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Published on July 16, 2018
Summer brings an abundance of fresh fruits with great flavors that you only can taste in the peak of summer. Berries and melons are available locally in our gardens and farmers markets. Other fruits such as cherries, peaches and nectarines come from other parts of the United States.
These tasty treats are the perfect and simple solution to our cravings for something sweet.
The cave man knew that if it was sweet, it was safe to eat. Today, we often don’t choose fruits because they are high in sugar. But fruits have natural sugars, not the added sugar that the American Heart Association recommends limiting.
Removing fruits from our diet it is like throwing the baby out with the bath water. We’d also eliminate some very important vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. These nutrients are important for our heart function, reduced inflammation, protection against cancer and fiber for our digestive tract.
To limit added sugar, keep your sweet treats simple. Try a fresh fruit parfait instead of blueberry pie, cherry cobbler or strawberry shortcake. Make popsicles from whole fruit. Try grilled peaches or a watermelon salad.
Enjoy the sweets tastes of summer. Keep it simple. Don’t heat up the kitchen by baking treats with too much added sugar.
Fruit ParfaitMake a red, white and blue treat. Use blueberries, strawberries or raspberries with vanilla yogurt.
About ¾ cup of the fruit of your choice3 tablespoons vanilla or plain low-fat or fat-free Greek yogurtToppings such as granola or nuts
For one parfait, choose about ¾ cup of fruit. Layer about ¼ cup of fruit into a bowl or cup, top with 1 tablespoon yogurt, add another ¼ cup of fruit, then another layer of 1 tablespoon yogurt, another layer of fruit and top it off with 1 tablespoon of yogurt with 1 tablespoon of granola or nuts.
Great fruit choices are:Berries: strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberriesMelons: peeled and cubed watermelon, cantaloupe or honeydew melonKiwi: peeled and slicedMango: peeled and cubedPineapple: chunks, fresh or canned (drained)Peach slices
Nutrition FactsWill vary by choice of fruit and yogurt.Servings, 1; calories, 90-150; total fat, 1 gram; saturated fat, 0 grams; cholesterol, 2-4 milligrams; sodium, 10-30 grams; potassium, 100-200 milligrams; carbohydrates, 15-20 grams; total sugars, 9-15 grams; added sugar, 2-4 grams; fiber, 2-5 grams; protein, 3-6 grams.
Homemade Fruit PopsiclesRecipe adapted from Sally Kuzemchak, registered dietitian at Real Mom Nutrition website.
2 cups fresh fruit of your choice such as strawberries, watermelon chunks, blueberries1 tablespoon honey
Puree fruit and honey in a blender or food processor until smooth. Pour into ice pop molds or into 5-ounce paper cups with a popsicle stick stuck in the cup. Freeze until hard.
Nutrition FactsWill vary by choice of fruitServings, 4; serving size, 1; calories, 35-60; total fat, 0 grams; saturated fat, 0 grams; cholesterol, 0 milligrams; sodium, 0 milligrams; potassium, 50-100 milligrams; carbohydrates, 10-15 grams; total sugar, 8-12 grams; added sugar, 4, grams; protein, 0-1 gram.
Watermelon Summer Salad This unique combination of ingredients provides a very tasty and refreshing summer salad. This recipe was adapted from allrecipes.com
½ cup red onion, thinly sliced1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice (1 small lime)6 cups seedless watermelon, cubed¼ cup feta cheese¼ cup pitted black olives, cut in half1 cup fresh mint, chopped1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Place onion slices in a small bowl with the lime juice. Let stand for 10 minutes to mellow the flavor of the raw onion. In a large bowl, combine the watermelon, feta cheese, black olives and mint. Stir in onion/lime juice mixture. Drizzle on olive oil and toss to blend.
Nutrition FactsServings, 6; serving size, 1 cup; calories, 105; total fat, 4 grams; saturated fat, 1 gram; cholesterol, 5 milligrams; sodium, 150 milligrams; potassium, 250 milligrams; carbohydrates, 14 grams; total sugar, 10 grams; added sugar, 0 grams; fiber, 2 grams; protein, 3 grams.
Grilled PeachesThis recipe was adapted from www.allrecipes.com
2 tablespoon olive oil1 teaspoon fresh basil, chopped1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped6 fresh peaches, halved and pitted
Preheat grill. Whisk olive oil, basil and thyme in a small bowl. Allow flavors to blend for 5 minutes. Brush oil mixture on inside flesh of peach halves. Grill peaches, flesh side down until softened and grill marks appear, about 4 minutes.
Nutrition Facts:Servings, 12; serving size, 1 peach half; calories, 35; total fat, 3 grams; saturated fat, 0 grams; cholesterol, 0 milligrams; sodium, 0 milligrams; potassium, 145 grams; carbohydrates, 4 grams; total sugar, 3 grams; added sugar, 0 grams; fiber, 1 gram; protein, 1 gram.