6 Refreshing Desserts to Ring in Spring

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Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/28621876@N08/

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/28621876@N08/

Spring has officially sprung — at least,  everyone is hoping it has. For many Americans, it’s been a long winter, and snow day after snow day has not only put a damper on our moods, but also on many of our clean eating plans. But that’s okay, because Spring is a time to reset and reexamine our goals. Before we know it, we’ll be back on our outdoor exercise grind, and those stress-induced nights of brownie sundaes will be a thing of the past.

Now that spring is here, we need to start thinking refreshing desserts, because we’re surely not going to give up our favorite after dinner treat — we might just want to lighten it up a bit. Comfort foods are for winter; refreshing foods are for spring. Here are 6 dessert recipes that will boost your spirits without boosting your waistline. This year especially, everyone needs a little more sugar and Vitamin D in their blood.

1. Fruit Salad With Cannoli Cream

We’ll start off with Giada De Laurentiis’s recipe for Fruit Salad with Cannoli Cream, because dessert doesn’t need to always involve chocolate, although some believe that it does need to involve cream. This recipe is the perfect example of a dessert that is appetizing and satisfying, but also not a wrecking ball for your summer bikini plans. The fruit is finally getting fresher and more delectable in grocery markets, and it’s time to pair it with some cream.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • Pinch ground cinnamon
  • 12 ounces fresh strawberries, hulled, quartered (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 dry pint fresh raspberries (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 kiwi, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted

Directions: Stir the ricotta and 2 tablespoons of cream in a medium bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 1/3 cup of cream, powdered sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl until semi-firm peaks form. Fold the ricotta into the whipped cream. Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to stiffen and yield a creamier filling. (Can be prepared 4 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Toss the strawberries, raspberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a medium bowl to combine. Let stand until juices form, tossing occasionally, about 15 minutes. Add the kiwi. Spoon the fruit mixture into 4 dessert bowls. Dollop the ricotta cream atop the fruit. Sprinkle with the almonds and serve.

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