What’s summer without the sweet taste of refreshing summer desserts? Between beach days, backyard barbeques, and hot summer nights, there’s nothing better than cooling down with something sweet. And, with endless amounts of juicy fruits in season, it’s easy to keep it healthy while making all of your summer desserts taste decadent!
Satisfy your summer sweet tooth with these simple chef and nutritionist-approved tips. Here are the best healthy summer desserts to keep you cool all season long!
Why We Love Refreshing Summer Desserts
Here at FitOn, we’re all about finding healthy ways to satisfy our cravings while staying on track with our goals. When it comes to summer desserts, it’s all about finding the sweet balance between indulgence and health!
Depriving yourself is never the answer (in fact, it can do more harm than good). With that being said, be wary of how much you’re splurging when it comes to your health and fitness goals! Let’s be honest — those satisfying summer treats have sneaky ways of loading up on more calories or sugar than you want.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t indulge every now and then (a summer night’s ice cream trip is good for the soul). But, a few simple healthy swaps can teach you how to enjoy your ice cream and eat it too, so to speak!
Read on to find out the best healthy and refreshing summer desserts, plus simple swaps to keep your favorite treats nutritious and delicious.
What Makes Something a Good Summer Dessert?
So what makes a dessert “healthy?” According to chefs and nutritionists, here’s what you need to know.
Keep It Fresh & Fruity
Summer is the perfect time to incorporate all the juicy fruits into your diet, play with their flavors, and as a consequence, eat your water, says Nutritionist Marieva Malo. “More hydration = More glow,” says Malo. “When you go for dessert, think about eating your water! Instead of depriving yourself, think about nourishing your body with a sweet yet hydrating dessert, like watermelon popsicles.”
Kayla Marker, plant-based private chef and recipe developer, agrees! Embrace the natural sweetness of summer flavors. With so many seasonal summer fruits in peak season, it’s easy to elevate both the flavor and nutrition of any dish by replacing added sugar with fresh fruit, says Marker. Think: tart, flavorful berries, juicy bites of stone fruit, and sweet tropical flavors like pineapple.
Turn Off the Oven & Head to the Freezer
It can be tempting to steer clear of the kitchen when it’s hot and humid. But, there are simple ways to keep your cool without turning on the oven!
Plus, frozen summer desserts are a must, says Marker. The best frozen desserts have a balance between creamy and sweet! When you want to keep it healthy, keep coconut water and coconut cream ice cubes on hand. They make the perfect decadent addition to any summer dessert recipe while keeping it low-sugar and nutritious.
During summer, I find my freezer gets much more love than any other time of the year, says Malo. I freeze most of the fruits I buy and then have them as snacks! Plus, they make for the perfect dessert. Mix with some nuts, or sprinkle some coconut flakes, and voilà!
Homemade Over Store-Bought, Always!
Why splurge on store-bought sweets when you can make your own?
There’s nothing more impressive than whipping up a simple summer dessert, says Marker. You don’t have to be a chef to make a dish taste chef-made!
When it comes to creating a mouth-watering summer dessert, less is more. Instead of adding more ingredients, keep it minimal and natural. If you want to elevate the flavor of your dish, refresh your palate with a pop of fresh flavor from mint or rosemary.
And, DIY summer desserts are easier than you think, says Malo. “Turn your house into an ice cream factory! Make-your-own-ice cream pool party and try avocado, banana, PB, strawberry. The options are endless!”
Become a Summer Grill Master
If you shy away from the grill, now is the time to get outside your comfort zone and take your kitchen expertise outdoors!
Grilling season is often associated with smoky, savory flavors, but grilled summer desserts deserve to be in the spotlight, says Marker. If you’re craving something warm and decadent, toss your favorite fruit into the grill and prepare to indulge!
Get creative, says Malo. You’d be surprised with the things you could do with a simple ingredient like yogurt. Bowls, tarts, you name it! Try creating a DIY yogurt bowl with unsweetened coconut yogurt and your favorite grilled summer fruit.
10 Easy Summer Desserts
#1 Coconut Yogurt Bowl with Grilled Fruit
This indulgent summer dessert requires just five minutes and less than five ingredients!
To create this bowl, simply toss your favorite fruit on the grill for 1-3 minutes until it has a sweet char and add it to a bowl mixed with unsweetened coconut yogurt. Drizzle on some honey, add a sprinkle of cinnamon and top with extra toppings like coconut flakes, cacao nibs, or fresh berries.
#2 Homemade Froyo
Skip the (sugar-filled) store-bought ice cream and make your own. This high-protein, low-sugar FitOn PRO Froyo will satisfy all your cravings while supporting all your fitness goals!
