7 Nutritionist-Approved Summer Dessert Ideas

Pamela Malo, MHS, RD, Arivale Coach
Pamela Malo
MHS, RD, Arivale Coach

Looking for a fresh treat for a summertime picnic? Or, an easy dessert to follow a midweek meal? Then this is the post for you.

As an Arivale Coach, one of my favorite tasks is finding just the right recipe that will meet a member’s wellness needs, health goals, and palate. And, I’m not the only one. Here are go-to dessert recipes from some of my fellow nutritionists and dietitians to freshen up your repertoire of summer treats.

But first, a quick tip: It’s probably not a surprise that these recipes rely upon the bounty of summer-fresh fruit. Take advantage of the seasonal produce at your local farmers market to get the freshest of the fresh and support your local farmers. Not sure where to go? Check out this Farmer’s Market finder to find the closest ones to you.

Coach Kathleen

Coach Kathleen’s go-to dessert is fast and easy – no recipe needed. Simply combine fresh fruit, a healthy whipped/creamy topping, and sprinkles.

“I’m asked to bring this to every picnic and gathering throughout the summer. I use all kinds of different toppings, including vanilla Greek yogurt and plain non-fat Greek yogurt mixed with lemon curd.”

Coach Maiya

Coach Maiya loves grilled peaches for dessert.

“They’re easy to make and absolutely delicious without any added ingredients … although sometimes a little ice cream on the side is fun.”

Coach Jaclyn

Speaking of ice cream, try this recipe inspired by an Arivale member:


  • 1 small frozen banana
  • 1 tablespoon of nut butter
  • 1 tablespoon of cacao powder

If the ice cream is too thick or hard to mix, simply add 1-2 tablespoons of regular or non-dairy milk.

This high fiber, anti-oxidant rich option tastes amazing. Enjoy on the spot or make a larger batch and freeze it into popsicles for later.

“Banana ice cream feels totally indulgent!” Coach Jaclyn says.

Coach Molly

Another great popsicle option comes from Coach Molly. Her favorite is fruit and yogurt popsicles, such as these blueberry vanilla yogurt popsicles.

Berries are a low-glycemic fruit, meaning they won’t create a quick rise in your blood sugar, and they’re great for brain health, as well1.

Coach Maia

Raspberries are one of the first fruits of summer and Coach Maia’s absolute favorite.

“I think I love them so much because they remind me of childhood summer nights riding bikes and picking berries. I put raspberries in sparkling water with lemon, mint, or rosemary; on ice cream; homemade raspberry jam … Raspberries on raspberries with a side of raspberry please!”

Coach Miranda

Coach Miranda enjoys sliced strawberries or peaches with a scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt.

“It’s so simple, and I love the creaminess of the frozen yogurt with the bright fruit flavors. Such a satisfying treat!”

Check out Halo Top creamery for an excellent, lower-calorie and highly flavorful option

Coach Cassie

If making even a simple recipe is beyond your reach, never underestimate the power of whole fruit all by itself.

Coach Cassie says, “I enjoy buying flats of blueberries at farmers markets. Nothing beats picked-when-ripe fruit. Sometimes I even share.”

When it comes to whole fruit as a dessert, sometimes it’s all about how you slice it. For instance, this simple technique to make “watermelon sticks” – kids love them and they’re a mess-free way to enjoy even the juiciest of watermelon without it running down your elbows.

Check out even more dessert recipes on the Arivale Pinterest board. Here’s to a healthy, tasty summer!

Have a favorite summer dessert?  Email the recipe to pmalo@arivale.com. We’ll add the best one to our Pinterest!


  1. Pribis P, Shukitt-Hale B. Cognition: the new frontier for nuts and berries. (2014). The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2014 Jul;100 Suppl 1:347S-52S. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.071506