Healthy, delicious desserts
I’m keeping this one short and sweet (pun intended) so you can jump right into satisfying your sweet tooth this summer. These recipes are perfect for kids, impressing your guests at a picnic or BBQ, or simply for those days where you need something to tickle your tastebuds.
Dessert doesn’t have to be complicated. Of course, there are the days when only the richest, most decadent will do, but during the summer months, simple is often best. Enjoy!
Chocolate dipped bananas
- 4 medium-ripe bananas
- 8 lollipop sticks
- 170g dark chocolate, chopped
- 3 tbsp chopped nuts
Peel and halve the bananas. Insert a stick into each ‘banana pop’ and place on a tray. Freeze for three hours.
Pour the chopped nuts (we like hazelnuts) on a plate and set aside. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. When smooth, pour into a tall glass. Dip each frozen banana into the chocolate, remove and roll in the nut coating. Leave to cool.
Serve immediately or wrap in baking paper and freeze until ready to serve.
Nutrition coach, Susan Hart, says, “Wow this sounds delicious and super easy! It’s suggested that bananas are the UK’s favourite fruit and, on average, each of us chomps our way through 10kg of them every year (about 100 bananas!). This recipe is a great way to use those ripe bananas that might otherwise be composted. They provide a good amount of filling fibre, and lots of potassium to balance your fluid levels and regulate heart function.
“The dark chocolate is lovely and rich with lower sugar levels, but higher antioxidant properties than its milk cousin, so a little goes a long way! For a change, you could coat the dipped bananas in sesame seeds for a hit of calcium, or chopped pumpkin seeds. Like the nuts, they add a decent amount of protein plus omega-3 fatty acids.”
Simple berry ‘ice-cream’
- 250g Greek or natural yoghurt
- 450g frozen mixed berries
In a blender, add the berries and blitz to a crumbly texture. Add the yoghurt a spoonful at a time and blend until smooth but still thick. If you would like a sweeter taste, add a drizzle of honey or maple syrup. Serve immediately.
Susan says, “This recipe is so simple and the colour will put a smile on anybody’s face. Frozen fruit, especially red and purple berries are nutritionally as good as fresh, and bursting with immune-boosting antioxidants. To bring out their flavour even more, add some mint or basil leaves to the mix. Yoghurt, especially the live variety, has good pre and probiotic qualities; great for gut health, as well as protein and bone-building calcium. To make it vegan, substitute the yoghurt for a plant-based version.”
Frozen fruit kebabs
- 4 small mangoes
- 1 small pineapple
- 2 limes
- 120g white chocolate, melted
- 8 skewers
Cut the mangoes from the stone, peel and halve. Cut each half into four slices. Set aside. Peel the pineapple, slice and cut each slice into triangles.
Start threading the fruit on the skewers. When complete, place on a lined baking tray.
In a separate bowl, finely grate the lime zest. Set aside. Halve the limes and squeeze the juice over the fruit. Add a sprinkling of zest. Freeze for four hours.
When ready to serve, melt the white chocolate in a small microwave bowl. Transfer the frozen fruit kebabs to a serving plate and drizzle over the chocolate.
“This is a great way to get children to consume some of their five a day, especially if they help make them! Mangoes and pineapples are good sources of fibre. You could also use watermelon, which contains less sugar, but high levels of antioxidants to keep the immune system in tip-top condition. Drizzling 15g of chocolate per portion is a great way to keep the sugar content low. You could also opt for dark chocolate to make it vegan-friendly.”
Susan Hart is a nutrition coach and speaker. As well as delivering healthy eating advice to individuals, Susan hosts regular workshops and runs vegan cooking classes. Find out more at nutrition-coach.co.uk
This article was originally published in Happiful Magazine. To purchase your copy, head to shop.happiful.com.
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