Unfortunately, if you’re looking to lose weight, summer usually isn’t your best friend. Overly sugary drinks, cold desserts and of course, ice cream scream all things warm. But with enough will power and an understanding of what’s still nutritious, you can get by this summer eating dessert, guilt-free.
Anar Allidina, a registered dietitian based in Toronto, says there is one ingredient to look out for all-year long.
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“If you are looking to lose weight, the number one thing you want to watch out for is sugar,” she tells Global News. “Ice cream is eaten the most in the warmer months and ice cream can really run high in sugar, especially the flavoured ones.”
And don’t be fooled by things like frozen yogurt, sorbet and gelato as healthy alternatives, Allidina says, they are often high in sugar as well.
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“Frozen yogurt and ice cream are very comparable in sugar content and some sorbets are also very high in sugar,” she says.
But this doesn’t mean delicious options don’t exist. Below, Allidina and author and recipe developer Katie Higgins of Chocolate Covered Katie, share summer dessert ideas that aren’t loaded with added white sugar.
Black bean brownies
These secretly healthy black bean brownies are high in fibre and protein, have zero refined sugars or flour, and do not taste “healthy” in the slightest way, Higgins says. “They are perfect for any summer barbecue.”
Berries truly are nature’s candy. And while they aren’t always the sweetest, you can top them with homemade whipped cream. “Berries are in season right now and are delicious. An added bonus is that berries have the lowest amount of sugar out of all fruits,” Allidina says.
Peanut butter Popsicles
These creamy peanut butter ice-pops are sweetened naturally with banana, and make a delicious frozen treat for children as well, Higgins says.
To make your own “nice cream,” all you do is take frozen banana, blend it and add your own fix-ins like nuts, vanilla or chocolate, Allidina says. “You can add a dash of milk for creaminess and you got yourself a delicious healthy treat.”
Avocado fudge bites
With just five ingredients, these avocado fudge bites are as delicious as they are nutritious, Higgins says. “You don’t even need to turn on an oven.”
“This is a fun way to get in your fruit,” Allidina says. Blend a combination of fruit and plain Greek yogurt, and pour it into a mould. “A few hours later you have a delicious treat that has no added sugar, but 100 per cent flavour.”