Holiday parties are a great way to enjoy the company of friends and family, but they can sure wreak havoc on a diet. In fact, most people go into a holiday gathering already assuming that they're going to blow their calorie quota to smithereens. If you're planning a holiday party, wouldn't it be nice to pleasantly surprise your guests with delicious appetizers that are actually healthy? Below is a roundup of flavorful yet healthy appetizer ideas that are sure to be crowd-pleasers at your next holiday shindig.
1. Pine Nut Stuffed Mushrooms (Gluten-Free)
Stuffed mushrooms are typically loaded with carb-heavy breadcrumbs and fat-laden cheese, which not only pack on the calories, but can also aggravate various food allergies. These bite-sized starters are filled with high-quality ingredients including pine nuts, carrots, onion, salsa, and quinoa mixed with rice, making them both vegan and gluten-free. You can find the recipe for these delicious mushroom caps at The Healthy Apple.
2. Baked Sweet Potato Skins
This delectable appetizer offers a great balance of sweet and savory flavors, and it's no slouch in the nutrition department, either. The sweet potatoes are rich in Vitamin A, an important antioxidant that supports eye, bone, and skin health. The refried black beans are packed with fiber and protein, and the salsa offers a good dose of fresh veggies that really make these skins sing. Another plus is that this delectable appetizer is both gluten-free and vegetarian. Head over to Skinny Taste for the recipe.
3. Avocado Hummus
Hummus is the all-purpose nutritional dip, and part of its nearly universal appeal is that you can create whatever flavor variations you desire without too much fuss. This avocado-infused version is zesty and flavorful, and refreshingly easy to make--all you have to do is throw the ingredients into a food processor and blend it up! Serve with fresh vegetables for a satisfying crunch. The recipe can be found at A Cozy Kitchen.
4. Mini Greek Pizza Muffins
There's tons of flavor in these savory treats. Made from whole wheat flour and loaded with tasty Mediterranean favorites such as olive oil, feta cheese, and Kalamata olives, these mini muffins offer everything you love about Greek pizza in one bite-sized package. You can thank the culinary geniuses at Eating Well for this recipe.
5. Gluten-Free Pretzel-Crusted Chicken
Using crushed gluten-free pretzels for your breading is what makes this finger food so flavorful. The recipe uses gluten-free all-purpose flour as well to help accommodate any food sensitivities. These chicken bites are crispy and delicious by themselves, but if you want to, you can serve with any number of popular dipping sauces. Meaningful Eats has all the details for this sumptuous recipe.
6. Brie, Apple, and Honey Crostini
For a real treat, try melted brie cheese and apple slices over mini-baguettes, topped with candied pecans and drizzled with honey. This appetizer is super-easy to make from quality ingredients, and will be a guaranteed hit at your next holiday gathering. Head over to Two Peas and Their Pod for this insanely delicious recipe.
The above recipes are proof that you can serve healthy, nutritious appetizers full of high-quality ingredients without compromising great flavor. Keep them in mind for your next Christmas party, so that you and your guests can enjoy a happy and healthy holiday season!