Entertaining

Oh, the holidays. Such a great time for fun with the family and delicious food! The problem is, sometimes the food isn’t so healthy. And although it is okay to indulge occasionally, attending 10 holiday parties in a row with cheesy, bacon-y appetizers might leave you feeling sluggish and less than your best. Next time, come as the host or guest bearing something healthy to add into the mix.

The problem is that some people associate healthy food with tasting like cardboard. That’s not what we are going for here. Healthy appetizers are full of flavor because they use delicious, fresh, and seasonal ingredients. You just need to think outside of the box—or outside of our continent—to get some fabulous flavors that will wow the other guests. Here are some of our favorite ideas for this holiday season:

If you are looking to entertain with an added flair of Mediterranean or Middle Eastern flavor, then whip up a batch of hummus for your guests. Better yet, arrange it in a festive wreath for easy dipping. Chopped hummus and peppers, cherry tomatoes and crumbled feta add an extra delicious and healthy bonus. Center the wreath with your favorite crackers and you have a yummy way to greet your guests. 

This appetizer might look difficult, but it’s simple. And you get a dose of veggies as well as some healthy fats from the addition of nuts. Not only that, but the fresh garlic in the stuffing also means you are helping your guests to better heart and immune system health.

Want all the goodness of these delicious little holiday helpers without all the bad stuff? Substitute Greek yogurt for the mayo in this take on a classic appetizer. Creamy, flavorful, and filling, this will leave your guests feeling happy and ready to party.

This is something you don’t find at many holiday gatherings, but it is a fun and healthy appetizer, nonetheless. Surprise your guests or hosts by bringing in a bit of Asian flair made with smoked salmon for a deep and delicious taste. Low in fat but big on flavor, we think this one will leave everyone asking for more. And you don’t have to tell anyone how easy it was to make.

Turkey is leaner than its friend, ground beef, so these turkey meatballs are naturally low in fat. But don’t let that fool you: They are flavorful and juicy, and the dipping sauce is divine with a sweet and spicy edge. Just make sure you make enough for seconds.

If you are looking for something a bit more complicated but also worth the work, check out these fun gyoza. Filled with delicious veggies (sweet potatoes and cabbage), these little wonders will please a crowd of all ages. Even kids will find little pockets of dough filled with goodness irresistible. Dip in some soy sauce for a yummy finishing touch. 

If you are looking to add some delicious and healthy sweetness to your holiday movie nights with the family, this appetizer is the way to go. Combining cocoa powder, cinnamon, and orange zest with some homemade stove top popcorn will make the whole house smell like the holiday season. And popcorn is naturally a whole grain, so the kids will get a dose of fiber to boot. 

Holiday cooking doesn’t have to mean cheese on top of cheese on top of all things bad for you. It is fun to try decadent foods and desserts this time of year, but to make sure you don’t go overboard, try bringing some healthy appetizers to the table this season.

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