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A Refreshing Take on Summer Desserts

posted Jun 12, 2015, 5:56 AM by Rachel Griffin   [ updated Nov 4, 2015, 12:36 PM by Julia Quam ]
If you think that frozen grapes are every nutritionists' answer to a healthy summer treat, then think again! This month, we're helping you keep your balanced lifestyle going all summer long.  And this week, the blog is focusing on nutritious summer treats. 

Of course, fruit is a go-to nutrient-packed dessert year round, but summer's bounty makes it even more exciting.  Cherries, berries, peaches, and melons are all in season, at the peak of their nutrition and flavor.  For the most simple way to satisfy your sweet tooth, let the juices flow down your chin and enjoy these treats just as they are.  

If you want turn up the flavor without adding sugar or fat, try our Fresh Fruit Salad w/Lime & Mint Dressing or peruse this month's wellness newsletter for our featured Grilled Peaches w/Yogurt and Pecans.  You can also puree frozen fruits such as bananas, strawberries, mangoes, or peaches in a powerful blender or food processor for a soft-serve-ice-cream-like texture.  Top with dark chocolate chips, a sprinkle of cinnamon, or a dollop of natural peanut butter for a more filling sweet fix. Try blending up a smoothie with in-season fruits and vegetables using our fool-proof guide.  If you're looking for a bit more indulgence, try our Crisp recipe with berries or peaches instead of apples...maybe even go a la Mode with one of the above-mentioned fruit purees. 

When you're out with friends or on vacation and faced with a dessert dilemma, try to remember our recommendations for Sensible Splurges. Dietitians indulge more than you may expect, and are able to do so because they:  
  • Enjoy smaller portions of higher-quality treats.  Don't be afraid to ask for a child's or smaller-than-a-small serving.  Studies have shown that treating yourself to the "real deal" vs. a "diet" (low fat, sugar free, etc) dessert actually leads to greater satisfaction with a smaller serving. 
  • Split the treat with a friend or family member for a triple treat: time with a loved one, half the calories, and all the indulgence. 
  • Plan ahead to either forego another food item or fit in some extra exercise to maintain neutral calorie balance, which is crucial for weight maintenance.

Whatever you're into this summer, don't forget to treat yourself to only the best in food, friends, & fun!

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