Healthy recipes: Low-fat, summer desserts

Expert food blogger Jo Romero reveals how to whip up tasty puddings including vanilla ice cream and amaretto dessert – but without the calories

According to the NHS website, many of us eat around 20 per cent more saturated fat than we should.

And desserts are one of the culprits; rich and whipped up with lashings of cream, full-fat soft cheese and butter.

But there’s no reason you should skip pudding altogether if you’re watching your fat intake, just check out these low-fat summer dessert recipes.

Low-Fat Peach and Amaretto Dessert

Chopped peaches are laced with just a sprinkling of Amaretto liqueur, and we’ve used low-fat yoghurt instead of cream. The Amaretti biscuits provide a tasty and satisfying crunch. Serves 2.

2 fresh peaches
3 heaped tbsp low-fat yoghurt (peach or vanilla yoghurt works well here)
1-2 tbsp Amaretto liqueur
1 Amaretti biscuit

Wash and dry the peaches. Cut into the peach around its centre and twist to separate the two halves. Take out the stone and dice the peach into small cubes. Place in a bowl and sprinkle over the liqueur. Spoon half of the peach mixture into the base of two serving glasses and then spoon a little of the yoghurt on top. Repeat with another layer of peaches and top with more yoghurt. Crush the Amaretti biscuit, crumble on top and serve straight away.

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Watermelon and Strawberry Granita

The easiest way to make a refreshing fat-free dessert is by making a granita. We’ve used watermelon and strawberries for a summer pudding, but you can also make them with other ingredients, for example lemon, lime, pineapple or coffee. Makes about 8 servings.

500g fresh watermelon flesh, cut into chunks
juice of half a lime
2 tbsp caster sugar
120g strawberries, rinsed and hulled

Place the watermelon chunks, the lime juice and the strawberries into a food processor (you can also make this in a jug using a stick blender). Blend until smooth. Push the mixture through a sieve to remove all the seeds and then stir in the sugar. Have a little taste and add a pinch more sugar if it needs it, but it should be fresh and fruity, not overly sweet. Pour into a shallow freezer-proof container and freeze for one hour. Once the hour is up, take out the granita and scrape with a fork, to create fluffy ice crystals. Make sure you pay extra attention to the sides of the container, as this is where it freezes first. Freeze for a further 30 minutes. Fluff up with the fork again, and once frozen, serve with a slice of lime to garnish.

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Basic Ricotta Ice Cream with Vanilla

A good vanilla ice cream is a base for many desserts, but it can contain a lot of fat. Double cream, a key ingredient in traditional ice cream, contains around 48% fat. But ricotta cheese contains around 10%. The next time you’re looking for a basic vanilla ice cream recipe, try this one. You end up with a firm, creamy and rich ice cream, so you only need a scoop or two, and you don’t need an ice cream maker either. Serves 4-6.

250g ricotta
100g plain natural yoghurt (we used a low-fat one)
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
120g sugar

Place the ricotta in a mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Add the yoghurt and the vanilla and beat again. Finally, stir in the sugar until the mixture is completely smooth. Scrape into a freezer-proof container and freeze for 3-4 hours, until it’s the right consistency. Best eaten within a day or two of freezing.

Are you trying to cut down on your fat intake? Which low-fat summer desserts do you enjoy? Let us know over on Twitter now.