Here are some delicious and unusual ways to enjoy fresh fruit desserts without adding sugar or artificial sweeteners. All recipes make two servings.
GINGER APPLES AND BANANAS
2 Tablespoons melted butter
2 teaspoons fresh ginger juice, made from squeezing fresh ginger pieces through a garlic press
1 red apple, core removed, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
2 bananas, sliced into 1-inch slices
Mint sprig, for garnish
Melt the butter in a large bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds. Add the ginger juice, and mix well. Add the apple cubes and banana slices. Gently toss the fruit to coat it with the sauce. Divide between two dessert bowls, and add a sprig of mint to each bowl.
MINTY STRAWBERRIES AND PINEAPPLE
1 cup fresh, ripe strawberries, hulled, washed and dried
1 cup fresh pineapple cubes
1⁄8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons fresh mint, torn into small pieces
Thinly slice the strawberries lengthwise (hull to pointed end). This can be done using an egg slicer if you wish. Cut the pineapple cubes into thin slices. Arrange the fruit on two dessert plates. Sprinkle with black pepper and mint.
ALMOND FRUIT CUPS
½ cup slivered almonds
2 kiwis, peeled and sliced
2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 teaspoon almond extract
Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the almonds, and toss until they are golden. Caution: They burn easily.
Remove them from skillet. Place fruit in a bowl, and toss it with the almond extract. Spoon the fruit into two glasses. Sprinkle almonds on top and around the fruit.
2 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons apple juice
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
2 large, ripe peaches, cut in half with pit removed
2 sprigs cilantro, for garnish
Mix the butter and apple juice in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until the sauce begins to thicken, about five minutes. Mix the cardamom, into the sauce. Place the peach halves, cut-side down, on an oiled grill rack over medium heat. Brush the syrup over the peaches. Grill about seven to 10 minutes, depending on the size of the peaches, turning and basting with the syrup often. On two small dessert plates, divide the peaches, then slice if you wish. Garnish with cilantro.
¼ ripe cantaloupe
¼ ripe honeydew
2 Tablespoons Ouzo or Pernod liquor or 1 teaspoon coconut extract
¼ cup snipped fennel leaves
Remove the seeds and skin from the melons. Cut them into half-inch slices, forming semicircles. Alternate the slices on two dessert plates. Drizzle the liquor or extract over the melon. Snip the fennel leaves with scissors, and sprinkle over the sliced melon.
Linda Gassenheimer is an award-winning author of several cookbooks, most recently, The Flavors of the Florida Keys and Fast and Flavorful: Great Diabetes Meals from Market to Table. She writes the syndicated newspaper column “Dinner in Minutes.” DinnerInMinutes.comDate: September 15, 2013 Publication: Bottom Line Personal