Sugar-free does not have to mean flavor-free when you use the natural sweetness of fruit. Here are three recipes to tickle your taste buds without using sugar or artificial substitutes.
Applesauce is one of my favorite fruit-based desserts and it’s easy to make on the stovetop for four people. Peel, core, and chop four apples. Some suggested varieties are Fuji, Braeburn, Granny Smith, and Royal Gala. Red Delicious, despite the name, does not have the same sweetness as other apples. Put the apples in a saucepan, and add 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Bottled lemon juice, or the type that you get in plastic lemon-shaped containers, gives a slimy taste to the applesauce. The essential term for this recipe, as well as for the others, is “fresh.” Add one cup of water and the pinch salt. Heat this mixture over medium heat until it boils and reduce heat to a simmer. Use a potato masher or fork to mash the apples for 5 to 10 minutes or until tender. Add ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon and ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg and simmer 5 minutes more. Serve hot or cold.
Smoothies are a delicious treat on a hot day. This yummy recipe serves eight people. Slice 4 cups of organic fresh strawberries as well as 1 medium banana. Combine the fruits with 1 6-ounce carton of vanilla low-fat yogurt, dairy or non-dairy, into a blender and blend the mixture until smooth. Keep the blender running and add 1 cup ice cubes, one at a time through the hole in the blender until the mixture is smooth. Serve cold in glasses and garnish with optional kiwi fruit. Some people may have a kiwi allergy and may also have reactions to natural rubber (latex), avocados, bananas, apples, and carrots. Substitute other fruits such as berries for your smoothie if kiwi or other allergies are a dietary factor.
Fruit Cups with Yogurt
Plain fruit mixed with yogurt is a treat that is simple to make for eight people, or halved, for four. In a large bowl, mix 2 cups organic strawberries hulled and sliced, 2 cups watermelon cut into small chunks, 2 cups cantaloupe cut into small chunks with 1 cup of green grapes and 1 cup blackberries. You can substitute the fruit of your choice but remember, if you are using strawberries, to use organic fruits. Using organic strawberries in your fruit mixes is important because non-organic strawberries are notorious for being grown with toxic pesticides. Give people a small bowl so they can choose the amount of fruit they want and serve with Greek yogurt, either dairy or non-dairy, on the side.