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We’re entering a bit of a golden age for low-carbohydrate recipes and food options. Thanks in part to the keto craze (and the Atkins Diet before it) you can find a cauliflower version of just about anything, but desserts—generally high in sugar (i.e., carbs)—have always been one of the most difficult courses t0 de-carb.
Smart brands like Halo Top, having cracked the code on low-calorie, low-carb ice cream, and new-to-market natural zero-sugar sweeteners have helped, but there are still plenty of easy, old-fashioned healthy and low-carb desserts to be made using a little creative addition by subtraction. For easy low-carb desserts, remember fruit—especially berries—are your bestie, as many sport a significant sweetness without tons of net sugar or carbs thanks in part to high fiber count.
Related Reading: The Ultimate Guide to Fresh Summer Berries
The following summer desserts provide plenty of sweet fruit flavor—one of the best things about summer—without a heavy carb overload, to keep you feeling light and breezy during those long humid beach days or marathon BBQs.
Instead of chocolate sauce and caramel, try topping your ice cream sundae with grilled fresh figs. Just brush them with a mixture of honey and fragrant orange blossom water and grill until caramelized (peaches or plums work great, too). Arrange over scoops of low-carb Halo Top vanilla or other lower carb ice cream and sprinkle with toasted pistachios and a drizzle of additional honey. Get our Grilled Fig and Orange Blossom Sundaes recipe.
Panna cotta is a simple, eggless Italian custard that can be flavored in countless ways. In this version, buttermilk adds a silky texture and tangy flavor. Just bloom gelatin in cream, then heat the mixture with sugar and vanilla seeds. Strain, stir in the buttermilk, pour into ramekins,11/ and chill. Get our Buttermilk Panna Cotta recipe.
Pssst, over here. I have a secret. Peaches may taste super sweet but they’re actually one of the lowest sugar fruits, and as we all know by now, sugar equals carbs. This easy crisp has an oat crumble for which you can also adjust the sugar content and as always, sub in a low-carb vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt to get the net carb count down even further. Get our Easy Peach Crisp recipe.
Related Reading: The Ultimate Summer Stone Fruit Guide
These chai popsicles are wonderfully fragrant, perfect to end off a rich Indian meal of complex flavors or to punctuate a lazy summer afternoon. They’re super easy to put together and the sweetness is adjustable. Get our Easy Chai Popsicles recipe.
You don’t need to pull out the ice cream maker for this elegant cold dessert. Just blend frozen pineapple with rum, lime juice, simple syrup, and ice, then freeze the mixture until solid and scoopable. Sort of like a more refined (and boozy) Dole Whip! Get our Pineapple-Rum Sorbet recipe.
Blend fresh peaches, sugar, and cream with mascarpone cheese for a little tangy flavor. Add diced peaches to the blended mixture for texture, then pour the base into ice pop molds. Get our Peaches ‘N’ Cream Ice Pops recipe.
Related Reading: 7 Ice Pops That Break the Mold
Stirring shredded coconut into the base of this ice cream gives the finished product a pleasant, chewy texture. Top your coconut ice cream with diced mango for an easy tropical dinner party dessert. Get our Coconut Ice Cream recipe.
Sweet honeydew gets the star treatment in this version of a South Korean ice-pop favorite, the Melona bar. No artificial flavors here; ripe melon is blended and then drained of excess liquid to intensify the fruit flavor before the cream and sugar are added. Get our Honeydew Melon Ice Pops recipe.
Related Reading: The Best Low-Calorie, Low-Carb Beers for Summer
As we’d mentioned, berries make the perfect summer companion for someone trying to watch their carb count. Admittedly these have added sugar (your best bet is a berry-heavy fruit salad), but still better than the average slice of cake or cookie. Get our Raspberry Sorbet recipe.
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