National Banana Split Day is Aug. 25

Ice cream and fruit is a winning combination!

National Banana Split Day is Aug. 25 – who can resist a day specifically designated to celebrate a combination of ice cream and fruit? Talk about the good, the bad and the nothing ugly. This is a good way to get fruit in the diet of the hardcore anti-fruit people, the picky eater or the foodie that needs an excuse to eat more ice cream. It is certainly appropriate to occasionally indulge in a good dessert; however, there are ways to put a healthier spin on the traditional. Michigan State University Extension recommends these ways to adulterate a classic banana split and survive National Banana Split Day.

  1. Regular ice cream can be substituted with a reduced calorie, low-fat, reduced or sugar-free ice cream.
  2. Top-off the ice cream with lightly mashed fresh fruit. Mash the fruit just enough to create some juice and leave a good amount of fruit chunks. Good fruit to try mashing with is sliced strawberries, pineapple chunks and blackberries.
  3. A must for health nuts and not-so health nuts, try making your own dairy-free, no sugar added, one ingredient “ice cream”. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with this all fruit, nothing-artificial substitute. By adding just a few more ingredients you can create a vanilla, chocolate or strawberry version.
  4. Rather than using the traditional sauces, puree fruit to the consistency similar to a smoothie. Fruit that works well for this includes strawberries, coconut (with a little of its own juice), raspberries, kiwi and peaches.
  5. If you can’t resist the chocolate sauce, substitute with a good quality dark chocolate sauce, made with only melted chocolate and a touch of cream.
  6. If you don’t have a nut allergy, use crushed walnuts, pecans or pistachios to get the health benefits of nuts.
  7. Use a whipped cream substitute or non-dairy topping.
  8. Indulge in a glazed cherry topping.

Make your celebration of National Banana Split Day a little healthier by trying some of these tips.

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