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AboutMeghan Tiernan (MS, RD, LDN) is a registered dietitian with a passion for helping others achieve a healthy lifestyle. She strives to help others learn the most nutritious way to eat, in order to achieve good health. Meghan enjoys cooking and running and believes that with just some basic knowledge, you can gain the confidence in yourself to know that you can eat well.
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While summertime is a time of staying fit to look good in tank tops, dresses and bathing suits, there's nothing like a refreshing dessert to finish the day off or bring to a barbecue. While dessert is usually synonymous with calories, I have some suggestions for you to try that are lower in calories and fat and taste just as delicious! In addition to being healthier, they are also very easy to make. I hope you try a few and enjoy!
Two of my favorite low calorie desserts to make, especially for a group, are pudding pie and Jell-o yogurt pie. I found the general recipe for these on the back of a Cool Whip top, but have made them with all different varieties of both pudding and Jell-o mix. For both pies, you can either buy a pre-made reduced fat graham cracker crust or you can make a pie crust out of Fiber One cereal.
For pudding pie, choose any flavor of sugar free instant pudding mix, mix in 1-3/4 cups of skim milk and refrigerate until solid (about 5 minute). Then mix in about 1/4 of a container of light Cool Whip and pour mixture into pie crust. Finally top with the remaining light Cool Whip, refrigerate, serve and enjoy!
For Jell-o Yogurt Pie, choose any kind of sugar free Jell-o flavor, mix powder with 1/4 cup of boiling water, then stir in 2-8 ounce containers of light yogurt (with a flavor that is similar to the jell-o, aka lime jello with lime yogurt, raspberry jell-o with mixed berry or strawberry yogurt, etc). Then mix in 1 container of light Cool Whip. Pour mixture into graham cracker crust and refrigerate for 2 hours. Enjoy!
Some other low calorie dessert ideas to try:
Make your own popsciles using pre-formed popsicle molds or ice cube trays (there are all sorts of variations to try with these)
Freeze fruits such as grapes or bananas for a delicious and healthy frozen treat (these freeze and taste the best in my opinion)
If you have a half gallon of frozen yogurt in your freezer, partially thaw it and divide into 1/2 cup portions. Pour each 1/2 cup into small plastic or paper cups, place a popsicle stick in the center and then refreeze. This will keep portions under control and will cost less than buying pre-portioned ice cream bars.
Make fruit kebabs and dip in yogurt or make your own yogurt dip
Make yogurt parfaits using light or Greek yogurt, mixed berries and cereal (any kind will do)
Go berry picking or buy berries that are on sale and make a crisp or crumble
Make pudding parfaits using vanilla or chocolate pudding, light cool whip and mixed berries
Enjoy the sweet side of summer!
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