Pies are among America”;s favorite desserts and a classic indulgence in the summer season. There”;s nothing quite like a nice slice of pie to finish off a delicious BBQ dinner. Unfortunately, these summertime favorites and epic Labor Day desserts are traditionally packed with fat and sugar that can easily derail your healthy intentions and weight loss journey.
But don”;t get discouraged! While store-bought pies and traditional summer dessert recipes will have you loaded up on white flour, butter and sugar, our recipe developers at Nutrisystem and The Leaf Weight Loss Blog have created some diet-friendly options. Our healthy recipes will provide you with your fill of pie while keeping your healthy eating plans on track. These 10 summer pies use simple swaps and healthy ingredients to lighten up some of your favorite summer desserts.
Here are 10 summer fruit pies for a seasonal and satisfying sweet treat:
1. Fresh Peach Pie >
Nothing screams “;summer”; like a big slice of peach pie. Summer is peach season and that means lots of tempting peach desserts will be popping up–;including some not-so-healthy ones. Fortunately, our healthy summertime version of peach pie uses a whole wheat crust and a diet friendly fruit filling with five cups of fresh peaches. No added sugar needed in this sweet treat! Peaches are rich in vitamin C, potassium and fiber, making them a great addition to your healthy diet during beach season. One slice of this peach pie is 170 calories and counts as one SmartCarb and two Extras on the Nutrisystem plan.
2. Healthy Apple Pie >
As they say, an apple a day keeps the doctor away–;an old adage that just may ring true considering the fact that apples have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease. But when apples are used in traditional pie recipes, their health value tends to get lost. Instead of burying apples in a load of sugar, this summer dessert recipe gets its sweet flavor directly from the source–;whole, delicious apples. It”;s a yummy indulgence you can feel good about. One slice of this healthy apple pie is just 147 calories and counts as one SmartCarb and two Extras on the Nutrisystem plan.
3. Must-Try Strawberry Pie >
Where fruit pies tend to go awry is in the crust. Pie crusts (and tarts) are usually packed with lots of butter. On top of that, many fruit pie fillings contain added sugar. However, this lighter version of strawberry pie uses a simple pie crust made from graham crackers and just two tablespoons of butter plus an egg. It also features a simple yet delicious strawberry filling that’s made from whole strawberries and a sugar-free gelatin mix. You”;ll get a healthy dose of superfood strawberries–;known to be a great source of fiber and vitamins–;while indulging in a sweet treat. A slice of this summer pie is 132 calories and on Nutrisystem counts as one SmartCarb and one Extra.
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4. Blueberry Pie Crumble >
Add this beautiful blue baked good to your seasonal summer menu! This berrylicious crumble looks like a gourmet dessert from your local bakery. However, don’t be fooled because it’s extremely easy to make. The secret ingredients that make this recipe unique are chia seeds and oats, which create a satisfying yet smart slice of pie. One serving contains 138 calories and counts as one SmartCarb and one Extra on the Nutrisystem program.
5. No-Bake Strawberry Pie Parfait >
No-bake pie recipes that are quick to whip up are absolutely welcomed in the summer when nobody feels like heating up the house with their oven or spending a lot of time in the kitchen. This simple-to-make no-bake recipe will give you the taste of strawberry pie in a delicious parfait. It”;s a matter of mixing up a few ingredients and then layering those yummy mixes. In addition to healthy whole strawberries, this summer dessert recipe also uses nonfat Greek yogurt, which contains probiotics to support good gut health and boost your health and wellness goals! One parfait is 252 calories and counts as one SmartCarb, one PowerFuel and one Extra on the Nutrisystem plan.
6. Skinny Peach Cobbler >
With summer being peach season, here is another wonderfully peachy dessert recipe to try! Though a light alternative, it tastes so much like traditional cobbler that it just may transport you to a front porch in the South. This version is made healthy by ditching the highly refined ingredients like white flour, white sugar and butter for whole wheat flour, brown sugar and only a smidge of light butter. It”;s a delightful and guilt-free summer dessert staple, coming in at only 135 calories per serving. On the Nutrisystem plan, this Skinny Peach Cobbler counts as one SmartCarb and two Extras.
