Healthy No-Bake Desserts
While the temperature rises outside, who wants to be inside preheating the oven? Count us out. For a sweet ending to your warm-weather meal, look no further than these no-bake desserts. Our refreshing recipes will cool you off—no oven required.
We'll start you off with Simple Strawberry Mousse. This light and airy dessert will leave you feeling satisfied and refreshed. It is the perfect way to showcase the season's delicious strawberries.
Peanut Butter Pie
Mary Frances Noveh from River Ridge, Louisiana, sent us this dessert recipe, which first appeared in December 2001. She noted it was like a "peanut butter and chocolate candy bar." We loved the results, and since it makes two pies, you can share one with a friend and keep the other for yourself. Several tasters in our Test Kitchens enjoy serving this pie frozen.
Last-Minute Tropical Sherbet
Frozen fruit and yogurt get whirred together to make a tangy sherbet that's the texture of soft-serve. You can make it ahead, but don't freeze overnight; the mixture will become icy.
This easy dessert or snack comes together in a few minutes if you purchase orange sections from the refrigerated part of the produce section. Prepare the parfaits in the morning and refrigerate, covered, for up to four hours; sprinkle with wheat germ just before serving.
Chocolate Almond Cherry Crisps
These no-bake cookies taste like bite-sized candy bars and are terrific with a cup of coffee. Prepare them up to two days in advance, and store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Summer Berry Medley with Limoncello and Mint
Limoncello (lee-mon-CHAY-low) is a lemon-flavored liqueur from Italy's Amalfi coast. It's often savored after a meal. Store it in the freezer, and serve over ice. If you have trouble finding it, substitute an orange-flavored liqueur such as Grand Marnier. This recipe earned our Test Kitchens' highest rating.
Peach and Raspberry Pavlova Parfaits
At home, mature peaches will continue to ripen at room temperature—increasing in juiciness and flavor, though not in sweetness. To make crumbs, place cookies in a plastic bag and gently crush with a rolling pin.
Mush together purchased ice cream, lemon curd (found near the jellies and jams), and limoncello, and you get a delicious lemony version of a Creamsicle—fruity-tangy and creamy-milky at the same time. Meringue cookies add welcome crunch.
No-Bake Fresh Strawberry Pie
Glorious spring berries are the focus here—tons of them, piled atop a layer of creamy filling and a chocolate wafer cookie crust.
Coffee-Drenched Ice Cream with Banana and Nuts
This quick treat is a coffee-lover's dream. We used espresso, however feel free to substitute strong brewed coffee, or use instant coffee/espresso granules to make the coffee. A vegetable peeler is a great tool to make chocolate curls from a bar of chocolate.
Strawberries in Meyer Lemon Syrup
Meyer lemons, available through May, have sweeter, more aromatic juice than regular lemons. To ensure the dessert doesn't get too tart if substituting regular lemon juice, begin with 2 tablespoons juice, and taste; add more juice if desired. Garnish with fresh mint sprigs.
Ice Cream Treasures
Use any combination of cereals you like. This frozen dessert would also be delicious with chocolate ice cream and chopped walnuts instead of almonds.
Banana Cream Pie Smoothie
Frozen bananas, graham cracker crumbs, and vanilla extract are a few of the ingredients that make this smoothie a rich dessert in a glass. Because it calls for low-fat yogurt and fat-free milk, one serving of this drink gives you about the same amount of calcium as a glass of milk.
Strawberries with Orange-Ricotta Cream
Prepare the orange-ricotta cream early in the day; it is best served very cold over ripe strawberries. You'll have a half cup of the cheese mixture left over. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
"Simple to prepare, this salad is a light and refreshing way to end a meal," said reader Liz Brown. "The cinnamon-orange combination is a great one. You can also serve this over ice cream or frozen yogurt."
Strawberry Angel Cake
Make a store-bought angel food cake beautiful and utterly delicious by dressing it up a bit. Whether you are planning a large gathering or just serving a special dinner for two, this tasty creation must be on the menu.