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39 Healthy Desserts for the 4th of July

Celebrating Independence Day doesn't mean you have to wreck your waistline! Indulge your sweet tooth with these light desserts.

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Picnic Berry Shortcakes

You can make the berry sauce ahead of time and chill. Then assemble the entire dessert right before the picnic or party. —Frieda Bliesner, McAllen, Texas

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Patriotic Pops

My kids love homemade ice pops, and I love knowing that the ones we make are good for them. We whip up a big batch with multiple flavors so they have many choices, but these patriotic red, white and blueberry ones are always a favorite! —Shannon Carino, Frisco, Texas
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Apricots with Herbed Goat Cheese

After ending up with bunches of apricots one summer, I created this quick and simple dish. My friends were blown away with its fresh taste and uniqueness. —Wendy Weidner, Ham Lake, Minnesota
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Lemon-Apricot Fruit Pops

With just 31 calories and less than 1 tsp. sugar per serving, these lemon ice pops are one light and refreshing summer dessert everyone can find room for! —Aysha Schurman, Ammon, Idaho
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Strawberry-Rosemary Yogurt Pops

We planted strawberries a few years ago and these tangy-sweet frozen yogurt pops are my very favorite treats to make with them! The options are endless. Try using other yogurt flavors like lemon, raspberry or blueberry. You may also substitute your favorite herb for the rosemary—or simply omit it. —Carmell Childs, Ferron, Utah
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Mango Glace with Pineapple Pomegranate Salsa

I’d like to say this dish was a brilliant idea that came from expert planning. But the truth is that between the quickly ripening fruit on my counter and the 100-degree heat, it pretty much invented itself! Very ripe fruit eliminates the need for extra sugar. —Jodi Taffel, Altadena, California
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Minted Fruit Salad

Filled with the season’s best and freshest fruit, this salad shouts summer. The hint of mint adds a refreshing note to the colorful compote.—Edie DeSpain, Logan, Utah
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Mixed Berry Sundaes for 2

Before serving yogurt sundaes, get ready for requests for seconds. Our family enjoys them for breakfast, but they're sweet enough for dessert. What an easy way to get our fruit and calcium. —Edie DeSpain, Logan, Utah
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Strawberry-Citrus Freezer Pops

I knew that clementines and strawberries would create a luscious combination in a fruit pop, and I have to say these are delicious! —Colleen Ludovice, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Mango Rice Pudding

Mangoes are my son's favorite fruit, so I was ecstatic to incorporate them into a healthy dessert. You can also use ripe bananas instead of mango, almond extract instead of vanilla, or regular milk in place of soy. —Melissa McCabe, Victor, New York
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Ginger-Glazed Grilled Honeydew

If you've never grilled fruit like this before, you're in for a real treat! I love the idea of cooking everything from appetizers to desserts on the grill. This grilled honeydew recipe is sweet and really light. —Jacqui Correa, Landing, New Jersey
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Frozen Watermelon Lemon Cream Tarts

These fruit tarts are so refreshing on a hot summer day! They are extremely healthy and convenient, and just a few ingredients means they're easy to make, too. —Bethany DiCarlo, Harleysville, Pennsylvania
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Frozen Berry & Yogurt Swirls

I enjoy these frozen yogurt pops because they double as a healthy snack and a cool, creamy sweet treat. —Colleen Ludovice, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
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Fruit & Granola Crisp with Yogurt

Here's an easy recipe you can feel good about. Blueberries and peaches are such a delightful flavor combination. —Sue Schmidtke, Oro Valley, Arizona
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Honey Poppy Seed Fruit Salad

This colorful fruit salad with poppy seed dressing pairs well with any morning entree and takes just 10 minutes to assemble. The subtle honey sauce in this salad steals the show. —Dorothy Dinnean, Harrison, AR
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Star-Spangled Parfaits

The best time for this dessert is midsummer, when the blueberries are thick in our northern woods. Red raspberries can be added to the mixed berries, too, to brighten the patriotic colors.—Anne Theriault, Wellesley, Massachusetts
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Honey-Melon Salad with Basil

Put the taste of summer in your salad! Loaded with juicy cantaloupe and honeydew, and glazed with a sweet honey dressing, this dish will be gone in minutes. Watermelon is a tasty addition, too. —Khurshid Shaik, Omaha, Nebraska
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Berry White Ice Pops

Nothing says summer like an ice pop. Kids and adults alike love this fruit-filled version. —Sharon Guinta, Stamford, Connecticut
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Slow-Cooker Baked Apples

Coming home to this irresistible dessert on a dreary day is just wonderful; it’s slow-cooker easy. — Evangeline Bradford, Erlanger, Kentucky
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Grapefruit, Lime & Mint Yogurt Parfait

