Healthy Summer Treats to Beat the Heat

Being outside on beautiful summer days in the warm sunshine screams for outdoor meals and refreshing beverages and desserts.

When choosing a dessert, it can be difficult to find healthy options to enjoy with your friends and family that don’t contain a ton of added sugar and fat.

Having a sweet tooth of my own, I try to create delicious desserts that meet my craving for sweetness and still offer a whole lot of nutritional value.

Here are a few of the desserts I like to enjoy while basking in the Vancouver or Okanagan sunshine.

Lemon Blueberry ‘Ice-cream’ Cake 

I tested this recipe on our dear friends a few weeks ago when they were staying with us. They seemed to enjoy it, so I hope you will too!

If you slice it into 8 pieces, each piece will have over 1 serving of fruit. Yum! And if you don’t feel like making a cake, you can also forego the crust and just put the banana mix into a container and scoop it out like ice-cream.

Lemon Blueberry Banana Ice cream Cake

1 cup graham crackers

4 tbsp melted butter or margarine

1 tbsp sugar

8 ripe bananas, peeled and frozen

1 cup blueberries, frozen

1 lemon, zest and juice

1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. In a food processor, pulse graham crackers and sugar until the crackers are totally crushed, and no big pieces remain.
  2. Add butter or margarine and pulse to combine.
  3. In an 8 inch spring form pan, line with parchment paper, and press graham cracker mixture to cover the whole bottom of pan to form  the crust.
  4. In a blender or food processor, blend bananas, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla until creamy. Reserve 1 tbsp of this mixture and set aside.
  5. Add blueberries and blend until the mixture is purple and no blue berries remain whole.
  6. Pour mixture into the pan on top of the crust and level with a spatula.
  7. With the reserved 1 tbsp of white mixture, make five dots around the outside of the cake. Take a knife or toothpick and drag it through all the dots, creating hearts.
  8. Freeze for at least 1 hour until solid.
  9. Take cake out of the pan, cut into desired sized slices and enjoy!

Lemon Blueberry Banana Ice cream Cake

Yogurt Fruit Trifle

This beautiful dessert was created in my first year as part of the Growing Eden program in 2012. The idea for a healthier trifle and stunning presentation came from one of my dear volunteers Otto, and this recipe is also in our cookbook Growing Eden: the cookbookYogurt Fruit Trifle

1 Angel food cake, cubed

1 500 ml container vanilla yogurt

2 cups berries of your choice (here we used strawberries and blueberries)

2 nectarines or peaches, thinly sliced

  1. Place 1/3 of the angel food cake cubes at the bottom of a clear dish or bowl.
  2. Top with 1/3 of the yogurt and 1/3 of the berries.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 and then 1 again.
  4. Gently spread the remaining yogurt on top.
  5. Decorate the top with the remaining berries and sliced nectarines/peaches.
  6. Serve immediately or refrigerate for one hour.

Makes 8-10 servings

Other Easy Treats

For a simpler dessert, or even just a healthy snack for those hot summer days, try some of these options!

  • Frozen Fruit: freeze your favourite fruits like grapes or berries to munch on
  • Banana Popsicles: Cut a banana in half, put a popsicle stick in it, dip it in some vanilla yogurt and nuts and freeze it for a healthy and chilly treat
  • Yogurt popsicles: mix yogurt with fresh berries or 100% fruit juice and spoon the mix into popsicle forms and freeze

Be sun safe and stay hydrated this summer. I hope you are all enjoying the sunshine as much as I am!


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