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Fast, Fun and Festive Holiday Appetizers

Elaine Magee, MPH, RD Wellness Services Corporate Dietitian

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Nov 21st, 2017

‘Tis the season of holiday parties! Often these holiday get-togethers are after work or in the middle of an already busy day. To survive the season, we need to be armed with a handful of fast and festive holiday appetizer recipes that we can quickly make ahead and serve at a moment’s notice.

Appetizers are even better when they feature whole ingredients like fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, eggs or fish, each contributing key nutrients like vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber and more! This Apricot-Almond Brie Bite recipe features 3 key ingredients that meld together for a magical flavor combo– a piece of dried fruit topped with brie and a smoky almond! This app is so easy to make but still has a festive and fun presentation your friends and family will love!

apricot date app

Want to experience an appetizer that blows away three of your taste senses in one bite? These Unbaked Date Jalapeno Poppers will tantalize your taste buds with sweet, savory and spicy flavors. This app has something for everyone!

unbaked date jalapeno poppers

Worried about curbing hunger during the high temptation holiday season? To feel fuller on fewer calories, snack on foods that are higher in fiber and lean protein! Foods high in water and fiber, like fruits and vegetables, add bulk to your meal which helps fill the stomach. However, evidence is growing that lean protein, such as lean meats, fish, poultry, eggs and beans, can reduce hunger too. Bring a protein-rich gourmet appetizer to satisfy an empty stomach! Here are two make-ahead appetizers that will pump up the protein at any party– Crust-Less Mini Christmas Quiches and Smoked Salmon with Scallion Cream Cheese Mini Toasts.

Crustless mini quiches

smoked salmon crostinis

The bad news is many of our favorite appetizers call for high-saturated fat and high-calorie ingredients. The good news is we can make simple ingredient substitutions to create tasty versions that are lighter in calories but heavier in key nutrients. This recipe for Quick Cranberry and Pecan Baked Brie calls for reduced fat crescent roll dough instead of a heavy pastry crust. Additionally, toasted pecans and whole berry cranberry sauce contribute guilt-free flavor, texture and nutrients!

Baked Brie

Cheese Ball Lollipops are made with less fat Neufchatel or light cream cheese blended with fresh herbs and reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese then rolled in chopped walnuts, a nutritional superstar.

Cheese balls

For more holiday inspiration, check out our Pinterest page! Happy app’ing!

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