January 10 2016

Clear Your Palette With Fruity Desserts by Marissa Licursi

Ever feel the need to clear your palette after a meal?

monkeyeatingicecreamgiphyDo you find yourself craving something sweet and sugary? We naturally associate “desserts” with cookies, cakes, cupcakes, and pies.

cupcakegiphyBut sometimes, we’re just not in the mood – especially after eating a huge meal.  We have room for something sweet but not for a dessert as heavy as a slice of pecan pie or chocolate cake.

What to do? Opt for a healthier alternative: fruity desserts. Skip the cake and cookies.  

nocakegiphySatisfy your sweet tooth and clear your palette with a light, fruit-filled dessert!  Eating unrefined carbohydrates like fruit can help you keep your energy levels up for longer.  Fruit is also packed with nutrients that contain a “mood-lifting brain chemical” (that’s serotonin for our chemistry majors).  This chemical allows you to feel positive, capable, and oh yes – confident.

Pineapple lover? Berry-obsessed? More into citrus?

eatfruitMatch your fruit preferences with one of my fruity desserts and discover which fruity dessert which one you’re likely to fall in love with.

Sweetheart Citrus Salad with Cinnamon Maple Syrup

Vegan, Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, Refined-Sugar-Free

Screenshot 2016-01-10 10.23.00

Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 30 minutes


4-6 pieces of citrus fruit (e.g. Oranges, Clementines, Grapefruit, or Mandarines)

¼ cup maple syrup

1 stick cinnamon


  • In a small saucepan or canteen cup, heat maple syrup and cinnamon stick for about 15 minutes. To intensify cinnamon flavor, allow cinnamon stick to steep overnight, otherwise, strain out right away.
  • Peel citrus fruit and cut into ½” slices. Lightly press heart shaped cookie cutter onto a slice of citrus fruit and start carving out a heart using a pairing knife. Repeat for all other slices, arrange on a plate and drizzle with cinnamon maple syrup right before serving.

Grilled Pineapple Donuts

Vegan, Light, Sweet, Grain-Free

Screenshot 2016-01-10 10.23.21

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 4 round slices of pineapples, each about a half an inch think
  • 4 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil


  • Cut each slice of pineapple into circles (what I call “donuts”). Remove the center core.
  • Combine granulated sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Mix well. Sprinkle over pineapple slides on both sides.
  • Heat up a cast iron grill pan on the stove. (If using vegetable oil, brush pan with oil.)
  • Place pineapple donuts on the pan and grill for about 4 minutes on each side.
  • Remove from the grill and serve them while they’re hot!

Sugar-Coated Strawberries and Whip Cream


Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: None! Total Time: 10 minutes


  • About a dozen whole strawberries
  • 3 teaspoons of sugar
  • 1 to 2 dollops of whip cream


  • Chop strawberries into small pieces. Remove the stems.
  • Sprinkle sugar over strawberries. Mix well so that all strawberries have sugar coating
  • Add 1 or 2 dollops of whip cream on top or on the side.

Read More By Marissa:

FOF – Fear of Fats?

10 Ideas For Baking With Confidence

#ConnectToConfidence On A Motorcycle

Paying For Stuff With Your Smartphone

Spotlight on JHU

Meet Marissa



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