Summer Desserts for Type 2’s: cool, fresh, and simple

Are you a person who never skips dessert? Do you have an insatiable sweet tooth?! With type 2, now is the time to plan out your summer dessert strategies and indulgences to include your favorite part of a summer meal.  Fresh fruit and homemade fresh fruit desserts are the way to cut an enormous amount of empty calories and replenish your body with metabolism boosting nutrition.  With type 2, a great overall nutrition goal is to lower the added sugars, processed simple carbohydrates and extra calories from high fat.  Swapping out your high fat or high carb desserts like ice cream, pastries, and cakes can give you more energy, more stable blood sugar, and less calories and guilt!

If you want some inspiration, consider how much more food and nutrition you get from choosing fresh fruit over a candy or dessert.  One hundred calories of natural fruit vs. dessert goes much further. Check out these examples from Consumer Reports that highlight this:

Two small peaches = 4 gummy peach candies

100 raspberries = ½ cup of raspberry sorbet

128 blueberries = ¼ slice of blueberry pie

12 oz. watermelon wedge = 2 watermelon popsicles

19 cherries = 1 ½ chocolate covered cherry cordial

26 strawberries = ⅔ piece of strawberry shortcake

Lemons in Summer

There are many delicious and refreshing summer desserts made from fresh lemons. Lemons are packed with vitamin C and fiber along with a host of other benefits.  They are said to aid in hydration, weight loss and even counteract kidney stones! You can find out more information about lemons and their benefits for type 2’s in our article for National Lemon Day

What is our favorite summer dessert for type 2’s? Our answer, homemade Lemon Ice for type 2’s.  Introduced to the United States by Italian immigrants and derived from the Sicilian granita, Italian dessert Lemon Granita or Lemon Ice is a well known summer treat that we can’t get enough of.  Not only is this delicious, and cools us down in the hot months, but its nutritional value makes it a guilt free dessert with benefits! 

Summer Desserts for Type 2’s: cool, fresh, and simple

Granita al Limone (Lemon Ice) Recipe


Sugar substitute of choice for 3/4 c. sugar = 18 packets of Splenda (look up your preferred sugar free sweetener)

1 liter (4 cups) water

200 ml (7 oz) lemon juice, preferably from a Meyer lemon

1 tsp lemon zest (optional)

4 whole lemons (for the skin/peel and the pulp can be used for the juice)


How to Prepare Lemon Cups

  1. Slice the lemons in half lengthwise, then pull the flesh away from the skin.
  2. Once all the flesh is loose, scoop it out completely.
  3. Pop them in the freezer so that they will keep the granita colder, longer. If not served the same day, once solid, put them into a container or freezer bag.

Make the Lemon Granita

  1. Put the water and sugar into a  medium sized pan over  medium heat, just until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat, allow to cool then place in the refrigerator to chill.
  2. When the syrup is cold, add the lemon juice and lemon zest, if using, and mix well. Pour into a shallow (preferably metal) container and place in the freezer. Set a time for 40 minutes.
  3. After half an hour, remove the pan from the freezer and stir the mixture well, especially from the sides. Continue to set a timer for 40 minutes and repeat the procedure until the entire mixture has turned into ice crystals. It will take about two hours, possibly longer to achieve this. 
  4. Remove from the container and serve in hollowed lemon shells or glasses. 


Serve in a glass with a splash of vodka for an adult version of this treat!

This summer, choose the dessert that gives you the most quality and quantity - fresh fruits. Keep it chill, keep it fresh. Check out more recipes like the tangy and sweet Lemon Granita, on our online community. ​​ Join the Winning Type 2 Diabetes Together community on Facebook and connect with thousands of other diabetics around the world as we thrive this summer!