I love the summer. The sunshine, the warmth, the freedom from school, and the food all make me smile (unless it’s 100 degrees outside and the kids are bored!). And if you’re trying to lose weight, summer is also the perfect time to take advantage of the growing season and discover delicious, diet-friendly treats. Here are some of my favorites.
Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes and Basil
I grow cherry tomatoes and basil in my garden, so of course I enjoy them immensely. Did you know that 1/2-cup of cherry tomatoes has about 15 calories? That’s almost like a free food, calorie-wise. A great low-calorie summer treat is to cut the top off the cherry tomatoes and scoop out some of the inside with a small spoon. Fill the tomatoes with a mixture of cottage cheese, finely minced basil, and a dash of pepper.
Spicy Watermelon Salad
I have to confess my kids don’t love this as much as the grownups do, but I think it’s terrific. Simply cube watermelon and toss it in a bowl. Add some dill, diced yellow bell pepper, a few tablespoons of finely minced red onion, and a dash of lime juice. Chill well and eat as a healthy snack.
Blueberries with Fat-Free Homemade Whipped Cream
Blueberries are a favorite food around our house and yes, they’re a treat on their own. But you can make them extra special by adding a dollop of fat-free homemade whipped cream. Put 1 cup of ice-cold skim milk in a mixing bowl. use an immersion blender to whip the milk until it thickens, and add a few drops of liquid stevia and vanilla extract for extra flavor. Spoon some of the whipped cream over the blueberries and enjoy your diet-friendly treat right away.
Honeydew and Strawberry Daiquiris
Ripe honeydew and strawberries make a great fruit salad. But for a treat everyone will love, combine equal parts of both fruits in a blender with ice, the juice of one lemon, and a dash of sugar. Make it an adult beverage by adding a splash of low-calorie rum.
Petite Strawberry Cheesecake Bites
Did you know that a single large strawberry has about 6 calories? That’s why I like to make these petite strawberry cheesecake bites during the summer when guests come over. Simply use a small spoon or strawberry huller to remove the top and inside of the strawberries. Then combine an 8-ounce block of fat-free cream cheese with 3/4-cup of skim milk and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Mix thoroughly until the filling is light and fluffy. Gently spoon the mixture into the waiting strawberries and keep in the refrigerator until serving time.
Peach and Blueberry Parfait
Parfaits are a great summer treat that are easy to make and a real diet-friendly treat. In a tall glass, put a few spoonfuls of Greek yogurt. Add a layer of freshly sliced peaches, another layer of Greek yogurt, a layer of blueberries, and a final layer of Greek yogurt. Sprinkle the top with ground flax seed or low-calorie granola.