Our 12 Favorite Healthy Holiday Appetizers
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  1. Our 12 Favorite Healthy Holiday Appetizers


    Healthy Holiday Appetizers

    Who doesn’t love a good holiday party?

    The festive atmosphere, the warm air, the smell of spices and the food — oh the food. There’s no shortage of that.

    While it’s okay to enjoy festive indulgences in moderation, one of the best ways to avoid going overboard is to bring your own dishes.

    With that spirit in mind, we’ve collected our 12 favorite holiday appetizers, some sweet, some salty, that you can whip up and delight at your next get-together without going totally nuts on calorie counts.
     




    1) Mini Brie & Apple Quiches


    Healthy Holiday Appetizers - BrieMakes: 30 Quiches
    Serving Size: 1 Quiche
    Calories: 39


    Ingredients:

    30 mini phyllo shells (two 1.9-ounce packages; see Note)
    1/2 medium apple, peeled and finely diced
    5 large eggs
    1 tsp Dijon mustard
    ¼ tsp salt
    Pinch of freshly ground pepper
    Pinch of ground nutmeg
    4 ounces Brie (1/2 small wheel), cut into 30 squares


    Preparation:

    Preheat oven to 350°F.
    Arrange phyllo shells on a large parchment-lined baking sheet. Divide apple among the shells.
    Whisk eggs, mustard, salt, pepper and nutmeg in a large measuring cup. Pour the egg mixture over the apple (do not overfill the shells). Place a Brie square in each shell.
    Bake until the egg is set, the Brie is melted and the phyllo is starting to brown around the edges, about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

    (Note: Mini phyllo shells, or fillo, are available in the freezer section near other frozen appetizers. They do not need to be defrosted before filling and baking.)


    Recipe Courtesy: Eating Well
     



     

    2) Santa Hats


    Healthy Holiday Appetizers - Santa HatsMakes: Varies
    Serving Size: 1 Santa Hat
    Calories: 30
     

    Ingredients:

    Cherry tomatoes, halved
    Cucumbers (2 or 3 peeled and sliced)
    8 ounces plain cream cheese
    1 tbsp mayonnaise
    4 tsp ranch seasoning mix
    Thyme


    Preparation:

    Mix ranch seasoning, cream cheese, and mayonnaise until smooth in a bowl. {I usually let the cream cheese warm up a little before mixing}

    Slice cucumbers thick enough to hold the cream cheese and tomato.

    Put the cream cheese mixture in a plastic bag and cut a small triangle off a corner.

    Squeeze the mixture on to the sliced cucumbers. Add the tomato halves on top. (Put it half up to make them look like Santa hats.)
    Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before sharing.


    Recipe Courtesy: TaraDara Made It

     



     

    3) Spinach Dip Bites


    Healthy Holiday Appetizers - Spinach Dip BitesMakes: 24
    Serving Size: 1 Bite
    Calories: 90
     

    Ingredients:

    2 cups frozen spinach, chopped and thawed
    1 6 ounce jar Artichoke Hearts, drained and chopped
    ½ tsp minced garlic
    2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
    4 ounces cream cheese, softened
    ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
    ½ tsp garlic salt
    pepper to taste
    1 can seamless crescent dough
     

    Preparation:

    Preheat oven to 375.

    In a bowl, combine spinach, artichoke hearts, garlic and Parmesan cheese. Blend in cream cheese and half of your mozzarella cheese. Season with Salt and pepper and set aside.
    Using a rolling pin, lay out dough on a cutting board and lightly stretch to a 8 x 12 rectangle. Cut dough into 2 inch squares, so you have 24 squared total.

    Lightly grease a mini muffin tin and place a square in each slot, gently pushing down to create an indent. (you don't need to mold to the cup.)

    Scoop one teaspoon of your spinach mixture on top of each crescent square and gently push in, (bites will mold to your tin while baking). Spread the remaining mozzarella cheese over the tops of each cup.

    Bake at 375 degrees for 15 - 17 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before moving from tray.


    Recipe Courtesy: Lil’ Luna

     



     

    4) Pumpkin Hummus


    Healthy Holiday Appetizers - Pumpkin HummusMakes: 8 servings
    Serving Size: ¼ cup
    Calories: 165
     

    Ingredients:

    ½ cup pumpkin puree
    1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
    ½ lemon, juiced
    2 garlic cloves
    2 tbsps tahini
    4 tbsps extra virgin olive oil, divided
    ½ tsp sea salt, plus more to taste as desired
    ½ tsp ground cumin, plus more to taste as desired
    ½ tsp chili powder
    ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
    ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper


    Preparation:

    Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor or high-speed blender. Process or blend until smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl or pitcher.

