Did you know Americans consume an average 130 pounds of sugar a year? See this infographic.
Recognizing that we human beings have an Undeniable Sweet Tooth, I’m sharing two easy recipes for healthy summer treats. I swapped the type of fruit in one recipe and the type of sweetener in both. What I know for sure is that the treats won’t contain crap like artificial coloring and “tastes like” ingredients. My theory is that maybe the treats also have a lower glycemic load than the original recipes, unless, of course, they’re so damn good that your portions are out of control.
STRAWBERRY AND GREEK YOGURT POPSICLE
The original recipe can be found here. Here it is with my adaptations:
- 2 cups sliced ripe strawberries
- 3-1/2 tablespoons coconut nectar
- 1 -1/2cups plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Place strawberries and 2 tablespoons coconut nectar in a blender. Puree until mostly smooth, with some small chunks of fruit.
- Mix yogurt, vanilla extract, and remaining coconut nectar in a bowl until smooth. (The amount of coconut nectar is a guide; you can adjust amounts to your own sweet tooth, but do so sparingly.)
- Spoon 2-3 teaspoons of strawberry puree into bottom of each popsicle mold. Spoon about 1 ½ tablespoons yogurt on top of fruit. Keep alternating layers of strawberry puree and yogurt.
- Place popsicle sticks into popsicle molds. Cover and freeze until solid, about 2-3 hours.
This was a quick and simple recipe that did not involve making a simple syrup with more sugar. The popsicles were refreshing. The flavor, like the popsicle construction itself, was alternately sweet and tart. Using plain yogurt instead of sweetened vanilla yogurt reduced the overall amount of sugar in this treat.
PEACH AND BLUEBERRY CRISP (GLUTEN-FREE)
One fun fact about the fruit used in this crisp … peaches and blueberries are summer season fruits and they have a lower glycemic load. You can find a list of low-glycemic fruits here, along with an explanation of “glycemic load.”
From prepping the fruit in the pan to putting the crisp in the oven took about 20 minutes. That is real fast for me because I am one slow cook. I adapted the original recipe found here.
- 5 organic ripe peaches (mix of yellow and white peaches, cut in bite-sized pieces)
- Pint of fresh blueberries (or most of a 10 oz. bag of frozen wild blueberries)
- 1/4 cup coconut nectar
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch (it’s a thickener similar to corn starch)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 cup gluten-free old-fashioned oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill brand)
- 1/2 cup firmly packed almond meal / flour (If you have a nut allergy, you can substitute the almond meal with 3/4 cup whole wheat flour and 3/4 cup oats)
- 1/2 cup chopped raw almonds (optional)
- 1/3 cup lightly packed organic coconut palm sugar (the color of brown sugar, but doesn’t turn hard as a brick when stored)
- 1/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- 4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 3 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. (The original recipe called for a 9 by 9-inch square baking dish. I don’t have one so I used an uncoated 2″ deep pan that is about 12.5 x 8.5 inches.)
- In the pan, mix together the fruit, coconut nectar, arrowroot starch, lemon juice, cinnamon and allspice.
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the oats, almond meal/flour, almonds, coconut palm sugar and salt. Mix in the Greek yogurt and melted coconut oil. Stir until all of the dry ingredients are moistened throughout. (Add a little more yogurt and oil, if necessary.)
- Evenly distribute the oat mixture over the fruit filling. (No need to pack it down.)
- Bake for about 50 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling around the edges and the top is golden brown.
- Let the crisp rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Oops! I meant to take a photo of a full pan of the finished peach and blueberry crisp, but then I scooped out a serving for a friend. He went on and on about it, so I had to have a taste myself. Needless to say, this peach and blueberry crisp didn’t see the next day. Portions were clearly out of control. It was insanely delicious!!
Let me know if you try these healthy summer treats. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did!