5 Fruity Desserts to Make You Forget About Chocolate

When it comes to healthy eating, one of the most difficult parts of any person’s goals is making sure they cut down on their sugar intake. Our bodies are wired to desire sugar and fat because our ancestors often didn’t have access to it—meaning their appetites had to make the most of it when they found it. Today, the story is different, but our instincts remain.

One of the best ways to ensure a lifestyle change stays long-term is not outright fighting our desires, but adjusting them to healthy levels. Fruit-based desserts satisfy our natural craving for sugar, but in a healthier context. Now, these desserts are not by any means as healthy as simply skipping dessert, but if you can’t fight your cravings, you can use these recipes to help you satisfy your natural needs in a healthier way.

Below, Saint Francis Healthcare has provided 5 delicious desserts that showcase natural ingredients at their best!

#1: Poached Plums

Plums are a small stone fruit that vary in flavor from incredibly sweet and delicate to tangy and almost sour. Their versatility makes them amazing dessert fruits, as you can often create surprising dishes from different types of plums. Poaching is a great way to infuse additional flavor into a fruit, but it’s also the perfect technique to turn a firm and unripe plum into a soft and tender one. Plums are also a good source of vitamin C and vitamin K.

What makes this dessert work is not just the sweetness, but the complex combination of flavors. The spice of the cinnamon and vanilla, the sour of the unripe plums, the sweet of the honey, and the sharpness of the wine all work together to make a thoroughly memorable and sophisticated dessert.

For this, you’ll need:

  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 vanilla bean pod
  • 25 ounces of sparkling wine
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 8 plums, cut in half
  1. Combined the wine, sugar, honey, and cinnamon stick in a saucepan.
  2. Split the vanilla pod lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the pan.
  3. Bring to a boil.
  4. Add the plums, adding enough water so they’re submerged in the liquid.
  5. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the plums are tender.
  6. Transfer the plums to another container to cool.
  7. Reduce the liquid slightly syrupy (to about 1 cup of liquid).
  8. Pour the liquid over the plums and put in the fridge.

Serve the fruit after at least an hour of chilling in the fridge!

#2: Roasted Peaches

Peaches are a sweet stone fruit, known the world over for its soft and delicate texture. It’s also a good source of vitamin A, carotene (which turns into vitamin A in the body), and vitamin C. This recipe is one of the simplest on this list, but the secret is in the broiling process. The heat of the oven caramelizes the sugars in the peach, transforming its flavor into something smokier and sweeter than a raw peach offers.

For this, you’ll need:

  • ½ cup of honey
  • 3 tablespoons of lemon juice (or a medium lemon)
  • 4 large peaches, halved
  • Baking tray with high walls
  1. Preheat the broiler
  2. Juice the lemon (if you bought a whole one)
  3. Combine the lemon juice with the honey in a small bowl.
  4. Place the peaches in the baking tray cut side up, brush the mixture over the peaches
  5. Broil for 6-8 minutes, or until the peach flesh caramelizes and darkens

Serve the peaches warm or at room temperature!

#3: Mixed Berries with Coconut Cream

Berries are not only an amazing summer staple, but their nutritional value benefits both your body and your mind. Blueberries, in particular, have been linked to preventing mental decline in the elderly. Berries like raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries contain a large amount of phytonutrients, or “antioxidants.” They also contain a great deal of fiber, which lends a “fuller” feeling after eating them.

For this, you’ll need:

  • ½ pound of raspberries
  • ½ pound of strawberries
  • ½ pound of blackberries
  • ½ pound of blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of lime juice
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • ½ cup of cream of coconut

(The specificity of the berries is up to you—this recipe simply provides an even mixture)

  1. Combine the berries, sugar, and lime juice into a bowl. Let sit for an hour. (This is known as macerating—it draws the moisture out of the fruit and creates a syrupy mixture. Feel free to add a splash of wine or liqueur for a sharp kick!)
  2. Whip the cream and cream of coconut together until it firms up, forming soft peaks.
  3. Serve a spoonful of the berries in a bowl, and top with a generous dollop of the coconut cream.

#4: Warm Cherries with Ricotta & Toasted Almonds

This uses the sweetness and richness of the ricotta and offsets it with the depth of the cherries and the nuttiness of the toasted almonds. For a lower fat option, fat-free ricotta works fine in this recipe. However, each ingredient in this recipe offers at least one type of nutrient—ricotta offers a good source of calcium and protein. Almonds are a great source of unsaturated fat, fiber, and protein, while cherries provide a dense amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber. Altogether, this rich dessert has more to offer than any cake or pie.

For this, you’ll need:

  • ¾ cup of pitted cherries
  • 2 tablespoons of ricotta
  • 1 tablespoon of raw almonds
  1. Place the pitted cherries in a microwave safe bowl and cover with cling wrap.
  2. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds.
  3. Put raw almonds in a dry frying pan.
  4. On medium heat, toast the almonds until slightly golden brown on the outside (2 minutes or so).
  5. Chop the almonds into slivers.
  6. Spoon the ricotta into a small bowl. Pour the cherries on the ricotta, and top with the almond slivers.

Serve the ricotta chilled, the cherries warm, and the almonds hot—it will add a dimension of variety to the textures and tastes.

#5: Rhubarb Compote (with Vanilla Ice Cream)

Okay, bear with us here—rhubarb is, botanically speaking, a vegetable closely related to celery. However, technically the law recognizes rhubarb as a fruit thanks to an old ruling to lower the cost of rhubarb. It’s popular because it has a sour taste that makes it ideal for sweet desserts and compotes. Rhubarb is high in fiber and a moderate amount of potassium.

Admittedly, the vanilla ice cream isn’t healthy at all, but a small treat now and then won’t hurt. You can also substitute it with whipped cream or vanilla yogurt if you’d like a less sugary alternative!

For this, you’ll need:

  • 4 cups of diced rhubarb
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Scoop of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt
  1. Combine the rhubarb, sugar, and cinnamon in a saucepan.
  2. Cook on medium heat until the rhubarb releases its water, tenderizes, and breaks down (about 5 minutes).
  3. Turn off heat and stir in vanilla extract.
  4. Let cool into a thick, soft mixture.
  5. Scoop ice cream into bowl and cover with rhubarb compote.

Categories: Blog, Food