Fruity Summer Desserts (and a dairy-free fruit sundae)

During winter’s hibernation, what could be better than spending the day in the warm kitchen?  When it’s cold out, I am thrilled to spend an afternoon with my oven baking up some sweet and spicy delight.

Summer is an entirely different story!  Who wants to add to the heat of the day by turning up the oven?  Who wants to be trapped inside when outdoor adventure beckons?  The pool, the beach, the garden and the backyard offer so much joy that I can’t bear to spend more time than necessary inside.

Does that mean that I forgo sweets during the summer months?  Certainly not.

Vegan Strawberry Italian Ice

Strawberry Lemonade Italian Ice

Where fresh produce runs a little thin during winter months, summer brings a bounty of beautiful fruits practically bursting with juicy sweetness. Nothing beats a big hunk of watermelon at the end of a barbecue.

With a little effort (and I mean just a little) you can transform those fruits into company-worthy desserts.  Sweet summer fruit can mean that you can make a treat-worthy dish with little to no added sweetener.

Grill or broil up some fresh fruit (pineapple, peaches or melon) and serve it with coconut cream (the thick part at the top of a can of coconut milk) for an elegant dessert.

Make your own ice cream or sorbet.  Try one of these homemade delights:

Vegan fruit sherbet

Fruit Sherbet

Or make a simple yet scrumptious sundae by blending up a sauce of pureed fruit and pairing it with ice cream and toasted coconut If you serve it in a fancy glass (I used margarita glasses), you can have a dessert ready for a dinner party in minutes.

Vegan Coconut Fruit Sundae

Fruit Sundae

Dairy-Free Fruit Sundae

(Makes 4 Sundaes)

Ingredients:

1 cup hulled strawberries
1 cup pineapple chunks
1 pint strawberry coconut milk ice cream (or another flavor)
1/4 cup coconut flakes

Preparation:

In a blender, puree strawberries and pineapple.  (Or use other fruit of your choosing.)

In a dry skillet over medium heat, toss coconut flakes until very lightly toasted, approximately one or two minutes.

In a glass or dessert dish, spread a layer of sauce, add a couple of scoops of ice cream, and top with flaked coconut.

 

What fruity desserts do you like to make in the summer?

Kim Lutz is the author of Welcoming Kitchen: 200 Delicious Allergen and Gluten-free Vegan Recipes and the gluten-free, allergen-free, vegan website, welcomingkitchen.com. Kim is the co-author with Megan Hart, MS, RD, LD, of The Everything Organic Cooking for Baby and Toddler Book and The Everything Guide to Cooking for Children with Autism.

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