Maybe you’re low-carb year round, or maybe you’re just ditching the carbs this summer to keep it tight in that teeny weeny summer bikini. No matter your reasons, you don’t have to give up on desserts! From icy frozen treats, to sweet summer pies, to decadent cheesecakes and brownies, we’ve got some delicious summery treats for you that are low in carbs, but big on taste!
The ultimate refreshment on a hot day… what could be better than a sweet and cold ice pop? Sure, you could make things easier on yourself and grab a box of sugar-free Popsicles at the grocery store, but those pre-packaged varieties are no-doubt filled with artificial colors and questionable sweeteners. Why not make something homemade to chill out with instead?
Carolyn at All Day I Dream About Food has given us her own roundup of 31 low-carb ice pops to cool you down this summer. Faves include chocolate and avocado pudding pops, chai tea ice pops, orange creamsicle frozen treats, and lemony melon ice pops.
If you prefer all of that icy goodness to be served with a spoon, consider whipping up a fresh and chilly low-carb sorbet. Our first low-carb sorbet couldn’t be easier, and provides the perfect way to use up all that leftover watermelon after a summer party. Lisa Rose at Real Food Kosher freezes watermelon that’s been cut into chunks, and adds it with just a touch of lemon juice to a high-powered blender. The resulting watermelon slushy sorbet is sweet enough on its own, or you can add dark chocolate chips or cocoa nibs to stand in for watermelon seeds.
If even the natural sugar in fruit provides too high of a carb count for your tastes, you may want to try this decadent chocolate sorbet that rings in at only two net carbs. Sugar Free Mom blends cocoa powder with Swerve sweetener, strong brewed coffee, and liquid chocolate flavored stevia to make a low sugar treat her whole family enjoys. For another ultra low-carb sorbet, try Brenda’s orange flavored sorbet from The Spruce, using stevia-sweetened Powerade and coconut milk.
For many of us, summer means one thing, and that’s ice cream. Rather than head to the local ice cream shop, with their 50-plus flavors brimming with added sugars, why not invest in your very own ice cream machine? The low-carb ice cream options you can create will be limited only by your imagination.
Melissa at I Breathe I’m Hungry has created a low-carb coffee ice cream that’s brimming with organic heavy cream, almond milk, egg yolks, coffee, and thickened with xanthan gum. For a dairy-free frozen treat, try the blueberry coconut lime ice cream from Low Carb Yum, which blends fresh summer blueberries with high-fat, canned coconut cream.
And if you are looking for an ice cream that will really set your summer nights on fire, check out the recipe for “Get Some” ice cream from Dave Asprey, the same guy who invented Bulletproof Coffee. He swears this creamy concoction of eggs, butter, coconut oil, and vanilla will put anyone in the mood for love.
If fresh fruit falls into a comfortable carb count for your day, why not jazz those fruits up by throwing them onto a hot grill? It’s the perfect way to elevate the natural sweetness of the fruit, without elevating the carbs!
The blog at Whole Foods Market offers us an easy-to-follow guide on the proper way to grill up fresh summer fruits and veggies. The best fruits for grilling are still firm, and just barely ripe. If you don’t mind adding some more carbs to your day, the fruit can be drizzled with honey, or even soaked in liquor for an added boost of sweetness and flavor.
Rodale’s Organic Life discusses their recommendations for the best fruits to cook on the grill. They are big fans of grilling watermelon, peaches, apples, and even strawberries.
Is there ever a time of the year when a rich and delicious cake is not appropriate? I didn’t think so! But if you’re trying to ditch the carbs this summer, these cakes are sure to keep you on track.
No-bake cakes are a great way to beat the summer heat. At Low Carb Yum, we find a decadent recipe for a peanut butter cheesecake, set in a crust made with almond flour, cocoa, and butter. It clocks in at 6 net carbs. Wholesome Yum honors all those low-carb, summer birthdays with a sugar-free, vanilla and walnut birthday cake that also happens to be gluten-free. If it’s just gotta be chocolate for you, try this super-simple, flourless chocolate cake from Tasteaholics, made with unsweetened chocolate, butter, eggs, and cocoa powder.
Call it a mousse, call it a pudding, call it whatever you like! Mousse is a great low-carb dessert option, and there’s certainly no reason not to count it as part of a summer celebration.
Keeping it as simple as can be, Karina at Cafe Delites makes up this keto-friendly chocolate mousse with just a short list of ingredients — coconut cream, cocoa powder, salt, sweetener, and shaved chocolate. I can see no reason not to make this sugar, gluten, dairy, and egg-free creation immediately!
Sugar Free Mom likes mousse so much, she’s assembled a round-up of 11 low-carb mousses for our enjoyment. Highlights include mocha mousse, lemon cheesecake mousse, and banana ricotta mousse.
What’s your favorite summer pie? Is it brimming with fresh berries, or a creamy chilled custard nestled under mounds of whipped cream? Whichever you prefer, you can bet there is a low-carb recipe to suit your fancy.
My Keto Kitchen promises us the absolute best recipe for low-carb key lime pie. The pie has an almond meal and golden flaxseed crust, and is filled with a custard of homemade, sugar-free condensed milk, plenty of heavy cream, and of course, lots of fresh key lime juice and zest.
Kim, the Low Carb Maven, apparently takes pie very seriously, because she has 45 low-carb pies featured at her blog. Favorites include banana cream pie, raspberry meringue pie, and a chocolate coconut mounds pie. Kim also directs us to nine different low-carb and gluten-free pie crusts, as well as creative, sugar-free ideas for pie toppings.
Fun With Jello
Most people who have embarked on a low-carb lifestyle have at one time or another reached for a box, or a ready-made cup, of sugar-free jello. But there is so much more that you can do with it than just enjoy it with a spoon!
If you are anything like me, the first thing you think of when you think of jello is jello shots. Carolyn makes these summer-perfect, low-carb jello shots over at All Day I Dream About Food. For an easy and refreshing summertime treat, try these gorgeous-to-look-at jello stained glass window boxes, made with instant jello and heavy whipping cream.
For a performance-focused, but still yummy treat for all your runners and athletes braving the summer heat, check out the chocolate coconut gummies at Kate’s Healthy Cupboard made with grass-fed gelatin and coconut milk.
Brownies and Bars
Even the most luscious and decadent brownies and bars can get the low-carb treatment.
Maria at Keto Adapted can always be counted on to create delicious, low-carb treats that are free of sugar and gluten. Maria’s “healthified” lemon bars are made with blanched almond flour and coconut flour, sweetened with Swerve sweetener, and filled with a creamy and simple mix of eggs and lemon juice. They can be stored in the freezer for a chilled summer delight.
Over at The Low Carb Lab, personal trainer, Andy, has brownies on the brain, so she rounded up her 50 low-carb favorites. Stand outs include low-carb skillet brownies, low-carb double espresso brownies, and a low-carb chocolate chip brownie cheesecake.
Whatever your choice for dessert, it is possible to enjoy a low-carb summer!