15 Cold Summer Treats Under 200 Calories
Last Updated: Jun 07, 2016
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As the temperatures outside rise, so does the temptation to indulge in high-calorie frozen desserts. But enjoying your favorite summer treats, like ice cream and gelato, doesn't have to derail your diet. We’ve put together this list of 15 delicious, refreshing and sweet alternatives for you to enjoy all summer long (and all year round!) Read on to find out how to make quick, creamy and dairy-free ice cream at home. Plus, find out our choice cheats to get your strawberry cheesecake fix for less than 50 calories and your chocolate fix for under 140 calories!
NON-FAT GREEK YOGURT WITH FRESH FRUIT
If you're craving something rich, cold and creamy, there's no need to dive into a 1,000-calorie pint of vanilla fudge ice cream. Instead, satisfy your cold and creamy craving with a naturally sweet treat like yogurt. Top a 6-ounce cup of non-fat vanilla or plain Greek yogurt with ¼ cup of fresh strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries or peaches. Must-try tip: Chill the yogurt and berries in the freezer for 10 minutes prior to serving. This combines the creaminess of Greek yogurt with the sweetness of summer fruits at their peak, and you’ll enjoy it all for less than 200 calories. If you need a little extra sweetness, add 1 teaspoon of honey or dark chocolate chips.
Although sorbet has sugar -- about 20 grams per serving, equal to 5 tablespoons -- it will save you a lot of calories and fat compared to traditional ice cream. A half-cup serving of sorbet is about 150 calories, compared to about 300 calories for a premium ice cream. Sorbet usually contains no dairy, so it’s also a good choice for anyone who is lactose intolerant or vegan. It’s mostly frozen water or juice sweetened with fruit or rich flavors like chocolate. As a sorbet aficionado, some of my store-bought favorites include Whole Fruit Mango Sorbet, Haagen-Dazs Strawberry Sorbet, Ciao Bella Lemon Zest Sorbet and Sharon’s Coconut Sorbet. They're almost good enough to make you forget about ice cream!
Not familiar with Yonanas? If you haven’t seen their commercials, you might not be aware of this delightful little dessert-making machine. Yonanas is a small kitchen appliance that turns frozen fruit into a smooth dessert that looks and tastes like soft-serve ice cream. Bananas form the basis of many of the Yonanas recipes; they lend creaminess to the finished product that makes it more ice-cream-like. And as luck would have it, bananas are also super-nutritious. They’re packed with potassium (important for blood pressure regulation and muscle control) and are a good source of vitamin B6, which can help boost immune function. Add in other frozen fruit, such as berries, peaches or mangoes, and you’ll pack in even more wholesome nutrition to your sweet and creamy treat.
Related: 16 Surprising Facts About Bananas
A cold and refreshing smoothie is the perfect antidote to a hot summer day when you don't feel like cooking. When made with the right ingredients, a smoothie will help cool you down and fill you up. A classic berry smoothie, made with fresh summer fruit and non-fat yogurt, skim milk, coconut milk or almond milk provides calcium and potassium, along with a bonus of antioxidants and filling fiber. For a simple and delicious berry smoothie, blend berries of your choice with 1/2 cup skim milk and 2 tablespoons nonfat yogurt. For extra pizzazz, add a dash of vanilla extract, orange zest and cinnamon.
Related: Mix-n-Match Smoothie Chart
STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE BITES
Strawberry cheesecake bites: just the name sounds indulgent! But this slimmed-down recipe is delicious, easy and good for you too. Since strawberries are at their peak all summer long, it’s the perfect time to enjoy them as snacks and use then as an ingredient in meals and desserts. Compared to just a sliver of strawberry cheesecake, which packs in about 300 calories and 18 grams of fat (most of which is the unhealthy saturated fat), these bites contain about 40 to 50 calories, are low in fat and get high scores for nutrition.
Related: Click to See the Strawberry Cheesecake Bites Recipe
LOW-CALORIE FROZEN TREATS
With regular ice cream, a full pint might cost you nearly 1,000 calories. However, there are some frozen deserts that have just a fraction of the calories of traditional ice cream without sacrificing delicious, creamy taste. One of my top choices in this category is Arctic Zero Chocolate-Dipped Bars, at just 80 calories. Arctic Zero pints come in about 20 different flavors, including cookies and cream, chocolate peanut butter and cookie dough chip, at about 150 calories per pint. Try using Arctic Zero ice cream in place of regular ice cream as a base for lower calorie shakes and smoothies.
Related: Artic Zero
CHOCOLATE-DIPPED FROZEN BANANAS
Chocolate and bananas. Need I say more? Chocolate-dipped frozen bananas are so simple to make you could practically do it in your sleep. Here's what to do: Freeze some bananas on a popsicle stick, melt some chocolate (I prefer dark chocolate to counter the sweetness of the bananas), and then dip frozen bananas into the melted chocolate. Freeze again for at least 30 minutes. Enjoy an amazing sweet treat for less than 180 calories and wonder why everything in life isn't this good! Use one small banana and don't overdo the chocolate dipping to keep it under 200 calories.
