Written By: Karla Tafra
When the sun hits your skin on a hot summer day, there might be nothing better than a variety of delicious summer fruit desserts. Refreshing berry sorbets and juicy watermelon popsicles go hand in hand with days spent on the beach, frolicking as you enjoy your favorite months of the year. That’s why we took it upon ourselves to write down a list of the best summer fruit desserts that will curb your sweet tooth while keeping you hydrated at the same time.
Hydrating with summer fruits is a refreshing and delicious way to stay cool and replenish your body's water levels during the hot summer months. Conveniently, they can usually be found on every corner, making it impossible for you to avoid adding them to your weekly grocery haul. Here are just some of the best hydrating fruits that are perfect for your summer endeavors:
- Watermelon: Watermelon is one of the most hydrating fruits, as it contains about 92% water. It's also rich in a variety of nutrients, and provides a sweet and juicy treat.
- Pineapple: Pineapple is not only delicious but also hydrating. It contains about 87% water and is a good source of vitamin C, potassium, and manganese.
- Berries: Berries like fresh strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries are high in water content and packed with antioxidants. They are a great summer snack option to keep you hydrated and provide essential nutrients.
- Oranges: Oranges are juicy and refreshing, making them an excellent choice for hydration. They are rich in vitamin C and provide a burst of citrus flavor.
- Grapes: Grapes are another hydrating and nutrient-rich fruit, with a high water content of about 81%. They are easy to snack on and can be frozen for a refreshing treat on hot summer days.
- Honeydew Melon: Honeydew melon is a hydrating fruit that is low in calories and high in water content. It's a great addition to fruit salads or enjoyed on its own.
Vegan sorbets are a delicious and refreshing frozen dessert option that doesn't contain any animal products. They are typically made with a combination of fruit, sugar or sweetener, and water, although you can omit sugar altogether and enjoy the full fruity flavors. Here are a few vegan sorbet flavors you can enjoy:
- Strawberry Sorbet: Blend fresh or frozen strawberries with a sweetener of your choice, such as agave syrup or maple syrup. Add a splash of lemon juice for brightness, and freeze the mixture until firm.
- Mango Sorbet: Puree ripe mangoes with a sweetener and a little lime, lemon, or passionfruit juice for tanginess. Freeze the mixture until it reaches a sorbet-like consistency.
- Raspberry Sorbet: Blend frozen or fresh raspberries with a sweetener, such as organic cane sugar or coconut sugar. Add a squeeze of lemon juice to enhance the flavor. Freeze the mixture until it solidifies.
- Lemon Sorbet: Combine freshly squeezed lemon juice, water, and a sweetener. Adjust the sweetness and tanginess to your preference. Add ginger for extra spice! Freeze the mixture and stir it occasionally for a smoother texture.
- Watermelon Sorbet: Puree seedless watermelon chunks and sweeten with a sweetener of your choice. Freeze the mixture until it solidifies, and enjoy the refreshing flavor of watermelon.
When making vegan sorbets, feel free to experiment with different fruit combinations and adjust the sweetness levels to suit your taste. Enjoy these dairy-free frozen treats as a refreshing dessert during the hot summer months or any time you crave a cool, fruity indulgence.
Fruit salads may be the easiest and most versatile summer dessert, as they can be made in a matter of seconds and include anything (and everything) you have on hand. All you have to do is slice up a variety of fruit, such as fresh berries, melon, ripe peaches, grapes, pineapple, and mangoes, toss them in a food jar, and serve!
You can squeeze fresh lemon or lime juice to enhance the flavor, add some fresh mint to give it an even more refreshing taste, or sprinkle some sugar on top to sweeten the deal. Additionally, you can add a dollop of whipped cream and feel like a kid again.
Summer chia pudding can be a delightful and nutritious treat that you can enjoy as a breakfast, snack, or dessert during the warm summer months. Chia seeds are rich in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants, making them a healthy addition to your diet. Here's a simple recipe for a refreshing summer chia pudding:
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1 cup plant-based milk (such as almond milk, coconut milk, or oat milk)
- 1-2 tablespoons sweetener of your choice (agave syrup, maple syrup, or honey for non-vegans)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Fresh summer fruits (such as berries, peaches, mangoes) for topping
- Optional toppings: shredded coconut, chopped nuts, or mint leaves
In a bowl or jar, combine the chia seeds, plant-based milk, sweetener, and vanilla extract. Stir well to make sure the chia seeds are evenly distributed.
- Let the mixture sit for about 10-15 minutes, and then give it another good stir to prevent clumping. This step is important to avoid a lumpy texture.
- Cover the bowl or jar and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours or overnight. During this time, the chia seeds will absorb the liquid and create a thick, pudding-like consistency.
