (halved)
1/4 pound blueberries
Sprinkle the gelatin on 2 tsp boiling water in a small pan and stir until completely dissolved.
Combine the liqueur and lemonade in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, remove from the heat and whisk in the gelatin mixture until well combined and dissolved. Cool to room temperature then pour into 4 serving glasses (approx 1 cup each). Chill for 4 hours or until set.
To serve, spread the yogurt on the parfaits and top with the berries.
Do you have a favorite summer sweet? Share the recipe in the comments below!
Author: Caitlin H
Diet-to-Go Community Manager
Caitlin is the Diet-to-Go community manager and an avid runner. She is passionate about engaging with others online and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. She believes moderation is key, and people will have the most weight loss success if they engage in common-sense healthy eating and fitness.