Laura Krebs-Holm, a dietitian living with psoriasis and PsA, shares six of her favorite fruit-forward summer dessert options.
It’s summertime, and if you’re like me, you may be looking forward to backyard barbecues, holiday events, and family visits in the coming months.
If you live with a condition like psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis (PsA), or rheumatoid arthritis (RA), you may find yourself trying to plan an anti-inflammatory menu but getting stuck on what to serve for dessert.
Sometimes people who are trying to eat an anti-inflammatory diet ask me: Can a dessert be delicious and anti-inflammatory?
My answer is: You bet!
Many common dessert recipes contain a lot of sugar, dairy, and processed high calorie ingredients that are believed to contribute to inflammation.
But don’t worry, there are many options if you want to enjoy a sweet addition to your meal — without contributing to inflammation or triggering a flare. Here are a few of my favorites:
This mixed berry crumble recipe takes advantage of summer’s bountiful berries, which are packed with antioxidants and are very anti-inflammatory. The berries are baked with a delicious granola topping to give this dessert a great crunch.
This dish makes for a great summertime dessert that can work for picnics or cookouts. As a bonus, leftovers can even work for breakfast the next morning. I love to top it off with some cool, creamy Greek yogurt for a boost of protein.
This cold treat is so good you may ditch traditional ice cream altogether. The humble banana is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and has long been known for its health benefits. The recipe is so simple too.
All you need to do is whip up frozen bananas in a food processor until they form a smooth, creamy frozen treat (the consistency of soft-serve). You can add vanilla or mint extract, chai tea spices, cocoa powder, or any other flavor to make things interesting.
You can even add in other frozen fruits, like mango or strawberries. There’s plenty of room to experiment and find your favorite combination!
This treat can be stored in the freezer so you have a healthy cold option all summer long.
As long as it’s too hot to turn on the oven, try these no-bake bars that harness that anti-inflammatory power of turmeric, along with summery apricots and lemons. Turmeric contains curcumin, a powerful anti-inflammatory compound with a wide range of health benefits.
This recipe is sugar-free, gluten-free, and vegan. These bars can be great for an afternoon snack while working from home or packed for an on-the-go treat picnicking, hiking, or traveling.
You can also serve these delicious bars to guests as dessert.
While berries are often spoken of as anti-inflammatory royalty, we shouldn’t forget about the glorious stone fruits we see during summer. Stone fruits like cherries, peaches, apricots, nectarines, and plums are all packed with nutrients and antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory benefits as well.
This pudding couldn’t be simpler to make, thanks to chia seeds’ ability to thicken up into a gel because of their soluble fiber.
Simply mix the chia seeds with coconut milk, some honey or maple syrup, and top with sliced stone fruits. If you’re grilling already, throw a few halved and pitted peaches on the grill to add some delicious smokiness that’s sure to take this pudding to the next level.
This recipe is a real treat and makes for a great healthy snack. Plus, it’s so simple to make it can be a great way to get the kids involved in the kitchen. They will love eating the fruits of their labor after it’s finished.
All you need to do is dip fresh blueberries in your favorite yogurt, set them on parchment paper, and pop them in the freezer. After several hours, these can be stored in a plastic bag or another container in your freezer.
These are the perfect thing to enjoy on a hot summer afternoon. Blueberries are high in antioxidants and full of fiber, and the yogurt has health-promoting probiotics. You’ll find yourself making this sweet and simple dish over and over again, especially when blueberries are in season.
If you’re craving an escape to the tropics, then this simple mango sorbet is for you. Mangoes are full of nutrients, including vitamin C, a known antioxidant. With just mangoes and coconut milk, you can whip up the base for this sorbet in a few minutes.
All you need to do is freeze the mixture for a few hours until it’s ready to serve. This would be a perfectly refreshing finish to a grilled dinner featuring Southeast Asian or Indian recipes.
If you’re trying to incorporate an anti-inflammatory diet into your lifestyle to manage health conditions like psoriasis, PsA, or RA, you may have thought you needed to ditch dessert.
The truth is there are so many ways to include anti-inflammatory ingredients in dessert recipes and reduce the amount of added sugar, refined flours, and saturated fats.
Many fruits, nuts, seeds, spices, and herbs have anti-inflammatory properties. Incorporating these ingredients into a sweet treat is a great way to make sure you’re getting enough of these nutrients in your diet.
There’s always room for dessert!
Medically reviewed on June 28, 2022
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