Raise your hand if you have a sweet tooth! While I usually prefer savory splurges like olives, cheeses, and fine wines, I absolutely feel the pull of a gooey molten chocolate lava cake from time to time. And I get it—those cravings can be super tough to resist.
If you’re like most people, you probably read the title of this post and thought, “Okay, Dawn’s lost it. No way is fruit going to satisfy my sweet tooth as well as ice cream/cupcakes/a chocolate bar/etc. would.” If that’s you, I’ll just ask you one favor as we move forward: Hear me out!
I’m not going to sit here and try to pretend that you can totally prevent chocolate cravings by eating a peach every once in a while. But when it comes to enjoying the sweetest, juiciest, most decadent fruit selection possible, summertime is your best friend.
This isn’t intended to knock anyone in the produce industry, but the fact is, fresh, local, seasonal fruits are WAY sweeter than their counterparts at the supermarket during the winter. Unless you’re buying from some kind of specialized local source, most of the fruit you’re eating during the winter is being trucked in from very far away. These fruits are usually artificially enhanced for color and simply don’t pack the same nutritional punch that fresh summer fruit does.
Likewise, the closer you can get to eating a piece of fruit right off the vine, the more luscious and satisfying that fruit is going to be. And all the extra NATURAL sugars make seasonal fruits fantastic for taking the edge off of those dessert cravings.
Notice how I emphasized the word NATURAL?
Why does that matter? Isn’t sugar bad across the board? Nope! Not all sugars are created equally. The sugars found in your favorite junk foods are refined sugars. Our bodies process these differently than we process the natural sugars found in produce. So while eating a handful of Oreos results in an unhealthy blood sugar spike, eating a handful of grapes is a totally different, drastically more positive physiological experience for your body.
If you don’t feel like biting into a piece of fresh fruit will scratch your sweets itch, feel free to get creative! There are lots of ways to turn fruit into something that more closely resembles dessert. Sorbets, smoothies, gremolatas, and natural fruit popsicles all allow you to swap refined sugars for natural sugars while still feeling like you’re splurging on something sweet. You can also have a little scoop of low-sugar ice cream, frozen yogurt, or plain greek yogurt with a handful of fresh fruit on top. Personally, greek yogurt with strawberries and granola is one of my favorites!
Above all else, remember: Eating healthy can be fun, and staying on plan is totally doable, no matter the season! I hope this tip inspires you to find healthy, innovative solutions for satisfying your cravings and keeping up your healthy lifestyle all summer long.
Do you have any favorite healthy summer sweets? I’d love to hear your recipes and ideas! Drop me a note in the comments and let me know what’s on your plate this time of year.
As always, my wish for you in the next week is that you live a life you love without feeling hungry, depriving yourself, or giving up your glass of wine with dinner. Cheers!