Ever heard the saying “Fruit is nature’s candy”?
Like the eternal Rick Astley, fruit isn’t gonna give you up or let you down, but it is likely to dessert you. (And yes, you did just get RickRolled in 2020. It’s about time that tune started circulating again. Zero apologies.)
While we agree that fruit is incredibly tasty and can make an excellent dessert, we also believe that certain things are better together. Take baked apple slices and vanilla ice cream. Or fresh berries with a drizzle of honey.
In short: A chopped apple is awesome, but it won’t cut it while you’re still thinking about the possibility of chocolate cake. These recipes, however, just might add a little somethin’ somethin’.
They feel decadent but don’t completely abandon the fruit flavor. Or tell a lie. Or hurt you.
1. Grilled peaches with vanilla maple mascarpone
Well, isn’t this recipe just peachy? Coat said peaches in melted butter (or coconut oil) and grill (or roast) those bad boys until they’re perfectly soft and extra juicy.
While the fruit cools, mix the mascarpone, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and lime juice, giving them just enough of a stir to blend the ingredients (but not so much that the cream starts to thin).
For a final touch and a little pizzazz, sprinkle cinnamon on the cream before serving.
Here are some more recipes for you to try — yes, peach and every one of you.
2. Kiwi sorbet
This is not, as you would suspect, random ice cream imported from New Zealand. All wrong.
You’ve likely heard about ice cream’s one-ingredient wonder: frozen banana. But did you know frozen kiwi slices do the trick too?
We love the palate-cleansing tartness from added lime juice. Plus, this sorbet takes only minutes to make (once you’ve frozen the kiwi, of course). For a creamier version, add a few slices of frozen banana. For a tropical spin, add frozen mango or pineapple.
We pit frozen yogurt and sorbet against each other in a fight to the death. Yes, it gets sticky.
3. Creamy fruit salad with homemade vanilla dressing
Fruit salad is delicious, but sometimes we want something sweeter. This recipe provides the perfect sugary antidote: vanilla dressing.
Made with milk, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, and lemon zest, the dressing is reminiscent of vanilla pudding but without all those unpronounceable ingredients.
Add whatever fruits you fancy. Sweet fruits like berries work particularly well (blueberries doubly so). Be sure to dress the salad right before serving to avoid soggy salad syndrome.
4. Chai poached pears with cinnamon whipped cream
Poaching may sound fancy, but it’s actually incredibly easy. So easy, in fact, that all you have to do is wait while the pears simmer. Fancy without the effort. Sounds good to us.
We love the light flavor that poaching the pears in the chai tea gives the fruit, which also happens to pair perfectly with the cinnamon whipped cream.
Pro tip: Save some of the poaching liquid, which thickens as it cools, to pour into your serving dish or over the poached pears.
Poaching is a great way to hem in nutrients — here are some other cooking methods that help you hang on to the good stuff in fruit and other wonders.
5. Honey and lime grilled pineapple
Want a taste of the tropics without even venturing outside? (OK, if you’re using a grill, you may have to go outside. For a little bit. But no passports required, we promise.)
These lime-spiced pineapple spears (no relation to Britney) are just the right amount of tart, sweet, juicy, and indulgent. You can sweeten this up with honey (no relation to Jessica Alba) and jazz it up further with toasted coconut flakes and coconut ice cream (or sorbet).
This is a great dessert to top off a barbecue or to bring some heat when the temperatures start dropping throughout fall and winter — you can just use a grill pan on the stove if it’s nippy outside.
One thing’s for sure: Grillin’ ain’t just for burgers. We rounded up some other foods you can grill, some of which you may not expect.
6. Chocolate-dipped frozen banana bites
Frozen banana ice pops are great, but do you ever find yourself with serious brain freeze? (It happens to the best of us.) These frozen banana bites are the perfect way to maximize chocolate and minimize the pain that can come from eating too much chill.
Make them your own by adding a dollop of nut butter under the chocolate layer, melting white or dark chocolate in place of the milk chocolate, or coating them with nuts, sprinkles, or any other topping you have on hand.
(That’s nut butter, not necessarily peanut butter — good as PB undoubtedly is, there are other options out there.)
7. Watermelon fries with coconut lime dip
Did someone say fruit fries?! What’s next, potato bananas? (No, these are actually good. Although… we are now somewhat intrigued by the concept of potato bananas.)
This particular recipe doesn’t actually include any frying (oh, man), but it does mean you get to dip like there’s no tomorrow — into liquid coconut-lime loveliness, no less.
Thinly sliced watermelon is coated with a Mexican seasoning (simple as that) and paired with a foolproof dip made with coconut yogurt, lime, and coconut sugar (though you can opt out of the sweetener).
Now, if only we could figure out how to keep watermelon in season year-round, we’d be happy forever. Here are the fruits and veggies that will get you through fall and winter.
8. Autumn fruit salad with Greek yogurt dressing
Craving apple pie, but it’s not even 8 a.m. yet? We say don’t deny yourself. But do try something a little healthier, like this apple, pear, and grape salad with pecans and a cinnamon yogurt sauce.
(It’s a pie without the crust, but if you tap your heels together three times and exclaim “There’s no pie like yum,” it’s still a pie.)
The salad is served cold, but we say give it a quick boost in a saucepan or pop in the microwave for an enhanced cinnamon flavor and that extra warming (read: comforting) eating experience.
9. Dark chocolate blueberry mac nut clusters
Why stick to frozen bites when you can enjoy entire clusters?
This recipe keeps things simple with four ingredients and a measly four steps. (And it takes just 20 minutes from start to finish. That’s pretty far from a clusterf*ck.)
Feel free to use whatever berries you like best — blueberries, raspberries, strawberries — and mix ’em with your nuts of choice.
Perfect for that late-night sweet tooth or even a midday snack, this dessert won’t lead to a sugar crash. Plus, for people on a low-FODMAP eating plan, it’s FODMAP-free snacking.
There you have it: Scoops of desserty, fruity goodness that won’t f*ck up your diet or betray your taste buds.
We love them — and we’re no strangers to love.
Here’s more fruity madness with absolutely no added sugar.