Easy DIY Summer Sweets

Also? They’re healthy Read more

katie cavuto healthy summer treats

This post and recipe comes courtesy Wee friend, registered dietitian, chef and mom Katie Cavuto.

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Summer wouldn’t be summer without the occasional frosty, sweet treat … but that doesn’t mean you have to cave to the bounty of high-fructose corn syrup and cane sugar that tops the ingredient list on most popsicles. (Most popsicles, I said — you can always make your own healthy versions!) And what about the artificial colors and flavors that lurk in your supermarkets freezer case (I’m talking to you Freeze Pops)? Gross. Ice-cream and sorbet are a healthier upgrade—but they, too, can be loaded with sugar and lacking in good-for-you ingredients.

Don’t fret. Whether you are craving creamy or icy, I’ve got you covered with some good DIY sweets that the kids can even help out with. (Why not make ’em work for their dessert?) I even included a few sundae toppings you kiddos will love and you will feel good serving them. Seriously, you can indulge every day and twice on Tuesday if you want!

1) Mango “Sorbet”
In a blender or food processor, combine 2 cups of frozen mango with 1/4 cup vanilla Greek yogurt. Serve as is, or freeze for 30 minutes to allow it to harden a bit.

2) Chocolate “Ice Cream”
In a blender or food processor, combine 3 bananas (sliced and pre-frozen) with 1/3 cup milk or unsweetened milk alternative, and 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder. Add 1 tablespoon of honey to sweeten if needed. Serve as is, or freeze for 30 minutes to allow it to harden a bit.

3) Watermelon “Slushy”
In a blender, combine 4 cups of watermelon with the juice of one lime and 2 tablespoons of honey. Pour mixture into a metal baking dish. Freeze for 30 minutes. Using a fork, scrape the icy bits into the middle of the pan. Repeat, scraping the edges every 20-30 minutes unto the mixture is flaky and fully frozen.

And now, for the toppings …
Coconut Crème
Forget the Cool Whip: You can just refrigerate a can of full fat coconut milk (upside down) overnight. Keeping the can upside down, open it and pour off the coconut water (then drink it!), saving the cream. Whip it up in your food processor, blender or just use a whisk. Add a little honey to sweeten if you want … though that’s not a must. Serve immediately.

Nut Crumble
Combine 1 cup of walnuts with 2 teaspoons of cinnamon in your food processor. Pulse into a crumble and serve. (Also, it keeps in the refrigerator for two weeks)

“Sprinkles”
in a food processor, pulse a variety of freeze dried fruits (individually) like blueberries, mango and strawberries until they are broken up a bit. Use them as a colorful, crunchy topping!

Chocolate Sauce
In the microwave (30 seconds to a minute) or using a double boiler, melt 1 cup of 85 percent dark chocolate (the darker the chocolate, the lower the sugar content) until it’s smooth and creamy.

Chocolate “Shell”
Add 1/3 cup coconut oil to the above dark chocolate mixture. The coconut oil hardens when it gets cold—so spoon it over ice cream and viola—chocolate shell!

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About our author: Katie Cavuto runs her ownbusiness, Healthy Bites, which focuses on meal delivery and nutrition counseling. She’s also the official dietitian to the Phillies; a writer and nutrition expert whose voice has appeared in Parents Magazine, O, the Oprah Magazine, Philly.com, foodnetwork.com, Philadelphia magazine, and Women’s Health (among other publications); and a TV personality who’s a regular contributor for local ABC and FOX affiliates … to name a few of her roles. Oh, and there’s also the role of mom: Son Hudson is three.

Katie Cavuto of Healthy Bites

Photo credit for Katie’s picture: Rachel Utain Evans