The summer grilling season is upon us, and whether that means a picnic, a pool party or a backyard barbecue we’re all going to be tempted by the devilish delights that are in abundance at good-time gatherings with family and friends. Entirely abstaining from dessert when at a BBQ, can be tough going. We know how tempting that spread of homemade goodies can be.
Food is plentiful as such get-togethers, but sometimes healthy options are hard to come by. And while we can’t control your willpower, we can offer up some dessert ideas to keep you both cool and satisfied during your summer soirees.
Why not be the champion who brings something to the table that everyone can enjoy without feeling guilty about their choice?
Fruit, Yes Fruit, Can Be Fun!
A fresh and delicious fruit salad is a summer staple, and while it’s colorful and tasty, sometimes the chunks of honeydew melon, cantaloupe, grapes, blueberries and strawberries get overlooked because the presentation is, after all, just a bowl of fruit when you come right down to it. But what if we told you fruit could be dressed up—or disguised—as cake? If you’re feeling inventive, use watermelon—the fruit of summer—to construct a cake! Yes, we said cake. Cut the wedges to make a “cake” or what appears to be a cake but is a much healthier, fruitier option.
While the grill is still hot from whatever protein or vegetables was there, ask the chef to clean the cooking surface, and slap some pineapple or peach slices down on there and grill them up for a toasty, tasty, seared-sweet treat.
Let ‘Em Dip!
We’re going overboard with fruit options, but you can make this summer staple more exciting by offering dipping sauces on the side. Create your own fruit salad dipping station. Those who want to indulge with some chocolate, caramel, honey, or yogurt can dip at their leisure, and others can eat fruit sans toppings if they choose. For another fun take on traditional fruit salad, try fruit kabobs!
You can also do the dipping for them and serve up some chocolate-covered strawberries. Think about pairing the strawberries with other naked fruits that have no chocolate. Sometimes we need a taste of that chocolate to curb the urge to overindulge! All you have do is microwave some chocolate chips, then dip the strawberries into the melted chocolate. Then cool them in the refrigerator for about an hour and served chilled.
Jell-O is also an option and need only be of the “shot” variety. A refreshing cup of gelatin may not curb the sugar craving like a big flat slab of chocolate cake, but your thighs will thank you in the morning.
Swap Out Ice Cream for Sorbet
Who doesn’t love ice cream on a hot summer’s day? What about serving a sorbet or frozen yogurt instead of rich ice cream? So many sorbets out there on the market are low in calories (about 175 for a cup), and the flavors—usually fruit—are delicious. Or, remember how you used to just live for a popsicle when you were a kid? Well, now they have popsicles and fruit bars for adults that are low in calories and sugar—just be sure to read the labels first to make sure what you’re enjoying is as good for you as you think
Go into this summer with your goals in mind. Make smart swaps, and if you make that watermelon cake—save us a piece!