Diet Strategy: Not all sweet treats are nutritional zeros. Finish off your meal with luscious, refreshing fruit-based desserts that can help fight cancer, boost your immune system, promote bone growth and more.
It's finally here: peak summer fruit season! Colorful and juicy berries, peaches, cherries and melons now abound at your farmers market and grocery store. Low in calories and high in nutrients, summer fruits are a great base for a variety of chilled desserts (and perfect for lowfat snacking too). Check out these four cool-and-delicious desserts - and take the swelter out of a summer's day or evening.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Chilling time: 35 minutes
Nutrient note Peaches are loaded with the carotenoid beta cryptoxanthin, which is converted to vitamin A in your body and helps cells develop, boosts the immune system and aids night vision.
In a large saucepan, combine water, 1/2 cup sugar, grated lemon peel and vanilla. Set pan over medium heat and whisk until sugar dissolves and mixture simmers. Add whole peaches and poach 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let peaches cool in syrup for 5 minutes. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes, until cool.
Meanwhile, in a blender, combine raspberries, remaining sugar and lemon juice. Puree until smooth, then strain mixture through a fine sieve to remove seeds. Set aside.
Cut peaches in half. Divide ice cream or yogurt evenly into bowls. Garnish with a peach half, then spoon raspberry sauce over top. (Discard peach syrup.)
Nutrition Score per serving (1/2 peach, 1/2 cup ice cream, 2 tablespoons raspberry sauce): 259 calories, 7% fat (2 g: 1 g saturated), 87% carbs (56 g), 6% protein (4 g), 4 g fiber; 110mg calcium, <1 mg iron, 50mg sodium.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Chilling time: 2 hours
Nutrient note Thanks to the watermelon, this sorbet is packed with the phytochemical lycopene, which protects against several forms of cancer, including stomach, colon and bladder.
Process all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. Transfer mixture to a bowl, cover and freeze until firm, about 2 hours. (If the sorbet freezes so that it's too firm to scoop, let it stand at room temperature for a few minutes before serving.)
Nutrition Score per serving (1/2 cup): 90 calories, 8% fat (<1 g; <1 g saturated), 87% carbs (20 g), 5% protein (1 g), 1 g fiber; 17 mg calcium, <1 mg iron, 4 mg sodium.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 3 minutes
Preheat broiler. In a bowl, whisk together sour cream and vanilla. Set aside.
Combine blueberries and blackberries and place them in the bottom of 4 individual ramekins (shown above). Top berries with sour-cream mixture, allowing some of the berries to show through. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon brown sugar over each serving, breaking up any lumps.
Broil 3 minutes, until sugar melts (the top should be caramelized, just like a creme brulee).
Nutrition Score per serving (1 gratin): 130 calories, 2% fat (<1 g; <1 g saturated), 83% carbs (27 g), 15% protein (5 g), 3 g fiber 98 mg calcium, <1 mg iron, 54 mg sodium.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Chilling time: 30 minutes
Recipe note Fool is a culinary term for a cold dessert of pureed fruit mixed with whipped cream or custard.
Puree mango, lime juice and orange juice in a blender or food processor until smooth. Cover and chill 30 minutes (and up to 24 hours).
Transfer the mango mixture to a large bowl and carefully fold in the whipped topping (you can blend thoroughly or leave orange streaks). Spoon Mango Fool into tall glasses and serve.
Nutrition Score per serving (1 cup): 155 calories, 17% fat (3 g; 2 g saturated), 81% carbs (31 g), 2% protein (<1 g), 3 g fiber, 17 mg calcium, <1 mg iron, 3 mg sodium.
Food writer Robin Vitetta-Miller, M.S., appears frequently on CNN, The View and The Early Show to discuss nutrition and health.
RELATED ARTICLE: more healthful summer treats Combine these fruits with almonds, chocolate, nonfat whipped topping or frozen yogurt for a nutritious and sweet treat.
APRICOTS are a great source of beta carotene and vitamin C. Cube apricots and toss with toasted, sliced almonds.
CHERRIES contain powerful cancer-fighters called anthocyanins (the blue pigment that's also found in plums and blueberries). Top nonfat chocolate pudding with pitted cherries and nonfat whipped topping.
FIGS have lots of potassium. Serve halved with mild goat cheese or part-skim ricotta.
NECTARINES are a good source of vitamin A. Serve sliced over lowfat vanilla frozen yogurt.
PLUMS contain anthocyanins, the antioxidants found in blue-red fruits. Serve sliced over lowfat yogurt with honey drizzled on top.
COPYRIGHT 2003 Weider Publications
COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group