Dessert on a Budget for $1 or less a serving
One of the best parts of summer is fruit. And while fruit is great on its own, making it part of a summer dessert is even better - or so say my kids. So, whether you find yourself inside or out, entertaining company or spending the day with your kids, these fruit desserts are sure to please! Best of all, you’ll be eating local and in season!
Individual Fruit Cobbler Packs
Baked fruit with a crumble topping is the perfect self-contained sweet treat ever! Camp Side, Grill Side, or Oven Side they are sure to please. Best of all, no dishes to wash afterward. And, since it’s in a self-contained packet, you can use any combination of fruits or berries (or both).
Baked Peach Packs with Pecan Crumble – serves 2
- 2 large peaches halved and pitted
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup quick cooking oats
- 2 tablespoons chilled diced butter
- Aluminum foil
How to: Preheat oven to 350°F degrees. Remove the pit from each peach by cutting into 4 pieces and peeling away from the pit. Place in a square of aluminum foil. Combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, pecans, and oats. Add in diced butter and mix until you have a crumbly, pea-sized mixture. Top each peach with the streusel mixture and close foil into a tight ball. Bake peaches for 35-45 minutes or until the topping is lightly browned, and the peaches have softened but are still holding their shape. Allow to cool slightly. Serve warm. Vanilla ice cream optional.
Total Cost: $2.15 (Cost per serving: $1.07)
Since you’re already spending time outside on your grill, why not add a dessert? There is something about how the flames of a grill can turn any fruit into a caramelized, smoky treat. I recommend picking fruits like peaches, melons, pineapple, pears, bananas, and figs which will hold their shape while cooking. So just throw YOUR favorite on a hot grill and stand by while they develop gorgeous grill marks. Try eating plain - kabob style, over ice cream, or like I have, over crepes. And, since crepes are basically thin pancakes, this is one dessert that can be made for breakfast – just add Greek or Icelandic yogurt for some protein!
Grilled Pineapple Crepes – serves 8
- 1 pineapple, peeled and cut into 8 wedges
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup water
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp butter
- ½ cup honey
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
How to: In a large bowl, mix flour and eggs. Gradually whisk in milk and water. Add salt and butter and beat until smooth. Heat a lightly oiled frying pan. Pour in 1/4 cup batter and swirl to coat the pan evenly. Cook about 2 minutes on each side and serve warm. To grill pineapples, place wedges directly on grill and flip once even brown grill marks appear. Top with grilled fruit, honey cinnamon drizzle. Whipped cream optional.
Total Cost: $5.02 (Cost per serving: $0.63)
Note: If you find yourself with more time than money, look for Frieda’s French style crepes in the produce section. They’re a quick short cut and a bag of 10 is less than $3.
When the weather gets hot, and the kids want a treat and you want them to stay hydrated, a popsicle is a great solution. Any pureed fruit is a good choice, you can even freeze a favorite fruit smoothie recipe into a popsicle. I created my recipe below with this basic recipe.
Watermelon Kiwi Pops – makes 8
- 2 cups Watermelon pureed
- 2 cups Strawberries pureed
- 3 kiwis, pureed
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 cup of Greek yogurt
How to: Puree watermelon and strawberries together and fill ice pop molds ¾ of the way. Freeze 1½–2 hours, until set. Add 2 tablespoons to the pop molds, freeze 30 min.–1 hour, until set. Puree kiwi
Puree kiwi and lime juice and distribute kiwi mixture among molds. Freeze until solid, 3–4 hours. When ready to eat, run the pops under warm water for a few seconds to release from molds.
Total Cost: $4.98 (Cost per serving: $0.62)
Note: Popsicle molds aren’t needed to make these tasty treats, popsicle sticks and small paper cups work just as well!
Fruit for dessert is just another easy way to make sure you are getting that half plate produce every day. Here’s to ripe fruit, warmer weather, and healthy-ish desserts.
Mandy is a registered dietitian and in-store nutritionist for Giant Food who is passionate about showing people how to eat healthy (and deliciously) on a budget. As a mom of two teenage boys, she knows firsthand how difficult it can be to stay on budget, keep it interesting, AND keep it healthy-ish. Let Mandy check the prices and create a plan that will satisfy your taste buds, wallet, and schedule. In her series, Healthy on a Budget, she will convince you that it’s NOT “too expensive” to eat healthy.