July is National Ice Cream month and I cannot think of a more appropriate time to celebrate this delicious dairy dessert. On a sweltering summer day, nothing hits the spot quite like a scoop of cool and creamy vanilla ice cream. While it’s certainly a treat all by itself, vanilla ice cream also pairs perfectly with many different toppings. Instead of sugary candy and sprinkles, try topping your next scoop with one of these fun fruit toppings. They’re full of flavor and vitamins!
- Fruit salsa. Give your ice cream some tropical flair. Slice up mango, kiwi and papaya. Toss in lemon juice and a half-teaspoon of sugar and keep in your refrigerator until you’re ready to use. This topping will instantly transport you to the beach.
- Blackberry syrup. Instead of chocolate, try a fruit syrup. This recipe from Epicurious is super simple. All you need is blackberries (fresh or frozen), sugar and water.
- Grilled peaches. Heat from the grill causes fruits’ natural sugars to caramelize and intensifies their flavor, creating a delicious, low calorie, vitamin packed topping. Try peaches, which are in their prime in the summer months. They’re a good source of vitamin C and work well on the grill. Simply brush sliced halves with butter and place on the grill for about five minutes.
- Baked apples are another great example of how heat enhances the flavor of fruit. To prepare, preheat oven to 375° and melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a pie dish. Add apple slices to the dish and sprinkle on 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes. This warm and delicious topping will give you the flavor of apple pie, but with a lot less calories.
Laura Marbury, MS, RD, LD