7. Raspberry Chocolate Mousse Pie >
When it comes to decadent, indulgent and healthy summer desserts, anything with the words “;chocolate”; or “;mousse”; easily tops the list. But most chocolaty summer pies are also packed with fat and calories. Fortunately, this light version has all of the decadence without the guilt. The secret ingredient for the creamy, silky goodness of a typical mousse pie is none other than tofu in this recipe! But if you weren”;t the one to be whipping up this dessert, you”;d honestly never know. Top it off with a cup of fresh raspberries to get your antioxidant power, too. A serving of this summer raspberry treat is just 157 calories and counts as one SmartCarb and one PowerFuel.
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8. Skinny Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble >
If you’re looking for the perfect dessert to bring to a picnic, this is it! Sweet strawberries shine in this Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble that screams summertime and sunshine. You can forget about kneading and rolling out pie dough with this easy dish. Simply make the filling and top it with the stevia-sweetened and gluten free crumble that’s easy as… pie! One serving contains 185.9 calories and counts as one SmartCarb and two Extras.
9. No-Bake Apple Pie Yogurt Parfait >
Don’t feel like turning on the oven to make our Healthy Apple Pie recipe? Not to worry! We’re cooking up a no-bake sweet treat that will keep you cool during the warm summer season. Fresh apples and warm spices are layered with creamy, chilled Greek yogurt for a parfait that’s reminiscent of a fresh-baked slice of pie. A sprinkle of chopped walnuts adds a crunchy texture that’s the cherry on top. At just 186 calories per serving, you can log it into your NuMi journal as one SmartCarb and one PowerFuel.
10. Sweet Potato Pie Nice Cream >
While this last recipe isn’t technically a pie, it’s inspired by the flavors of a classic. Plus, when it’s hot outside and the temperatures are soaring, who wants to turn on the oven? A frozen dessert is just what you need on those hot summer days. A Thanksgiving staple unites with a summertime frozen favorite. Imagine your mom’s famous sweet potato pie blended into a creamy, dreamy ice cream. Enjoy pie season even on the hottest of days with this Sweet Potato Pie Nice Cream. Cool down and stay hydrated while digging into fruity, fall flavors! One serving contains 170 calories and counts as one SmartCarb and two Extras on Nutrisystem.
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The post 10 Summer Pie Recipes for a Satisfying Sweet Treat appeared first on The Leaf.
Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com
Sometimes, it can feel like you”;re doing everything right on your weight loss plan–;you’re eating your four servings of non-starchy vegetables each day, calming junk food cravings the right way and practicing your weekly meal prep and planning. However, you still aren”;t seeing the scale budge! You”;re eating foods you think are healthy but you”;re not getting the diet results you want. It’s possible that some of those “;healthy”; foods could be not so healthy after all–;either because you”;re preparing larger portions of them than you think you are, or there”;s a secret, sneaky, calorie-heavy component hiding inside. Either way, the result is the same: Your weight loss is sabotaged!
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Don”;t let sneaky foods fool you any longer! Watch out for these seven ingredients that could be adding unwanted calories to your day:
1. Nuts and Nut Butters
Adding more nuts to your diet can help your heart and reduce belly fat, according to research, conducted by Penn State University. They”;re part of the “;Mediterranean Diet,”; and scientists have found that the healthy fats in this diet can help you slim down and live longer. (Click here to learn more about the potential health benefits of nuts! >) Despite having healthy qualities, both nuts and nut butters can sneak up on you if you eyeball your portion sizes instead of measuring. By guessing, you run the risk of overestimating the portions you are having and adding sneaky calories to your snack or meal.
