Summertime makes it easy to eat well! Brightly colored fruits are ripe and in season, calling to you from the farmer’s piles or grocery aisles with their succulent smells promise of sweet taste.
In the cooler months, you may crave heavy puddings or fattening cakes, but in the summer season, a fresh fruity treat is all you need to satisfy your sweet tooth.
CHOCOLATE BANANA SMOOTHIE: Freeze a banana after peeling it and breaking it into chunks. Once frozen, toss the banana pieces into a blender, add a splash of skim milk or soymilk, a big squirt of chocolate syrup and a heaping spoonful of Cool Whip. Blend to oblivion, then enjoy your low calorie dessert.
FRUIT SALAD: Delicious as a dessert, snack or even breakfast, fruit salad is a fun and colorful way to get your fresh on. Choose any types of fruit you want, and cut it into pieces about the size of dice. The basic fruit salad has apples, bananas and oranges, but since it’s summer, go crazy with whatever is on sale at the market! Be sure to add oranges though, because their citrus juice helps wet down the salad and preserve the other fruits. Add maraschino cherries, and a little of their syrupy juice, to brighten up the salad and make it sweeter. If you are serving this as a dessert, a dollop of whipped cream will dress it up and delight your crowd as well.
JELL-O CUPS: Versatile and full of wiggly, jiggly fun, Jell-O screams summertime! There are twenty flavors of Jell-O, and many more types of fruits, so mix and match! Try bananas in strawberry Jell-O, pineapples in lime Jell-O, or mandarin oranges in cherry Jell-O. Make in one big dish or separate cups for individual servings and chill for several hours in the refrigerator before breaking out the fun!
FROZEN BANANAS: Choose bananas that are neither green nor brown, but just starting to get a few spots on them. Put out a piece of wax paper for each banana-sicle you intend to make. Peel bananas and cut them in half; poke a popsicle stick into the flat end to make a handle. Now it gets fun: you can keep the bananas plain, or cover them with various toppings like chocolate or caramel sauce, toasted nuts and coconut, honey, or bits of candy. Now wrap the wax paper tightly around each banana and freeze for several hours. Goes well with sunsets and hammocks.
FRUIT PARFAIT: This one’s really easy. Pick your favorite three fruits and chop them up. Layer them in a parfait cup with Cool Whip: fruit, cream, fruit, cream, and fruit. Get a spoon and dig in!
Shilo Urban is a freelance writer who has just relocated to Los Angeles after her previous homes of Seattle, New Zealand, Paris, Maine, and Austin. She is an active member of the West Coast electronic music community and lives to promote the art that she loves and the people who create it.