Looking for a quick-fix to your sweet tooth? Want a little indulgence without threatening your waistline? Elizabeth Somer, registered dietitian and author of Eat Your Way to Sexy shared 10 ideas for sweet, salty, crunchy, creamy, and gooey snacks, all for 200 calories or less.
Sweet Treat #1 Pudding!
Pudding is one of the original comfort food treats. Made with sugar-free pudding mix and nonfat milk fortified with omega-3s, then topped with a cup of berries, this yummy dessert is loaded with calcium, healthy fats, antioxidants, and more for less than 200 calories.
Sweet Treat 2: Watermelon Cupcakes
These darling little cupcakes are made from watermelon, rich in lycopene, potassium, and vitamins A and C. They are pretty, sweet, juicy, yet have less than 200 calories, close to a full day's requirement for vitamin C, and only 9% fat. Directions: Place cupcake liners in an 8-cup cupcake tin. Cut 3-inch thick slices of seedless watermelon. Cut round cupcake sized pieces from the slices. Put a watermelon "cupcake" in each liner. For frosting: Mix 1 cup fat-free cream cheese blended with 1/3 cup crushed pineapple. Decorate as desired with sprinkles. Makes 8 cupcakes.
Sweet Treat #3: Red, White and Blue Banana Split
Take a traditional favorite and turn it into a beautiful AND nutritious treat by putting fruit center stage. Mash 1/3 cup strawberries with a dash of Splenda. Arrange 2 small banana halves in a banana-split dish. Put 1/3 cup pineapple chunks down center of each dish. Place 2 small scops of double-churn, no-sugar vanilla ice cream on top of pineapple. Top one with the strawberries and one with 1/3 cup blueberries. Sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles. Calories: 202. Daily servings of fruit: 2.
Sweet Treat #4: Mother Nature's Candy
Medjool dates. They are nothing like any date you have ever tasted. Date pistachio rolls or almond roll is like a caramel-nut candy bar, but packed with fiber, B vitamins, magnesium, copper, potassium, iron, vitamin K, calcium, and more. All for only 140 calories! Just one will satisfy any craving for sweet, chewy, creamy, and crunchy.
[PROP: 2 or 3 pistachio rolls or date almond rolls on a plate]
Sweet Treat #5: Strawberries and chocolate
Chocolate is the #1 most craved food and nothing will sooth a craving except a bit of the real deal. So, how do you curb the craving and save your waistline? Spread your chocolate fix out for up to a half hour by dunking 2 cups of fresh strawberries - packed with antioxidants that protect your heart, skin, and brain, and lower inflammation - into 1/4 cup of Hershey's dark chocolate syrup. All for less than 200 calories!
Sweet Treat #6: Peanut butter candy
This one will surprise you. It's made with such healthy stuff, it's hard to believe it's so sweet and yummy. Mix equal parts peanut butter, honey, and toasted wheat germ. Use this as a spread for sandwiches, to top a cracker, or even stuff celery sticks. It's one of my son's favorite sandwiches! Rich in B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium, and trace minerals, and it's cholesterol-free.
Sweet Treat #7: Civilized S'Mores Break graham crackers in half. Place on a plate and top 6 halves with 1 marshmallow each. Spread the other 6 halves with 1 teaspoon of fat-free fudge sauce each. Microwave the marshmallow-topped crackers for 14 seconds or until they puff up to 1 1/2 times or more of their original size. Quickly remove from microwave and place the fudge-topped halves on top fo the hot marshmallow halves. Gently press down. Makes 6 and you can have 2 for 140 calories!
Sweet Treat #8: Mini Chip-Wiches
There isn't much to shout about in terms of nutrition here, but these sure are good and fit the calorie requirement. AND, you can have 4! Soften 1 tablespoon of slow-churn, no-sugar vanilla ice cream for every chip-wich. Pack between two vanilla wafer cookies and roll the sides in a few chocolate chips. Freeze for half an hour to set ice cream. Calories: ~ 50 per chip-wich.
Sweet Treat #9: Orange-Scented Swiss Kisses
These tasty little morsels (from my book, Eat Your Way to Sexy) will satisfy any chocolate craver's cravings, yet are rich in polyphenols that lower heart disease risk. A recent study also found that a few ounces of dark chocolate every week is linked to weight loss. And, each one has only 88 calories!
Orange Scented Swiss Kisses
1 1/4 cup Swiss dark chocolate
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 cup fat-free half & half
1 tablespoon finely grated orange peel
1 cup chopped almonds and pecans
1 /2 cup craisins or dried tart cherries
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place wax paper over a cookie sheet and coat with cooking spray.
1. In a double boiler over medium-high heat, place chocolate, cocoa powder, half & half, and orange peel. Stir continuously until mixture is completely melted. Remove from heat.
2. Stir into chocolate mixture nuts, craisins, and vanilla. Blend thoroughly.
3. Drop teaspoons of the chocolate-nut mixture onto wax-paper lined cookie sheet. Place in refrigerator to cool. Makes 24 kisses.
Sweet Treat #10: Baked Cinnamon Apple
A baked apple stuffed with cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar supplies only slightly more than 100 calories, yet is a great source of fiber and potassium. Also, although apples aren't the best sources of the antioxidant vitamin C, they are so packed with antioxidant-rich phytochemicals that they have the antioxidant content equivalent to 1,000mg of vitamin C!
Recipe: Core a medium red apple, sprinkle with 1 tsp brown sugar and cinnamon & nutmeg. Place in baking dish w/ a few tablespoons of apple juice. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, or until apples are tender, but not mushy