The sun is shining, the flowers are in bloom, and the weather is finally warming up. Summertime is right around the corner, and between picnics and barbeques, there are a lot of sweet treats that can be tempting on hot summer days. But never fear! You no longer have to shy away from desserts. Believe it or not, there are quite a few healthy desserts that are low in calories and fat. Most are easy to conjure up in the kitchen, but a lot of these can be purchased at the store.
Parfaits: When made with low fat yogurt, parfaits make a healthy breakfast, snack or dessert. With so many fruits and berries in season you can get really creative with your combinations. Top of your masterpiece with granola, vanilla clusters, and chopped almonds for a sweet treat, refreshing treat.
Jell-O: Believe it or not, sugar free gelatins are fantastic desserts. Whether you make it home with the kids or buy it in a 6 pack, it’s a great low calorie snack. Top it off with some fat free whipped cream and you've got a satisfying summer dessert for under 50 calories.
Real Fruit Popsicles: You can purchase these premade but they’re fairly easy to make at home. Popsicle trays are fairly inexpensive, but you may need to go to a home goods and supplies store to find them. With a blender or food processor, puree a mix of your favorite fruits, almost as if making a smoothie. (This is actually a great opportunity to toss in a few raw vegetables, for nutrition rather flavor). Pour your custom made mix into a mold and let it solidify for at least 4 hours in the freezer.
Greek Frozen Yogurt and Sorbets: Each of these is an excellent alternative to ice cream, although one is substantially better than the other. Greek frozen yogurt definitely wins this battle, low in fat while simultaneously containing higher amounts of both protein and calcium. Sorbet still beats out ice cream, being fruit-based rather cream based. It also comes in a wide variety of flavors. Try with a sprig of mint for a refreshing dessert.
Grilled Fruit: Grilled and baked fruits are a delicious alternative to pies, cakes and tarts. Save your carbs for something other than pie crust and try tossing some peaches, figs, or apricots on the grill. Cut the fruit and remove the pit; brush with a little olive oil and grill for about five minutes (or bake for 10). Sprinkle the grilled fruit it a little brown sugar, nutmeg and a pinch of table salt.