The solution: First, count out your nut servings: For example, you can eat 25 pistachios in a single PowerFuel serving. For nut butters, you can”;t exactly count but you can use your thumb: A one tablespoon serving of nut butters–;the amount equal to one PowerFuel–;is about as big as your thumb or a poker chip. Keep the portions in check to keep these creamy, chunky, smooth or crunchy friends from becoming sneaky diet-detonating ingredients! Click here to learn how many nuts are in a PowerFuel serving. >
Here”;s another “;healthy”; food that we love that can add up quick: One cup of avocado has polyunsaturated fats that your body needs, but it also packs in 384 calories–;almost 20 percent of what many Americans need in their daily diets, says the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). If you smear that much on a slice of toast, you”;re getting nutrients you need but it”;s also a “;healthy”; snack that”;s turned into a meal. Too much of a good thing is possible, especially when it comes to avocado! Even if the source is a healthy whole food, every calorie you eat is one your body has to burn or store.
The solution: Use your kitchen”;s ultimate tool for weight loss: A measuring spoon! One tablespoon of mashed avocado is equal to one Extra–;Nutrisystem members are limited to three Extras per day. Don”;t let extra Extras sneak up on you and sabotage your progress! Click here to learn more about harnessing the power and perks of avocados without losing control of portion sizes!
3. Coffee “;Pumps”;
According to Reuters.com, Americans have been drinking less soda over the last decade. However, we”;re still consuming almost half of our daily added sugars from beverages, says Health.gov. Some dietitians blame our sweet morning pick-me-ups: One pump of flavored syrup from a popular chain coffee shop can add about five grams of sugar and 20 calories to your day. That might not seem like much, but do this everyday for a whole year and you”;ve added 7,300 sneaky calories to your annual intake.
The solution: If your pumps are a must-have, track them! Using the NuMi app can make sure this sneaky ingredient doesn”;t sneak up on you. If you”;d rather save those 7,300 calories for the year, try using powdered stevia, a teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa powder for a chocolatey kick or some cinnamon for a warming flavor. Be sure to check out these helpful diet tips from our experts at The Leaf and keep your calories on track when you visit your local coffee shop!
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4. Salad Toppers and Dressings
It doesn”;t get more healthy-sounding than a salad. It also doesn”;t get much fancier than crowning that heaping bowl of veggies with some tasty toppers: Slivered almonds, dried cranberries, crunchy chia seeds and glops of creamy dressing.
What harm can some dried fruit and almonds do? We”;ve already seen how quickly nuts add up. However, those dried cranberries aren”;t just cranberries–;they”;re pumped up with added sugar! A quarter-cup of dried cranberries from a popular brand contains almost 30 grams of sugar, adding about 130 calories to your salad. Chia seeds also add up quickly: According to the USDA, an eighth of a cup will add 90 calories to your veggies. Creamy salad dressings can present a problem, too: Forget to measure your favorite ranch dressing and an extra two tablespoons will top your salad with 120 extra calories, says the USDA.
The solution: As with almost all the ingredients on this list, measuring and serving size control makes a major impact–;just sprinkle a spoonful of those crunchy seeds instead of pouring from the bag. But there”;s more you can do: Try swapping store-bought dressing for one of these simple, homemade versions that you”;ll love. Use fresh berries instead of dried: According to the USDA, a half-cup of fresh blueberries has just 35 calories, compared to 260 for the dried kind.
5. “;Nectar”; and “;Syrup”;
Added sugars are literally killing us: According to research, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, study subjects who consumed 17 to 21 percent of calories from added sugar experienced a 38% increase in risk of death from heart disease. This was in comparison to participants who consumed about eight percent of calories from added sugar. And with added sugar in more than 75 percent of packaged foods, it”;s not hard to top that killer number, says the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
In 2021, nutrition labels will be required by law to list “;Added Sugars”; on their own line. But until then, these ingredients and their extra calories can sneak into our diets… because they aren”;t just called “;sugar”; on the label. They”;re all those words ending in “;ose”;–;glucose, dextrose, sucrose–;but also sneakier, healthier-sounding ingredients like “;nectars”; and “;syrups.”; An ingredient like “;agave nectar”; might sound natural and healthy, but make no mistake: It”;s just sugar trying to sneak its way into your waistline.