    Drizzle 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil over the top and serve with raw veggies, chips and/or crackers. Also, wonderful as a topping for sweet potatoes, salads and wraps.


    Recipe Courtesy: Kim’s Cravings

     



     

    5) Mom’s Apple Squares


    Healthy Holiday Appetizers - Apple SquaresMakes: 12 squares
    Serving Size: 1 square
    Calories: 253
     

    Ingredients:

    1 1/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
    1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    2 tbsp sugar, plus 3/4 cup, divided
    3/4 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp baking powder
    4 tbsps cold unsalted butter
    5 tbsps canola oil
    1/3 cup ice water
    1 large egg, separated
    4 cups thinly sliced firm tart apples, such as Granny Smith, Empire or Cortland, peeled if desired
    1 tsp ground cinnamon


    Preparation:

    Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Cut butter into small pieces and quickly rub them into the dry ingredients with your fingers until smaller but still visible. Add oil and toss with a fork to combine. Whisk water and egg yolk in a small bowl. Add to the flour mixture and stir until it begins to come together. Knead the dough with your hands in the bowl a few times until it forms a ball. Divide the dough in half and shape into 5-inch disks. Wrap each in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

    Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray and line the bottom and sides with parchment paper.

    Combine apples, the remaining 3/4 cup sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl.

    Roll one portion of dough between sheets of parchment or wax paper into a 9-by-13-inch rectangle. Peel off the top sheet and invert the dough into the prepared pan. Peel off the remaining paper. Trim the dough so it covers just the bottom of the pan. Spread the apple filling evenly over the dough. Using the parchment or wax paper, roll out the remaining dough, invert it over the filling and trim the edges so it just covers the filling. Whisk the egg white in a bowl until frothy and evenly brush over the top crust. Lightly sprinkle the crust with additional sugar, if desired.

    Bake until golden brown and bubbling, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool for at least 1 hour before cutting into 12 squares.


    Recipe Courtesy: Eating Well

     



     

    6) Cranberry Bliss Cheese Ball


    Healthy Holiday Appetizers - Cranberry Cheese BallMakes: 1 ball
    Serving Size: 1 tsp
    Calories: 35
     

    Ingredients:

    8 ounces goat cheese
    Zest of 1 orange
    1 tbsps orange juice
    1 tbsps brown sugar
     

    Preparation:

    Mix together 8 ounces goat cheese, zest of 1 orange, 1 Tablespoon orange juice, and 1 Tablespoon brown sugar.
    Form a ball and roll in dried cranberries and grated white chocolate.

    Refrigerate until ready to serve.


    Recipe Courtesy: Coupons.com

     



     

    7) Egg Snowman


    Healthy Holiday Appetizers - Egg SnowmenMakes: 6 Snowmen
    Serving Size: 1 Snowman
    Calories: 120
     

    Ingredients:

    6 large hard-boiled eggs
    6 small hard-boiled eggs
    Peppercorns
    1 carrot
    1 skewer / stick for BBQ
    uncooked pasta
    parsley


    Preparation:

    Peel off the egg shell. Peel the carrot and cut off the ends. Slice the carrot so that you have 6 round slices from each end that are approximately ½ cm thick.

    Cut off the top and bottom of the eggs.

    Stick the BBQ skewer through the eggs to make a hole and remove it. Do the same with the two round slices of carrots.

    Stick the pasta into the two eggs and the carrot slices.

    Snap off the extra pasta that is sticking out of the carrot.

    Stick the tip of the skewer in the eggs to make small holes for the eyes, nose and buttons. Place a peppercorn in each hole and a small piece of carrot for the nose.

    Lastly, stick a parsley sprig on the side for the broom.


    Recipe Courtesy: Roxy’s Kitchen

     



     

    8) Cinnamon Apple Chips


    Healthy Holiday Appetizers - Cinnamon Apple ChipsMakes: 4 servings
    Serving Size: ¼ batch
    Calories: 88
     

    Ingredients:

    4 apples, cored and sliced ⅛” thick
    1-2 tsp ground cinnamon
    1-2 tsp granulated sugar, if needed
    Cooking spray
     

    Preparation:

    Preheat oven to 200 degrees fahrenheit.

    Add the sliced apples to a large bowl; then coat the apples with the cinnamon and/or sugar.

    Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and line the apples flat on the pan. You may need to use two pans so that they are not overlapping.

    Bake 2-3 hours until the chips are dry yet still soft. Allow to cool completely before placing them in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
     

    Recipe Courtesy: Carrie’s Experimental Kitchen

     




      

    9) Cranberry & Feta Pinwheels  


    Healthy Holiday Appetizers - Cranberry Feta PinwheelsMakes: 12 Pinwheels
    Serving Size: 1 Pinwheel
    Calories: 65
     

    Ingredients:


    ¾ cup dried sweetened cranberries
    1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
    ¾ cup crumbled feta cheese
    1⁄4 cup chopped green onion
    3 large flour tortillas, wheat or spinach for pretty color


    Preparation:

    Combine all ingredients except tortillas, mix well.
    Divide and spread mixture evenly among tortillas.
    Roll up tightly, wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least one hour.