It may sound totally decadent, but chocolate pudding, when made with skim or low fat milk, can be a good skinny alternative to full-fat ice cream. You can make your own or buy a pre-made low-fat variety. To make it from store-bought mix, just use skim milk and follow the package directions. If you use low-fat milk, one serving of chocolate pudding is about 140 calories! Don't trust yourself with a pot full of pudding in your house? Look for portion-controlled, store bought varieties. Some, like Kozy Shack, come in handy six-packs and have about 120 calories per individual pudding cup.
FROZEN FRUIT BARS
If you want a simple and refreshing treat that's less than 100 calories, you can’t go wrong with a frozen fruit bar. They’re an excellent choice if you’re looking for a non-fat and non-dairy option. You can make your own or pick up one of many delicious brands at the store. Some of the tastiest store-bought options? Outshine Coconut Waters bars, Whole Foods 365 Mango Flavor Fruit Bars and strawberry Whole Fruit Fruit Bars. The Outshine Coconut Waters bars are made from fruit puree and are an excellent source of vitamin C. Plus they contain just 60 calories. Outshine also has a fantastic seasonal picks line including peach, raspberry, blood orange and grapefruit, depending on the season.
Related: Outshine Fruit Bars
Whip up your own healthy pops quickly with the Zoku Quick Pop Maker, which freezes fresh fruit juice or dairy-based purees into popsicles in just seven minutes. It’s a healthy alternative because you can choose to skip any added sweetener or control the type and amount that you add. It also allows you to be as creative as you want and can be a fun way to get kids to eat more fruit. For dairy-based options, just blend together Greek yogurt with fresh fruit and pour into the Zoku. Or make chocolate versions using low-fat chocolate pudding with fresh fruit, like raspberries, strawberries or banana slices. Classic fruit-based pops can be made with a wide variety of 100 percent fruit juices. Simply pour into a mold, freeze and enjoy!
Related: Zoku Quick Pop Maker
ICE CREAM SANDWICHES
If you shop smart, you can indulge in an ice cream sandwich without blowing through your daily calorie budget. A few top picks: A Tofutti Cutie Cookies N’ Cream sandwich comes in at just 130 calories and is also vegan and dairy-free. Also try Julie's Organic Ice Cream Petite Juliette Vanilla Sandwiches. They have an organic chocolate cookie on the outside and rich, creamy, smooth organic ice cream in the middle. You won’t believe it’s just 100 calories per sandwich. My all-time favorite is Skinny Cow’s Vanilla No-Sugar Added. It’s low fat and contains no added sugar, 4 grams of protein and only 140 calories. Just make sure you don’t eat the whole box!
Related: Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwich
If you need a chocolate fix on a warm summer day, a chocolaty popsicle may be the perfect solution. The original Fudgsicle brand offers no added sugar pops (40 calories), low fat pops (60 calories), and portion-controlled 100-calorie pops. Or try Skinny Cow Mini Fudge Pop, which contains just 50 calories and 2 grams of fat! The Skinny Cow Fudge Bar, at 110 calories and 2 grams of fat, is also a good choice. This is a sweet way to satisfy your chocolate craving entirely guilt free.
For something a little different, try frozen kefir. Kefir is a cultured probiotic product, similar in taste and texture to yogurt. It’s made from milk fermented with specific beneficial bacteria cultures. Kefir has been shown to help maintain healthy microflora in the gastrointestinal tract and may aid digestion. This tangy treat is rich in calcium and packs about 4 grams of protein per serving. Lifeway brand Frozen Kefir comes in seven unique flavors and all products are certified USDA organic. My favorites: mango and pomegranate. A 1/2-cup serving of the mango flavor contains just 90 calories.
Related: Lifeway Kefir
ALMOND MILK FROZEN DESSERTS
A frozen treat based on a nut? That’s right! Almond milk makes a perfect base for dairy-free frozen treats, including Ben & Jerry's Dairy-Free line. Almonds contain antioxidants like vitamin E. This powerful nut is an excellent source of protein and is naturally high in fiber and low in sugar. You can make your own almond milk-based frozen desserts or try a store-bought variety like SO Delicious Almond Milk frozen treats, which come in under 130 calories per 1/2-cup serving and provide 5 grams of fiber. Plus they are non-GMO, gluten free and kosher. Go ahead, have a dessert you feel good about!
Related: SO Delicious Almond Milk Vanilla Frozen Treat
Some of the best and most nutritious frozen treats are also the simplest. If you’ve never had frozen grapes before, you’re in for a sweet surprise! Grapes of all colors -- red, green and black -- are a natural source of potassium and antioxidants known as polyphenols. Grape polyphenols may contribute to a healthy heart and help defend against a variety of age-related illnesses. A 3/4-cup serving of grapes contains just 90 fat-free calories. Frozen grapes couldn’t be easier to make. Just rinse and de-stem your grapes, and freeze them for 2 hours.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Which of these sweet treats would you like to try? What's your favorite healthy store-bought treat? Do you have a recipe for a great low-calorie summer dessert? Share your recipes and suggestions in the comments.
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