These low-carb dessert recipes are perfect for summer, with no-bake options (incuding keto ice cream) and plenty featuring fresh berries and other summer fruit.
We’re entering a bit of a golden age for low-carbohydrate recipes and food options. Thanks in part to the keto craze (and the Atkins Diet before it) you can find a cauliflower version of just about anything, but desserts—generally high in sugar (i.e., carbs)—have always been one of the most difficult courses t0 de-carb.
Smart brands like Halo Top, having cracked the code on low-calorie, low-carb ice cream, and new-to-market natural zero-sugar sweeteners have helped, but there are still plenty of easy, old-fashioned healthy and low-carb desserts to be made using a little creative addition by subtraction. For easy low-carb desserts, remember fruit—especially berries—are your bestie, as many sport a significant sweetness without tons of net sugar or carbs thanks in part to high fiber count.
Related Reading: The Ultimate Guide to Fresh Summer Berries
The following summer desserts provide plenty of sweet fruit flavor—one of the best things about summer—without a heavy carb overload, to keep you feeling light and breezy during those long humid beach days or marathon BBQs.
Instead of chocolate sauce and caramel, try topping your ice cream sundae with grilled fresh figs. Just brush them with a mixture of honey and fragrant orange blossom water and grill until caramelized (peaches or plums work great, too). Arrange over scoops of low-carb Halo Top vanilla or other lower carb ice cream and sprinkle with toasted pistachios and a drizzle of additional honey—as long as you’re not super strict about cutting every single carb. Get our Grilled Fig and Orange Blossom Sundaes recipe.
Panna cotta is a simple, eggless Italian custard that can be flavored in countless ways. In this version, buttermilk adds a silky texture and tangy flavor. Just bloom gelatin in cream, then heat the mixture with a scant 1/3 cup sugar (for six servings) and vanilla seeds. Strain, stir in the buttermilk, pour into ramekins, and chill. Get our Buttermilk Panna Cotta recipe. Serve with ripe summer fruit.
Anthony's Erythritol Granules, 2.5 pounds for $12.95 on Amazon
You can use this low-carb sweetener to replace sugar at a 1:1 ratio in recipes.
Pssst, over here. I have a secret. Peaches may taste super sweet but they’re actually one of the lowest sugar fruits, and as we all know by now, sugar equals carbs. This easy crisp has an oat crumble for which you can also adjust the sugar content and as always, sub in a low-carb vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt to get the net carb count down even further. Get our Easy Peach Crisp recipe.
Related Reading: The Ultimate Summer Stone Fruit Guide
You can also make a low-carb cobbler topping with almond flour, coconut flour, and stevia to sweeten it; try it with berries or stone fruit, depending on what looks best at the market. Get the Keto Berry Cobbler recipe.
Sweet-tart summer raspberries are a perfect topper for the thin almond crust in these pie-inspired bars, but blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries would also be awesome. There are no eggs in the recipe, but it does have a little sour cream in the crust, which is easy enough to substitute with a vegan version. Get the Keto Raspberry Pie Bar recipe.
No-bake desserts obviously have the edge in the summertime, and you can find lots of delicious low-carb examples too. This creamy Key lime cheesecake is a prime example. Get the No Bake Low Carb Key Lime Cheesecake recipe.
These chai ice pops are wonderfully fragrant, perfect to end off a rich Indian meal of complex flavors or to punctuate a lazy summer afternoon. They’re super easy to put together and the sweetness is adjustable. Get our Easy Chai Popsicles recipe.
You don’t need to pull out the ice cream maker for this elegant cold dessert. Just blend frozen pineapple with rum, lime juice, simple syrup, and ice, then freeze the mixture until solid and scoopable. Sort of like a more refined (and boozy) Dole Whip! Get our Pineapple-Rum Sorbet recipe.
Lakanto French Vanilla Sugar-Free Simple Syrup, $8.39 from Thrive Market
To keep it low-carb.
Blend fresh peaches, sugar (or a low-carb sweetener), and cream with mascarpone cheese for a little tangy flavor. Add diced peaches to the blended mixture for texture, then pour the base into ice pop molds. Get our Peaches ‘N’ Cream Ice Pops recipe.
Related Reading: 7 Ice Pops That Break the Mold
Sweet honeydew gets the star treatment in this version of a South Korean ice-pop favorite, the Melona bar. No artificial flavors here; ripe melon is blended and then drained of excess liquid to intensify the fruit flavor before the cream and sugar are added. Get our Honeydew Melon Ice Pops recipe.
Another way to make creamy frozen treats without an ice cream maker is to break out the mason jar! You’ll get a bonus workout in while whipping up this low-carb, sugar-free ice cream. You can add whatever flavors you like if classic vanilla doesn’t float your boat. Get the Keto Mason Jar Ice Cream recipe.
Related Reading: The Best Low-Calorie, Low-Carb Beers for Summer
As we’d mentioned, berries make the perfect summer companion for someone trying to watch their carb count. Admittedly these have added sugar (your best bet is a berry-heavy fruit salad), but still better than the average slice of cake or cookie—and you can always swap in an alternative sweetener that works 1:1 with sugar. Get our Raspberry Sorbet recipe.
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