- After the chia pudding has set, give it a stir to break up any clumps that may have formed. If the consistency is too thick for your liking, you can add a little more plant-based milk and stir again.
- Serve the chia pudding in bowls or glasses, and top it with your favorite summer fruits or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You can also add some additional toppings like shredded coconut, chopped nuts, or mint leaves for extra flavor and texture.
- Enjoy the summer chia pudding immediately, or refrigerate for a little while longer to let the flavors meld together.
Get creative with your summer chia puddings by adding different fruits, spices, or even a splash of lemon or orange juice to enhance the taste. They’re easy and convenient to take on the go, so they’re a perfect summer dessert for pool or beach days.
Summer popsicles are a fantastic way to beat the heat and enjoy a refreshing treat. They are easy to make and can be customized with various fresh fruits and spices. Here's a basic recipe for making homemade summer popsicles:
- Any fresh fruit or a combination of fruits of your choice (such as berries, watermelon, mangoes, peaches, etc.)
- Fruit juice (such as orange juice, pineapple juice, or apple juice)
- Sweetener of your choice (optional, depending on the sweetness of the fruits)
- Popsicle molds
- Popsicle sticks
Wash and prepare the fresh fruits. Remove any seeds, pits, or tough stems. Cut the fruits into small pieces or blend them for a smoother texture.
- In a blender or food processor, puree the fruits until smooth. If desired, you can strain the puree to remove any seeds or chunks.
- If the fruits are not sweet enough, you can add a sweetener of your choice, such as honey, agave syrup, or maple syrup. Adjust the sweetness to your taste preferences.
- Pour the fruit puree into popsicle molds, filling them about 3/4 of the way. Leave some space at the top for expansion.
- Insert the popsicle sticks into the molds. If your popsicle molds don't have built-in sticks, you can cover the molds with foil or plastic wrap and insert the sticks through the covering.
- Place the popsicle molds in the freezer and let them freeze for at least 4-6 hours, or until they are completely solidified.
- Once the popsicles are frozen, remove them from the molds by running the molds under warm water for a few seconds. Gently pull on the sticks to release the popsicles.
- Serve and enjoy your homemade summer popsicles! You can store any leftover popsicles in a zip-top bag or covered container in the freezer.
RAW VEGAN CAKE
And last but not least, raw vegan cakes are a crowd favorite when it comes to summer desserts. And they’re not just meant for those following a plant-based or raw food lifestyle. These cakes are easy to make and even easier to devour.
Created using raw, whole-food ingredients and typically relying on nuts, seeds, fresh or frozen fruits, and natural sweeteners for flavor and texture, they’re refreshing and keep the full flavor profile of all the best summer fruits. Here's a general guide to making a raw vegan cake:
- Nuts (such as almonds, walnuts, or cashews)
- Dates or raisins (as a natural sweetener and binder)
- Optional: Shredded coconut, cacao powder, or spices for added flavor
- Cashews (soaked overnight or for a few hours)
- Coconut cream or coconut milk (for creaminess)
- Plant-based milk (such as coconut, oat, cashew, or almond milk)
- Natural sweeteners (such as dates, maple syrup, or agave nectar)
- Flavorings (such as vanilla extract, lemon juice, or cacao powder)
- Optional: Fresh fruits, berries, or cacao nibs for added texture and taste
Prepare the crust by combining the nuts and dates (or raisins) in a food processor. Process until the mixture becomes sticky and holds together when pressed.
- Press the crust mixture into the bottom of a lined cake or springform pan, creating an even layer. Place the pan in the refrigerator or freezer to set while you prepare the filling.
- In a high-speed blender or food processor, blend the soaked cashews, coconut cream (or plant-based milk), natural sweetener, and flavorings until smooth and creamy. Adjust the sweetness and flavorings according to your taste.
- Pour the filling mixture over the crust, smoothing the top with a spatula or the back of a spoon.
- If desired, add any additional toppings or swirls, such as fresh fruits, berries, or cacao nibs, to enhance the visual appeal and flavor.
- Place the cake in the refrigerator and let it set for at least a few hours or overnight, allowing the flavors to meld and the filling to firm up.
- Once the cake is set, remove it from the pan and garnish with fresh fruits, edible flowers, or a dusting of cacao powder, if desired.
- Slice and serve your delicious raw vegan cake!
The beauty of raw vegan cakes is that you can customize the flavors, fillings, and decorations to your liking. You can experiment with different nuts, fruits, and flavor combinations to create a variety of delightful and nutrient-dense treats.
Delicious fruit desserts are one of the best summer treats, and with a variety of fresh options, they can help nourish your body with vitamins and minerals, all while keeping you hydrated. Still, in addition to consuming hydrating fruits, it's important to drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay properly hydrated.