    To serve cut into 12 slices.
     

    Recipe Courtesy: The Girl Who Ate Everything

     



     

    10) Mini Crab Cakes with Pickled Celery

     

    Healthy Holiday Appetizers - Mini Crab CakesMakes: 28
    Serving Size: 2 Crab Cakes
    Calories: 104
     

    Ingredients:

    3 tbsps water
    3 tbsps cider vinegar
    2 tsps sugar
    3/4 cup finely chopped celery
    1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, shell pieces removed
    1/4 cup canola mayonnaise, divided
    3 tbsps minced fresh chives, divided
    2 tsps Dijon mustard, divided
    1/4 tsp black pepper
    1/4 tsp kosher salt
    1 large egg, lightly beaten
    1 cup whole-wheat panko, divided
    2 tsps olive oil
    Cooking spray
    2 tbsps 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt
    1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
    16 lemon wedges


    Preparation: 

    Preheat oven to 400°.

    Combine 3 tablespoons water, vinegar, and sugar in a medium microwave-safe bowl; microwave at HIGH 2 minutes or until boiling. Add celery; let stand 15 minutes. Drain.

    Drain crabmeat on several layers of paper towels. Combine half of celery, 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon chives, 1 teaspoon mustard, black pepper, salt, and egg in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add crabmeat and 1/4 cup panko to mayonnaise mixture; toss gently. Chill 15 minutes.

    Combine remaining 3/4 cup panko, 1 tablespoon chives, and oil in a bowl; toss. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon panko in bottom of each of 32 miniature muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon crab mixture over panko. Top each cup with 1/2 teaspoon panko mixture.

    Bake at 400° for 15 minutes.

    Preheat broiler to high.

    Lightly coat crab cakes with cooking spray. Broil 1 minute or until tops are crisp.

    Combine remaining 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, yogurt, remaining 1 teaspoon mustard, remaining half of celery, remaining 1 tablespoon chives, and hot sauce in a bowl. Top each crab cake with about 1/2 teaspoon sauce. Serve with lemon wedges.


    Recipe Courtesy: Cooking Light

     



     

    11) Turkey Cranberry Meatballs


    Healthy Holiday Appetizers - Turkey Cranberry MeatballsMakes: 20 meatballs
    Serving Size: 4-5 meatballs
    Calories: 180
     

    Ingredients:

    1 cup of barbecue sauce
    1 egg white
    1 (20 ounce) package extra lean ground turkey
    3 green onions, chopped small
    1 tbsp of reduced sodium soy sauce
    1/2 cup of dried cranberries (craisins)
    salt and pepper to taste
    nonstick cooking spray


    Preparation:

    In a medium bowl place the egg white and beat lightly. Add uncooked ground turkey, green onion, craisins, soy sauce, salt and pepper.

    Mix well with a large spoon or your hands until well blended. Shape into 28 balls. Spray large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Add your meatballs to the skillet; cook over medium high heat for 10 to 12 minutes or until meatballs are no longer pink in center, carefully turning occasionally to brown evenly.

    Pour your BBQ sauce over your meatballs and stir them around until they are all completely covered. Place the lid on and let them simmer on low heat for about 3 minutes.
    Serve with toothpicks.


    Recipe Courtesy: Six Sisters’ Stuff

     



     

    12) Sugar Coated Pecans


    Healthy Holiday Appetizers - Sugar Coated PecansMakes: 12 servings
    Serving Size: ¼ cup
    Calories: 320
     

    Ingredients:

    1 egg white
    1 tbsp water
    1 pound pecan halves
    1 cup white sugar
    3/4 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp ground cinnamon


    Preparation:

    Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C). Grease one baking sheet.

    In a mixing bowl, whip together the egg white and water until frothy. In a separate bowl, mix together sugar, salt, and cinnamon.
    Add pecans to egg whites, stir to coat the nuts evenly. Remove the nuts, and toss them in the sugar mixture until coated. Spread the nuts out on the prepared baking sheet.

    Bake at 250 degrees F (120 degrees C) for 1 hour. Stir every 15 minutes.
     

    Recipe Courtesy: All Recipes  

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    Author: Caitlin Hendee
    Diet-to-Go Community Manager

    Caitlin is the Diet-to-Go community manager and an avid runner. She is passionate about engaging with others online and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. She believes moderation is key, and people will have the most weight loss success if they engage in common-sense healthy eating and fitness.

     

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