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Healthy Appetizer Ideas

Posted Mar 20 2008 2:24pm

I love the excitement of a holiday party. Everyone is in a festive mood. Ladies in a little sparkling garb and guys in a itchy wool sweater. There are also holiday appetizers that are available only this time of year. The more parties that you visit, the more of these appetizers you will eat.

  • Focus on fruit, vegetable or whole grain groups.
  • Can you eat the food anytime of year such as chips and nuts? Then it is not something that I want to deal with now, I want the specially made and seasonal snack. Do I truly love it? If not, it will not go in my mouth and on my waistline. I try to be really selective, really savor it and enjoy it!
  • Lighten it up your favorite high fat appetizer recipe by using low fat cream cheese, low fat cheese, lean meat, light mayonnaise, light or fat free sour cream or yogurt. If recipe calls for nuts or olives, try using less.
  • Many crackers are high in hydrogenated/trans fat. Choose commercial crackers made with liquid oils. Also try toasting small French bread rounds, pita triangles, or thinly sliced bagels. Spray them with cooking spray and add seasonings of your choice. I have an oil spritzer that I put olive oil in to get just a small spray of flavor. Don’t have one? Put it on your holiday list!
  • If you attend a party with mostly appetizers, bring a healthy choice if possible and eat a healthy snack of a salad, soup or fruit and lean protein ahead of time so that you won’t be hungry when you get there. Socialize but don’t stand near the food table and nibble.

If you are pressed for time and need a festive holiday appetizer to bring to a big event. Try this cheese ball recipe and have a box of healthy crackers in your pantry ahead of time!

Holiday Cheese Ball

1 (8 oz) pkg light cream cheese softened

4 oz cheddar cheese made with 2% milk

1/4 c finely chopped purple onion

1 tsp garlic powder

Pinch cayenne pepper

1 (2 oz.) jar sliced pimento, drained

1/2 c. chopped fresh parsley or herbs of your choice

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except for pimento and parsley, and blend well. Stir in pimento. Cover, refrigerate 30 minutes or until easy to handle. Shape into two balls and roll each in parsley or fresh herbs of your choice. Refrigerate.
Makes 8 servings at 2 TB each. Each serving contains: 95 calories,
5 grams fat and 213 mg sodium.

Remember don’t eat your heart out
during the holidays. The best gift to us
and our loved ones is the gift of good health.

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