Celebrate Summer’s End With 15 Fruity, Creamy Desserts (Recipes)

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By Cooking Panda

In the summer, the right desserts can take you from overheated and famished to elated and relaxed. They’re cool, creamy and fruity — with the perfect balance between sweet and refreshing.

Celebrate (or if you’re really sad about it, mourn) the fleeting days of summer’s end with these 15 light and luscious treats. After all, you’ll need to load up on warm-weather fruits before the reign of pumpkin spice begins.

1. California Berry Tres Leches Cake

Three milks — evaporated, sweetened condensed and heavy cream — take a vanilla cake from tasty to positively delicious and perfectly soaked in creamy liquid. Fresh berries speckle the frosting for a bit of tartness in each sweet bite.

2. Peach Caramel Blondie Cheesecake

This cake is a triple threat. Its base consists of chewy, buttery, brown sugary peach blondie. Its center is made of cool and creamy caramel cheesecake. And it’s all topped off with finishing touches of peaches soaked in cinnamon brown sugar and rum, studs of whipped cream and a healthy drizzle of caramel.

3. Vanilla Bean and Raspberry Tart

Betty Crocker’s pie crust is unique in that it’s made extra rich with egg yolks, and in addition to butter flavor, it’s enhanced with vanilla bean and limoncello. The bodacious crust is filled with mascarpone cheese and whipped cream — a delightfully luscious topping with the essence of yet more vanilla and lemon. The final creation is vibrantly decorated with raspberries and spread with raspberry jam for glossiness.

4. Mixed Berry Pavlova

Egg whites do marvelous things when beaten with sugar and baked — like form this delicate, airy disc of sweet deliciousness. It’s spread generously with sweetened whipped cream and piled high with fresh berries, which have been tossed in Ina Garten’s triple raspberry sauce. It’s incredible already, but since my mom and I are gluttons, we like to add Nutella.

5. Blueberry Lemon Icebox Cake

Pound cake is cut meticulously to get rid of any evidence of crust. It’s then layered with a lemon curd mascarpone cream and blueberry sauce. It’s frozen until set so each slice shows layers that even the most self-deprecating of bakers would be proud to have created.

6. Pineapple Dole Whip

Bring the flavors of Disney World to your home for cheap with just three ingredients: frozen pineapple, pineapple juice and vanilla ice cream. Serve it on its own, as a float with extra pineapple juice or soda, or as the star ingredient in a wonderful dessert cocktail situation.

7. Roasted Strawberry and Butter Cookie Sundaes

Crumbly butter cookies mingle blissfully with vanilla ice cream that’s nearing the melted stage, especially when thoroughly stirred with tart yet sweet strawberries, warm and roasted in a sticky mixture of balsamic vinegar and maple syrup.

8. Vanilla Panna Cotta With Mixed Berry Compote

Heavy cream forms a gelatin-like custard in the classiest of ways when enhanced with the essence of vanilla bean. The world’s easiest berry compote comes together in minutes with frozen berries and sugar for a tart contrast with the cool, mild panna cotta.

9. Strawberries and Cream Bars

If you can make sugar cookies, you can make these easy-as-pie (well, easier than pie) bars. Their cookie crust is smeared with a white chocolate cream cheese frosting before frozen and bejeweled with ruby red strawberries.

10. Blueberry Cocktail Parfait

Cocktail or sundae? It’s a perfectly boozy, layered concoction of ice cream, whipped cream, vodka-infused blueberry filling with a mint leaf on top. Enjoy it as a dessert or as the perfect happy hour treat for you and someone very cool.

11. Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes

White cupcakes resembling the finest of soft snow are cut in half and filled with yet more airy wonder: fluffy whipped cream, plus slivered strawberries.

12. Coconut Mango Rice Pudding

White rice cooks slowly until it soaks up the moisture from almond and coconut milks, along with the flavors of vanilla and honey and the texture of coconut flakes. Chunks of fresh mango add fruitiness to every bite, while toasted coconut lends a welcome crunch.

13. Heavenly Blueberry and Cream Angel Dessert

This ethereal, cloud-like dessert must be the true stuff of angels. The trifle-like concoction begins with angel food cake, made even lighter when cut into cubes and folded into cream cheese and evaporated milk. The creamy cake mixture is layered with sweetly tart blueberry filling and whipped cream. Eat this when you need a mental vacation somewhere high in the sky.

14. Strawberry Cheesecake Popsicles

You’ll be sad when the strawberry cheesecake — made light-ish with Greek yogurt — portion of these popsicles is gone, but with a good inch of buttery graham cracker crust, the ending sure is sweet.

15. Strawberry Lemon Shortcake Bars

These guilt-free ice cream sandwiches come together with not one, but two flavors of the country’s trendiest ice cream: Halo Top’s lemon cake and strawberry flavors, sandwiched simply between two graham crackers. 

Featured Image: Eric/Flickr

Tags: Berries, blueberries, desserts, recipes, Strawberries, summer
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Blueberries May Alleviate Symptoms Of PTSD

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By Cooking Panda

According to research, eating blueberries may lessen the distress caused by Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Conducted at Louisiana State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine, investigators aimed to analyze the affect of blueberries on PTDS by inducing a form of the disorder in rats, according to News Wise. By concentrating on a gene called SKA2, which is generally expressed at extremely low levels in people who have committed suicide, researchers determined that the PTSD animals had a low level of this gene compared to the control rats.

Ultimately, the study suggests that eating two cups of blueberries a day, which would have been the human equivalent of the amount the rats received, may prove beneficial for people who suffer from PTSD.

“Since these levels increased when we fed them blueberries, the findings suggest that a nonpharmacological agent like blueberries can have an effect on the expression of this important gene,” said Joseph Francis, Ph.D., Professor of Veterinary Medicine at Louisiana State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine and the study’s senior author.

Researchers now want to examine the links between the SKA2 gene and serotonin levels to see if blueberries may lessen depressive and suicidal tendencies through a specific biological pathway.

“There is an urgent need to identify novel targets for treating PTSD,” Francis explained. “Based on our findings, blueberries can not only increase serotonin, but also increase SKA2 levels, thereby potentially protecting against untoward behavior.”

Francis stated that various medications used to treat depression, specifically selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have had limited success in patients with PTSD, and his team of investigators aims to close the gap for those with PTSD who had not been successful with conventional medication.

“And in the meantime, it seems safe to say that eating blueberries can’t hurt—and may help—in people with PTSD,” Francis said.

Source: News Wise / Photo Credit: Rediscover Tasmania

Tags: blueberries, PTSD, research
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