- 1 cup greek yogurt
- 1½ tbsp protein powder (optional)
- 1 pinch cinnamon
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp mixed nuts, chopped
- 1 tsp almond butter, to serve
Step #1: Place all of the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine
Step #2: Place in the freezer for 30 minutes to set.
Step #3: Option to serve topped with fresh berries and a drizzle of nut butter!
#3 Banana Nice Cream
Speaking of froyo, did you know you can make a delicious ice cream-like summer dessert using just bananas!? Trust us — it tastes like the real deal. And, this plant-based, dairy-free frozen dessert is great for all eating plans — don’t be surprised if it turns into a family favorite!
To make healthy banana nice cream, simply blend frozen bananas with non-dairy milk, adding any other flavors like vanilla, cacao, or mint!
The next time your ice cream craving hits, try these yummy banana nice cream flavors!
#4 Watermelon Popsicles
When you want a low-cal treat that’s both healthy and sweet, whip up some homemade watermelon popsicles! With just two ingredients, this no-fail recipe is guaranteed to be a summer staple.
To make, add 4-5 cups of ripe watermelon chunks to a blender with a tablespoon of lemon or lime juice. Blend until smooth, then pour into popsicle molds. Freeze for 2-3 hours until fully frozen, and enjoy!
#5 Berries & Cream Popsicles
For a creamier twist on this fruity treat, whip up a batch of summer-inspired berry creamsicles.
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk
- 1 cup of berries
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Step #1: Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
Step #2: Add more liquid, if the base is too thick (should be a thin smoothie consistency)
Step #3: Pour into popsicle molds and freeze for 5-8 hours, or until fully frozen
#6 Coconut Whip & Berry Parfait
Speaking of berries and cream, here’s another way to transform these simple ingredients into whipped perfection.
Create a DIY dairy and sugar-free coconut whip by combining a can of full-fat coconut cream (draining any liquid on top of the can) in a bowl with a tsp of vanilla extract. Using a hand mixer, whip the mixture until a slight peak forms!
To make the parfait, layer a cup with coconut cream, fresh berries, and optional low-sugar granola. Store any leftover whipped cream in an air-tight container in the fridge!
#7 Chocolate Chip Stuffed Raspberries
When summer blesses you with perfectly ripe, juicy raspberries, there’s only one thing to do — stuff them with chocolate chips! This yummy recipe is the perfect way to manage summer dessert cravings without overdoing it on the sugar or calories.
To create these addictive bites, add (low-sugar) dark chocolate chips to freshly rinsed raspberries. Once you place the chocolate chip in the center of each berry, enjoy as is, or freeze for a frozen treat! Store in an air-tight container in the fridge or freezer.
#8 Frozen Grapes Dipped in Coconut Yogurt
If you’ve never experienced the deliciousness of frozen grapes, you’re in for a treat! While this one ingredient dessert is delicious on its own, it pairs perfectly with a yummy coconut yogurt dip.
After thoroughly rinsing your favorite grapes (red grapes are more sweet, while green are more tart), freeze them for 4-5 hours or overnight. Keep them stored in the freezer, and pop them out for a healthy, low-cal snack! Enjoy them alone or dip them in unsweetened yogurt for an added indulgence.
#9 Chocolate Avocado Pudding
What if we told you that you could make a decadent, no-bake chocolately dessert that is low-sugar and made with satiating avocado? Well, you can! And here’s how.
- 2 ripe avocados
- ½ cup cacao or cocoa powder
- ¼ cup non-dairy milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-2 tbsp honey, maple syrup, or sweetener of choice
Step #1: Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
Step #2: If the mixture is too thick, add 1 tbsp liquid as needed to thin.
Step #3: Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes and serve!
#10 Frozen Banana Popsicles
Sometimes the best recipes are the easiest! This delicious summer dessert recipe can be made in less than five minutes and is easily customizable for any dietary preferences. Invite your kids to join in on the decorating fun!
To make this recipe, peel 4-5 ripe bananas and chop them evenly in half. Add a popsicle stick or wooden skewer to the banana base. Now, it’s time to get creative! Dip your banana in melted chocolate, roll in granola, drizzle with honey, or sprinkle toppings like coconut flakes or chocolate chips. Add your coated bananas to a tray, and freeze for 1-2 hours, or until frozen.
Indulge in the Natural Sweetness of Summer
When it comes to dessert, it’s all about balance. There’s no need for deprivation when you can make simple, healthy treats!
And summer is the perfect time to indulge in nature’s natural sweetness. Soak in the seasonal produce and get mixing in the kitchen — no oven required! With these no-bake, refreshing summer dessert recipes, stay cool (and satisfied) all summer long.