Next to the holiday season, summer is one of the most difficult times to struggle with a sweet tooth. You want to stop at every ice cream shop, visit every stand at the markets and festivals, and check out the wide range of desserts at every barbecue. Satisfying your sweet tooth, however, doesn’t have to mean letting go of your healthy eating plan. Instead, try opting for some of these great healthy summer sweets.

Fun Frozen Treats

In the past, opting for frozen yogurt instead of straight ice cream might have made you feel as though you were being healthier. Unfortunately, frozen yogurt might not have the health benefits you were hoping for: it’s often higher in sugar than traditional ice cream, and ice cream’s higher fat content may actually help prevent a blood sugar spike. There are, however, some healthier options you can choose to get your frozen treat fix.

If you are choosing frozen yogurt, check the sugar content. You’re looking for a low-sugar option, not the higher sugar content many brands use to conceal the tart taste of yogurt. You’ll also want to seek out yogurt which has live cultures of helpful bacteria, or probiotics, that are great for gut health.

Try making your own frozen treat like sorbet. Frozen fruit, when put through a food processor, turns into an excellent summer snack. Try using frozen bananas for a potassium boost that will also make your treat creamier, or simply process strawberries, mangoes, or any other frozen fruit of your choice. Adding a little juice can help the treat blend more smoothly. Your fruit-based dessert will offer you a great dose of fiber and raise your folic acid intake as well as offering a sweet treat that isn’t filled with sugar.

Make your own frozen fruit bars. Fill your freezer trays with the fruit juice of your choice and enjoy a variety of vitamins and minerals in your frozen treat. If you don’t mind a few fruit chunks, opt for blended fruit instead of just fruit juice: this will help you keep more of the health benefits of the original fruit.

Barbecues, Picnics, and More

Taking along a frozen treat isn’t always convenient, especially if you’re going to be outside for a while. Your goal in choosing a healthy dessert is twofold: first, to reduce your sugar consumption; and second, to enjoy a sweet treat without feeling deprived. Reducing portion size and opting for a small treat is one great way to get the sweet you’re craving. If that won’t work, trying some of these treats will be sure to delight.

Opt for a berry crumble instead of pie. How better to use all of those berries you’ve picked over the hot summer months than in a pie or crumble? Opting for crumble over pie, however, removes the crust and decreases the sugar content since you can control how sweet you want it. The natural sweetness of the berries will really shine through. Your crumble can also have its topping made out of oatmeal to add a punch that will help lower your blood pressure and improve digestion.

Add all of those fruits and berries to your favorite low-sugar baking options. From bundt cakes and muffins to tarts and puddings, adding fruit to your favorite summer desserts can help add some health benefits to the treat you’re already enjoying. Fruit will help bring out the natural sweetness of the dish and make you feel satisfied with a smaller portion of the original treat.

Grill your fruit. When you’re headed to a barbecue and can’t resist the thought of a warm, sweet treat, step away from the marshmallows! Instead, try grilling your fruit to bring out its natural sweetness and allow you to savor every bite.

Coming up with healthy desserts for the summer months can be a challenge, but it’s one that is well worth it. By considering some of these healthy summer dessert options, you’ll quickly discover that there are a wide range of flavors out there still waiting for you to discover them. Fruit alone might not satisfy, but turning it into some of these summer favorites will leave you singing the praises of many summer events.

Sources:

http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/27/health/frozen-yogurt-versus-ice-cream/index.html

https://authoritynutrition.com/8-health-benefits-of-probiotics/

https://www.healthyeating.org/Healthy-Eating/All-Star-Foods/Fruits

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/juicing/faq-20058020

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270680.php

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11978262