By Wendy Ruopp, Managing Editor of EatingWell
In the summer I like to eat light, fresh meals, which means I have more than enough room for a tasty dessert. But I don't want to pile on a bunch of calories at the end of a meal. So I like to turn to my repertoire of super-easy low-calorie desserts. As long as they're not loaded with tons of cream, it's easy to make them delicious but still relatively slim. Here are some of my favorites.
Frozen Chocolate-Covered Bananas (pictured, see recipe below)
Kids will love dipping bananas in melted chocolate and rolling them in coconut to make this tasty frozen treat.
Calories per serving: 100
Just whir up chunks of watermelon with ice, lime juice, water and a little sugar and you've got an amazing homemade take on a slurpee...but with only 48 calories! Add a little gin and this recipe will serve you well for cocktail hour.
Calories per serving: 48
Blueberries with Lemon Cream
This recipe is like an instant lemon-blueberry cheesecake. All you do is top the fresh berries with a simple blend of vanilla yogurt and reduced-fat cream cheese flecked with lemon zest.
Calories per serving: 156
Whip up these mocha pops early in the day and they'll be ready after dinner. A little of the cocoa settles at the bottom as they freeze, leaving a chocolaty surprise on the top once the pop is unmolded. At only 54 calories, this dessert is a healthier alternative to many frozen coffee drinks (and you don't have to leave the house!).
Calories per serving: 54
Tropical Fruit Ice
This super-easy recipe combines passion fruit concentrate, water and lime juice for an exotic ice with intense flavor. Top it with sliced fresh mango, pineapple or papaya.
Calories per serving: 84
Frozen Chocolate-Covered Bananas
Active time: 15 minutes | Total: 2 1/4 hours | To make ahead: Store airtight in the freezer for up to 1 week. | Equipment: 12 wooden popsicle sticks
4 large ripe bananas, peeled and cut into thirds crosswise
3/4 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips, melted (see Tip)
1/4 cup shredded coconut
Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Insert a popsicle stick into each piece of banana. Cover each piece with melted chocolate using a rubber spatula and sprinkle with coconut. (Reheat chocolate, as needed, to keep it melted.) Place the bananas on the baking sheet and freeze until frozen, about 2 hours.
Makes 12 servings.
Per serving: 100 calories; 4 g fat (3 g sat, 1 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 18 g carbohydrate; 6 g added sugars; 1 g protein; 2 g fiber; 7 mg sodium; 207 mg potassium.
Tip: To melt chocolate, microwave on Medium for 1 minute. Stir, then continue microwaving on Medium, stirring every 20 seconds, until melted. Or place chocolate in the top of a double boiler over hot, but not boiling, water. Stir until melted.
What's your favorite quick summer dessert?
By Wendy Ruopp
Wendy Ruopp has been the managing editor of EatingWell for most of her adult life. Although she writes about food for the Weeknights column of EatingWell Magazine, her husband does the cooking at home.
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