Five Real Sweet Desserts

For many runners, a meal isn’t complete without something sweet. But most of us consume way more added sugar than is good for us – between 22 and 30 teaspoons daily (recent guidelines set the healthy limit at just 12). When consumed in excess, added sugars are associated with weight gain, which increases risk for diabetes, heart disease, and other diseases. Trade in high-sugar summer treats for fruit-based options that satisfy your sweet tooth and pack performance-boosting nutrients.

Zesty Thai Fruit Salad

This juicy treat has less than a teaspoon of added sugar per serving and is loaded with beta-carotene. Top with yogurt if desired.

¼ cup light coconut milk
Juice and zest of 1 lime
2 teaspoons dark honey
1 teaspoon sriracha (optional)
1 cup diced papaya
1 cup diced mango
2 cups diced pineapple
3 tablespoons chopped salted cashews

In a large bowl, stir together the coconut milk, lime juice, zest, honey, and sriracha (if using). Add the papaya, mango, and pineapple. Toss to combine. Serve in bowls and sprinkle with the cashews. Serves 4.

Nutrition Information
Kilojoules per serving: 600
Carbs: 28 g
Fiber: 3 g
Protein: 2 g
Total fat: 4 g
Saturated fat: 1 g
Sodium: 50 mg

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Grilled Nectarines With Balsamic-Honey Drizzle

A touch of honey enhances naturally sweet balsamic vinegar.

4 ripe nectarines, halved and pitted
½ teaspoon olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
⅓ cup creme fraiche

Heat a grill over medium heat. Brush the cut sides of the nectarines with oil. Place cut side down and grill 4 to 5 minutes.

In a small bowl, stir together the vinegar and honey. Transfer the nectarines to 4 dishes. Top each with creme fraiche and drizzle with the vinegar mixture. Serves 4.

Nutrition Information
Kilojoules per serving: 710
Carbs: 23 g
Fiber: 2 g
Protein: 2 g
Total fat: 8 g
Saturated fat: 4.5 g
Sodium: 11 mg

* * *

Strawberry-Watermelon Icypoles

The antioxidant-packed icypoles are a great way to cool down pre- or postrun. Watermelon is rich in lycopene, which protects skin from UV damage.

2 cups sliced strawberries
1 cup cubed watermelon
¼ cup lime juice plus zest from 1 lime
1 tablespoon honey

In a blender combine the strawberries, watermelon, lime juice, zest, and honey. Blend until smooth. Pour into icypole moulds and freeze 3 hours. Makes about 8 icypoles.

Nutrition Information
Kilojoules per serving: 117
Carbs: 7 g
Fiber: 1 g
Protein: 0 g
Total fat: 0 g
Saturated fat: 0 g
Sodium: 1 mg

* * *

Apricot “Jelly” With Pistachios

The classic gets a taste and health upgrade by forgoing added sugar and food coloring.

4 cups apricot nectar (no added sugar), divided
2 packets powdered gelatin
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Whipped cream
¼ cup chopped pistachios

In a saucepan, heat 3 cups apricot nectar over medium heat until warm (don’t boil). Pour remaining 1 cup nectar into a bowl; sprinkle gelatin evenly over top. Allow to sit until all the gelatin is moist. If dry spots remain, gently stir to moisten. Add the warm nectar and stir until gelatin is dissolved. Stir in the zest. Pour into 4 glasses. Chill 2 hours. Top with whipped cream and pistachios. Serves 4.

Nutrition Information
Kilojoules per serving: 880
Carbs: 32 g
Fiber: 1 g
Protein: 6 g
Total fat: 6 g
Saturated fat: 2 g
Sodium: 80 mg

* * *

Berry-Cherry Bake

Berries and cherries contain fiber and anthocyanins, which reduce inflammation.

2 cups blackberries
2 cups pitted cherries
Juice from ½ lemon, plus 1 teaspoon zest
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 unbaked piecrust
Vanilla Greek yogurt

Preheat the oven to 175°. In a bowl, stir together the blackberries, cherries, lemon juice, zest, honey, and cornstarch.

Pour into a 9″ x 9″ baking dish. Top with the crust, tucking the edges over the fruit. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake for 1 hour, or until the crust is golden and the fruit is bubbly. Serve with a dollop of yogurt. Serves 6.

Nutrition Information
Kilojoules per serving: 715
Carbs: 27 g
Fiber: 2 g
Protein: 3 g
Total fat: 7 g
Saturated fat: 3 g
Sodium: 130 mg


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