Party foods don’t have to derail your plans to make this the healthiest holiday season ever.
If you understand the answer to the following question, all the food you serve can be healthy: What creates appetizing snacks, desserts or hors d’oevres?
It’s not the calories.
It’s rich color; a distinctive texture–either crunchy or creamy–and a taste that quickens the senses.
There’s a cornucopia of nutritious foods that can create a dazzling buffet that feasts the eyes and the palate. The beauty of these foods is that they don’t require added sugar, butter, or cream to please. These natural treats add nourishment to your parties and actually supplement the nutrients you receive from the food you eat every day.
They are powerhouses of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals like carotenoids and bioflavinoids, those anti-oxidants found in plants that make vegetables and fruits the healthiest foods you can add to your diet.
Some healthy choices:
- shrimp with salsa
- smoked salmon or pickled herring with seven-grain toast topped with fresh dill
- a white bean salad with navy or Tuscan beans, chopped red onion, chopped walnuts, and a light dressing of tarragon vinegar and olive oil
- a pasta salad with olive oil, chopped tomatoes and basil.
Flavor these with fresh herbs like parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme and garlic. Spreads made from tofu, beans or chick peas without added fat are also available.
To spice things up, add a touch of curry, black pepper, garlic or soy sauce. Serve these with crudites, baked tortilla chips or triangles of fresh pita bread.
Attractive little bowls of almonds, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds can adorn your table and, whether roasted or raw, add minerals like zinc and magnesium to your feast. Raisins and dates add sweetness. Most commercial trail mixes or dried fruit mixtures are loaded with added sugar, so it’s better to create your own.
If you’re entertaining kids, you can also try:
- air-popped popcorn sprinkled with parmesan cheese
- carrot sticks with almond butter
- frozen banana pops with chocolate sprinkles
- homemade fruit juice ice pops
- granola chews made with rolled oats, nut butter, raisins, and apple juice concentrate.
Healthy beverages can complement your healthy buffet. Warm apple cider brewed with cinnamon sticks is a cold-weather favorite.
Have a Happy Healthy New Year!
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