The solution: Flip your food over. Words like “;natural”; and “;healthy”; on the front of a label are unregulated terms–;they”;re meaningless marketing! Check the ingredients list for nectars and syrups. They could be adding sneaky calories to your foods that you don”;t need. Choose unsweetened products and add your own sweetness with a little stevia or monk fruit.
Take a peek at these four ingredients you should never eat again! >
This sandwich recipe staple is easy enough to measure and still enjoy on your healthy diet. But when adding mayonnaise to chicken, potato, egg or tuna salads, things can easily get out of hand. If you”;re like most people, you forget about measuring and keep adding mayo until you”;ve achieved the consistency you like. Going overboard by just two tablespoons can add 180 extra sneaky calories to that bowl. But if you don”;t add enough, the salad won”;t be creamy enough!
The solution: Supplement with Greek yogurt. One teaspoon of mayo is equal to one Extra on Nutrisystem. Use up your three Extras in your favorite chicken or tuna salad recipe, then fill in the rest with high-protein, nonfat Greek yogurt. It won”;t change the flavor but will add filling protein that your body needs. Plus, it”;s a PowerFuel, not an Extra–;so you can stay on track with your daily meal prep and weight loss goals while enjoying a sandwich or salad that”;s as creamy as you want.
7. Shredded Cheese
Since you”;re just sprinkling some on the top of a taco or a bowl of salad, measuring out your shredded cheese is probably the last thing on your mind–;it”;s finally time to chow down! But an over-serve on the cheesy goodness is all-too-easy, and can turn your portion-controlled taco into a sneaky weight loss saboteur. An extra eighth-cup of shredded cheese from a popular brand–;basically an extra heavy sprinkle–;can add over 50 calories to your dish if you’re not careful. Repeat that heavy hand a few times and the sneaky calories can really add up.
The solution: First, start with reduced fat versions of your favorite shredded cheese –; they”;re also lower in calories. Then, think of other low calorie ways to give your tacos and meals what you”;re getting from the cheese: Maybe you can accomplish some of the creaminess with a dollop of light sour cream, instead. At just 20 calories per tablespoon, according to the USDA, it”;s a calorie-saving miracle addition to your next burrito bowl.
Take your pick at an unlimited list of healthy recipes with nutritious and wellness-promoting ingredients! Visit our recipe portal on The Leaf here! >
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The post 7 Sneaky Ingredients to Avoid for Weight Loss appeared first on The Leaf.
Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com
This scientific fact is probably not going to surprise you at all: Comfort food is comforting.
In study after study, both animals and humans who eat in response to stress tend to feel less stress, says Evidence for Action. They explain that this comfort eating actually suppresses the chemical stress response–;the production of the stress hormone, cortisol, which is responsible for many of the physical feelings we experience when we”;re stressed out. There is other evidence that certain foods may reduce anxiety and help trigger the production of feel-good brain chemicals like serotonin and dopamine, says Harvard Health Publishing.
What also won”;t surprise you is that comfort foods tend to be high in fat, refined carbohydrates, salt and sugar, according to Psychoneuroendocrinology. In excess amounts, these can lead to weight gain, particularly around your middle. Almost no one reaches for a sprig of broccoli to calm their nerves!
Mac and cheese ticks all the boxes. Plus, in a survey of over 1,000 people, mac and cheese made the top five list of favorite comfort foods for both men and women, says Treadmill Reviews. Women even rated it above chocolate!
The good news: There are at least 10 ways to make mac and cheese that are healthy, diet-friendly, delicious and comforting. The great news: It”;s easy to make healthier comfort food that won”;t leave you stressing over weight gain and meal prep.
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Here 10 mac and cheese recipes for a healthy comfort food meal:
1. Buffalo Blue Cauliflower Mac and Cheese >
Technically, there”;s no “;mac”; in this dish. However, it’s so cheesy and delicious, you won”;t be able to tell. Instead, cauliflower florets swim in a creamy, cheesy, spicy sauce made of fat-free half-and-half, shredded cheddar, blue cheese crumbles, low-fat creamy cheese and spicy buffalo sauce. One serving of this low carb mac and cheese recipe is only 169 calories and counts as one PowerFuel, one Vegetable and two Extras.
