As summer turns to fall, some of the foods available change a bit, including the fall fruit varieties. Many of the same fruits are available year round, like apples, but because they are harvested primarily in the fall their prices come down and the fruit is fresher and available locally. Because of the wide variety of fruit available in the fall, there are endless possibilities of healthy desserts to satisfy your craving for fall and winter comfort food. Keep it healthy by avoiding overstuffed pies and thick cream desserts, and instead enhance natural sweetness by using spices and baking fruits for a tasty treat.
Expand your use of fall fruits by using them dehydrated, made into sauce and squeezing the juice. Fruit offers natural sweetness without added sugar, and offers a healthy change from the fat-laden desserts many restaurants serve. Skip the mile-high pie and deep fat fried donuts, and come up with creative new ways to use your favorite fall fruits in desserts your family loves.
While apples are available year-round, they’re in their prime in the fall. Many varieties are available, from soft and sweet to crisp and tart. Use soft, sweet varieties for dehydrating, baking and applesauce. Tart apples are great for sweetening up with honey in a granola mix or paired with spices to even out the flavor. Applesauce is also a great substitute for oil in many of your favorite baked goods recipes.
While the skin of a pomegranate is known for its medicinal purposes, only the seeds are edible. You can extract the juice and use it for a variety of purposes, including in sauces. Their recent popularity is because of the vast health benefits they offer. Pomegranates are considered a super food and a powerhouse full of cancer-fighting antioxidants. They also offer fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A and iron. Plus, at only 100 calories for a medium size fruit, a handful of seeds is a great snack. Use their seeds as an frozen yogurt topping, mix into mousse or freeze into sorbet. Use the juice to mix into your favorite light cake mix or to flavor and naturally color your favorite fruit-topped desserts.
Naturally sweet and easy to find, figs are a great choice to use in healthy desserts. Bakes figs stuffed with your favorite tart or salty cheese is a great, simple dessert everyone will love. Pick a sturdy cheese like bleu, Stilton or feta and stuff into a fig. Place figs standing in a glass container and bake. Figs can also be used in muffins, scones and other baked goods for a chewy texture that stays soft.
Fall fruits offer tasty dessert options with the versatility you want to please even the most finicky tastes. Fall brings in a bit of cooler weather, maybe some rain and a craving for the comfort desserts we all love. You can put together healthy desserts with your favorite fall fruits quickly and easily. Take a look at your favorite dessert recipes and consider ways to trim down the fat and calories by using honey instead of sugar, applesauce instead of oil and punch up the flavor with spices and herbs.