Over the weekend I put together an array of appetizers for some friends who were coming over for dinner. Through the process I thought about how it can be hard to walk the fine line of those who want to eat healthy and those who have a “taste first” mentality. In my opinion, you should have not have to sacrifice the yum factor for health. There are so many more options available now than there ever were. You also do not have to make everything from scratch. I love to try out and develop new recipes, but sometimes resources and time just prevent that from being possible. If you overwhelm yourself you will never want to invite people over! When you have to clean up, food shop and then get together the items for the actual dinner – sometimes appetizers have to require minimal effort.
Healthy Appetizer Ideas
It was only another couple otherwise everyone ends up eating way too many snacks and getting full before the meal. My family has made this mistake on holidays and get-togethers many times! In fact sometimes, we look at each other and ask if anyone is still hungry for the main course. No joke.
Cheese, Dips and Crackers
Dips and cheeses are wonderful to pair with fresh vegetables and seasonal fruits. Sometimes a chip or a cracker is what you have to have. I cut up organic cucumber and celery as well as conventional carrots to enjoy alongside a hummus dip. It is important to follow the guidelines for buying organic fruits and vegetables so you can save a little money wherever possible. The last lists I saw released indicated cucumber and celery is best to buy organic, but carrots are fine either way. Even that little bit adds up over time so I go regular with my carrot selections. I also buy organic hummus and Cedar’s is my favorite. The ingredient list is very minimal so there are not a lot of additives and thickeners. It also has a very nice flavor. I usually go with original, but I have seen garlic and other choices while I have been at the food store.
Chips and Salsa
My other easy go-to option is chips and salsa. Who does not love this combination? I stick to organic brands since tomatoes are essential to buy organic. I have never seen more salsa selections than at the grocery stores in Texas. When I am shopping, I will simply skim the ingredient list to make sure there are not any preservatives or the like that should be avoided. Choosing a chip is a rough area too. Corn is one of the biggest GMO crops in the world so I only buy them if it is very clearly labeled that the product is Non GMO Verified. Blue Chips by Garden of Eatin’ are really tasty and were suggested by Rich Food Poor Food as a good snack selection. I did a review on this book awhile back, and it is full of information about food quality. It also has some really convenient food shopping recommendations too.
Flavored Almonds or Nuts
Almonds rounded out the array of appetizers. I buy them raw and then add my own Pink Himalayan Sea Salt. Raw nuts are better for you and the salt adds an extra dimension, but you can stick with unsalted if that is your preference.
Those are just a few snack suggestions in case you have any party plans in the future. I am off to eat a quick lunch and get to the gym for a workout. Hope your Tuesday is going swimmingly!
Question of the Day: Do you serve guests healthy snacks or stick to what you think will be popular?