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12 No-Bake Fruit Desserts

By Paula Deen

As the weather really starts to heat up, it’s a nice indulgence to spend a day outside (by the water if you’re lucky), with a midday refreshment to cool off, refuel, or indulge that inner sweet tooth.  Scorching temperatures (ie. bathing suit weather) often mean that nobody wants to gorge on a really heavy dessert or spend too much time slaving away over a hot stove.  So I’ve compiled a directory of lighter, no-bake, no-fuss, fruit-based recipes, from items that you can quickly serve up in a glass to regale your companions, simply throw together as a snack for yourself, or bring to a larger crowd.  You’ll at least get a taste of a tropical vacation…

If you’re looking for…

Quick fixes for a little protein and a lot of fruit—great ideas options for breakfast, post-swim or workout, or afternoon snack:

Sweet tropical dessert drinks to refresh and kick off the fun:

  • Pina Colada Smoothie – An alcohol-free pina colada with coconut milk and pineapple wedges.
  • Southern Comfort Punch – Careful, this is an adult beverage, a giant punch bowl filled with sliced citrus fruits, ginger ale, and whiskey.
  • Lime Sherbet Punch – Cool off with a tall glass of this bright, tangy beverage garnished with lime and spoonfuls of sherbet.

Unique takes on classic fruit salads:

  • Fruit Salad with Honey Dressing – Combine avocado and poppyseed honey-mustard dressing with your favorite fruits (we like apple, banana, but you could try with mango or peaches), and serve in little lettuce cups!
  • Ambrosia – A colorful, sweet-and-sour, coconut-topped staple that holds up well and packs the Vitamin C!
  • Golda’s Frozen Waldorf Salad – Combine mini-marshmallows with homemade syrup, grapes, celery, and your favorite nuts, then freeze, garnish with mint, and dive into this chilled delight.
  • Paula’s Easy Watermelon Dessert – Bites of watermelon tossed in a pineapple ginger dressing served in small bowls.

Lastly, here are some exciting chilled desserts that you can bring to the party…  Yes, these recipes may require a tiny bit more effort or time, but good luck finding something else so refreshing, delicious, and easy!

  • Strawberry Banana Ice Pops – Blend banana pudding mix with strawberries and milk and chill in ice pop molds or even paper cups.
  • Pirate’s Buried Treasure – You won’t find anything quite like this: open pineapple halves filled with grilled pineapple chunks and mango ice cream.  If you don’t want to bother cooking, just skip the grilling part!
Paula Deen - As a young girl growing up in Albany, Georgia, Paula Deen never dreamed she would become an American icon. As a young mother, Paula was living the American dream — married to her high school sweetheart and raising two adorable boys — when tragedy struck. Her parents died, her marriage failed and she began a prolonged battle with agoraphobia. With her boys in their teens and her family near homelessness, Paula took her last $200, reached deep inside her soul and started The Bag Lady, a home-based catering company that marked the start of Deen's professional cooking career. With sons Jamie and Bobby delivering lunch-and-love-in-a-bag, beginning in June 1989, Paula turned her life around by sharing what she knew best, traditional Southern cooking.

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