2. Zoodle Mac and Cheese with Roasted Veggies >
No mac to be found here either! We replace the pasta with low carb by spiralized zucchini. If you don”;t have your own spiralizer, many stores now sell packaged spiralized veggies in the produce or frozen food sections! The roasted veggies include broccoli, bell pepper, red onion and sweet potato. It”;s all tossed together with a sauce made from a wheat flour and light butter roux, nonfat milk, vegetable broth and reduced fat shredded Mexican cheese. This dish is only 156 calories per serving and counts as one PowerFuel, one Vegetable and one Extra.
3. Bacon Jalapeno Cauliflower Mac And Cheese >
Cauliflower may be the star of this show but turkey bacon and jalapeno definitely play best supporting roles! We serve it up in a creamy mix of low-fat cheddar and cream cheese You”;ll never miss the macaroni in this flavorful and easy-to-make casserole. It”;s only 178 calories per serving and counts as one PowerFuel, one Extra and half of a Vegetable serving.
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4. Beefy Mac and Cheese >
We do half of the work for you in this easy, cheesy recipe! Order a package of Nutrisystem Frozen Mac and Cheese and heat according to the package’s directions. Then brown up three ounces of lean ground beef, mix and enjoy! It”;s that simple. One serving is 326 calories and counts as one Nutrisystem entrée and one PowerFuel.
5. Buffalo Mac and Cheese >
There is no easier recipe than this one! It starts with Nutrisystem White Cheddar Mac and Cheese to which you add two ounces of prepared rotisserie chicken and one teaspoon of buffalo hot sauce. That”;s it! Count this spicy mac as one Nutrisystem Lunch and one PowerFuel.
6. Cauliflower Mac and Cheese >
You can create a creamy, dreamy bowl of cauliflower with just six simple ingredients. Even better, you probably already have them all in your kitchen! This comfort food recipe starts again with cauliflower, everyone”;s favorite macaroni substitute. We bake it in a sauce made from almond milk and low-fat cheddar cheese, seasoned with garlic powder and pepper. One serving is 114 calories and counts as one PowerFuel, one Vegetable and one Extra.
7. Broccoli, Bacon Mac and Cheese Cups >
These little mac and cheese muffins are perfect to carry to work for lunch! They start with a package of Nutrisystem White Cheddar Mac and Cheese and feature turkey bacon and broccoli (or your favorite non-starchy vegetable). Simply pour your mac mixture in muffin cups, top them with panko breadcrumbs and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. What could be easier? Plus, they”;re only 278 calories per serving and count as one PowerFuel, one SmartCarb and one Extra.
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8. Creamy Veggie Mac and Cheese >
The very versatile Nutrisystem White Cheddar Mac and Cheese is easily tweaked to become a delicious, veggie-centric meal. This recipe calls for spinach and cherry tomatoes. However, you can add whatever non-starchy veggie strikes your fancy. Count this dish as one Nutrisystem Lunch and one Vegetable. One serving is only 236 calories.
9. Green Mac and Cheese >
You don”;t have to wait for St. Patrick”;s Day to enjoy this green dish! It combines broccoli and zucchini with whole grain elbow macaroni in a creamy sauce made from almond milk, reduced fat white cheddar cheese and spinach. One serving is only 290 calories and counts as one SmartCarb, one PowerFuel, one Vegetable and one Extra.
10. Crabby Mac and Cheese >
Crab plus mac and cheese? On a diet? You heard us right! Plus, this healthy recipe is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Start with a package of Nutrisystem Mac and Cheese as the healthy shortcut. We then add two ounces of crab meat and top with Parmesan cheese before baking. Decadent? Yes,. However, you deserve it. One serving is only 288 calories and counts as one Nutrisystem Dinner, one PowerFuel and one Extra.
Looking for more comfort food made healthy (and easy)? Learn more about the Nutrisystem meal delivery service! >
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The post Healthier Comfort Food: 10 Homemade Mac and Cheese Recipes appeared first on The Leaf.
Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com