Tart grapefruit and lime are balanced with a bit of honey in this cool and easy parfait. —Lois Enger, Colorado Springs, Colorado
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Frozen Pineapple-Kiwi Pops

Kiwi, pineapple, sugar and water are all you need to make these easy, breezy freezer pops.—Colleen Ludovice, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Chili-Lime Grilled Pineapple

I love grilled pineapple. This recipe combines the fruit's natural sweetness with the tart and spicy flavors of lime and chili powder. It's great for dessert and even as a side dish with ham or pork chops. —Geraldine Saucier, Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Frosty Watermelon Ice

Here's a fun twist on watermelon. It's so refreshing on a summer day, and you don't have to worry about seeds while you're enjoying it. —Kaaren Jurack, Manassas, Virginia
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Honey-Yogurt Berry Salad

I wanted my family to eat more fruit but not more sugary ingredients. This berry salad lets you play with different low-fat yogurts and fruits. —Betsy King, Duluth, Minnesota
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Chunky Banana Cream Freeze

Everyone loves ice cream, but we all know it doesn't make a great after-school snack. Until this! With its sweet banana-almond flavor and chunky texture, this appealing banana peanut butter "ice cream" is a crowd-pleaser. People who ask me for the recipe can't believe how easy it is to make. —Kristen Bloom, Okinawa, Japan
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Tangy Poppy Seed Fruit Salad

For a fruit salad that’s delightful, we combine berries and citrus with a honey-lime dressing flecked with poppy seeds. —Carrie Howell, Lehi, Utah
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Blackberry-Topped Sponge Cakes

The recipe for my blackberry cakes is easy to play with. You can replace the sponge cake with angel food, pound cake or ladyfingers. And any fruit that has liquor with the same flavor can be used. —Karen Robinson, Woodbury, Connecticut
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Sunrise Pops

Bright, beautiful, cool, refreshing, sweet, delicious and wholesome—what's there not to like in these homemade pops?—Colleen Ludovice, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
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Fresh Fruit Bowl

The glorious colors of the fruit make this a festive salad. Slightly sweet and chilled, it makes a nice accompaniment to a grilled entree. —Marlon Kirst, Troy, Michigan
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Strawberry-Rhubarb Ice Pops

These cool, creamy pops are a deliciously different way to use up the bounty from your rhubarb patch. —Donna Linihan, Moncton, New Brunswick
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Layered Fresh Fruit Salad

People always pass on compliments when I take this salad to covered-dish suppers. It's nice on a hot day...with a winter meal...or as a dessert! We live on a small farm where my garden gives me lots of possibilities for fresh food. —Page Alexander, Baldwin City, Kansas
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Cantaloupe Ice Pops

Your reminders to "eat your fruit" will finally stick once kids take a lick of these mmm-melony snacks. A perfect use for overripe cantaloupe, these pops make a light dessert or healthy between-meal refresher. —Susan Hein, Burlington, Wisconsin
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Baked Banana Boats

Kids can make their own baked banana boats with custom toppings. We use different berries and honey or peanut butter instead of chocolate chips. These baked bananas are also good topped with crushed graham crackers or granola—whatever your family likes. —Rebekah Viers, Taylors, South Carolina
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Marinated Oranges

This flavorful fruit was actually the topping in a cake recipe. But I didn't want all the calories or fat from the cake—and the oranges are a good dessert all by themselves! The dash of vanilla extract brings out the fruit's sweetness. —Carol Poindexter, Norridge, Illinois
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Coconut Milk Strawberry-Banana Pops

These four-ingredient freezer pops are a delicious way to use up a pint of fresh strawberries. You'll love the hint of tropical flavor, thanks to the coconut milk. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Mint Watermelon Salad

I invented this refreshing fruit salad one sultry afternoon while my friends were gathered around my pool. It was quick to prepare and disappeared from their plates even quicker. Even the kids loved it! —Antoinette DuBeck, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania
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Raspberry-Banana Soft Serve

When I make this ice cream, I mix and match bananas for their ripeness. Very ripe ones add more banana flavor. Less ripe ones have a fluffier texture. —Melissa Hansen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Cucumber Melon Salad

This colorful salad is tangy and delicious. The unexpected combination is such a pleasant surprise. You can use whatever type of melon you have on hand. —Edie Farm, Farmington, New Mexico
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Grilled Stone Fruits with Balsamic Syrup

Get ready to experience another side of stone fruits. Hot off the rack, these grilled nectarines practically melt in your mouth. —Sonya Labbe, West Hollywood, California

Caroline Stanko
As Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.

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