It's officially summer, which means its time for outdoor cookouts, barbecues and more food-centric get-togethers with friends and family while the weather is nice.
It also means it's swimsuit season, but you don't have to worry about deciding between enjoying summer desserts or blowing your diet, because registered dietitian nutritionist Maya Feller shared some simple swaps you can make that will satiate your sweet tooth for less than a few hundred calories.
Here, she shared with "GMA" her top four summer dessert recipes that are all under 200 calories.
1. Swap out graham crackers for bananas in a s'more
Why it’s a great figure-friendly swap: "This is a great swap because we have used banana in place of graham crackers, and increased the nutrient density ... by using the banana without compromising the taste," Feller said. "Bananas will also provide a nice amount of fiber and is naturally saturated fat free."
She added that for many of us, the chocolatey-marshmallow center of s'mores are the best part anyway.
Why it’s a great figure-friendly swap: Two s'mores with graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows can pack a whopping 286 calories. Meanwhile, Feller's "banana chocomellow" sweets below only have about 180 calories per two pieces.
How to make it: Take a quarter of a banana cut long ways and put 1 inch of chocolate and one marshmallow in the middle and enjoy.
2. Try a whipped cottage cheese crumble instead of a slice of cheesecake
Why it’s a great figure-friendly swap: Cottage cheese is a "protein powerhouse" according to Feller, and loaded with vitamins and minerals. Combining it with heart-healthy almond meal will help keep you satiated and nourished without the extra additives. Plus, one slice of cheesecake can contain up to 401 calories, while this whipped cottage cheese crumble only has about 143 calories per 1/4-cup serving.
How to make it: Take 1/4 cup of whipped cottage cheese and top it with one tablespoon of crumbled almond meal on top and enjoy!
3. Revamp your classic apple pie with this 'baked apple goodness' recipe
Why it’s a great figure-friendly swap: This low-sugar alternative to a classic apple pie provides "protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals served on a bed of sliced apples," according to Feller. While one slice of apple pie with vanilla ice cream can contain 414 calories, this "baked apple goodness" recipe contains only 190 calories per serving.
How to make it: Slice and bake one apple with a teaspoon of date sugar, and top with two tablespoons of vanilla Siggi's yogurt. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon.
This baked apple could be consumed at any point throughout the day. It's a dish that provides protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals served on a bed of sliced apples. The mouth feel will be similar to the original, but it is a lower sugar alternative that will leave you feeling great.
4. Try a sorbet sundae
Why it’s a great figure-friendly swap: You can still enjoy a delicious variant of the classic ice cream sundae without loading up on the calories by making a few simple swaps. While a traditional ice cream sundae with two tablespoons of caramel sauce, whipped cream and a cherry can rack up about 285 calories, Feller's lighter version -- featuring sorbet -- only has about 192 calories.
How to make it: Top one scoop of chocolate sorbet with one tablespoon of caramel sauce, whipped cream and a cherry.
Top tips on how to keep summer grilling light and healthy
For many, nothing says summer quite like hitting the barbecue and enjoying a cookout with friends. Here, Feller shares her simple tips for how to keep summer grilling light and healthy.
- Love your veggies as much as your animal proteins: Feller says she encourages her clients to come up with flavorful marinades and play with the temperature and texture of grilled veggies instead of just focusing on the meats. This ensures you get some fiber and nutrients while enjoying a cookout.
- Reduce sodium intake by skipping the hot dogs: If you are trying to reduce your sodium intake, Feller recommends opting out of eating hot dogs, and grilling fish or poultry instead.