Munchies, appetizers, starters, aperitif, whatever you want to call them, those little snacks to whet your appetite before a meal are some of my favorite foods. Often we make a meal of little apps. A cocktail party can be so delicious!
As the holiday season rolls around, you’re going to want to have a few little bites available to your guests as they gather in your home and await the main meal. Oftentimes, hostesses lean toward traditional, albeit not-that-good-for-you favorites, like spinach dip, cheese balls, chips, and potato skins.
But, while the traditional may be “not so healthy,” that doesn’t mean we can’t produce some new and improved versions of old favorites.
One thing that I try to avoid these days are processed foods and seasoning packets. Instead, I create my own from scratch with herbs, spices, and fresh ingredients. This year I decided to tackle the holiday classic, Spinach Dip.
The traditional favorite still boasts spinach, but the sour cream and mayonnaise have been replaced by plain yogurt and cream cheese. Vegetable soup mix, often laden with MSG, gives way to dried herbs and spices. This still allows you to keep the ingredients on hand in your pantry and freezer without a lot of extra junk.
Serve with fresh vegetable dippers and whole grain crackers for a healthy app.
Recipe: Healthier Spinach Dip
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 Tablespoon onion flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon dried celery flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- Combine yogurt and cream cheese in food processor or stir until smooth in a mixing bowl.
- Stir in onion, celery flakes, thyme, parsley, garlic, and pepper. Transfer to mixing bowl.
- Stir in spinach. Chill for several hours before serving.
- Serve with vegetable dippers and whole grain crackers.
Healthify Your Holiday Appetizers
In this video, I share some other ideas for healthifying your pre-meal munchies.
It’s not too hard to combine homemade items with a few storebought items for simple and delicious food that isn’t too bad for you.
Ready for a healthier holiday? Visit my fellow Healthy Holiday bloggers for great inspiration in planning a nutritious and delicious holiday meal. Not only are we providing healthier dishes for every course of your holiday meal, but we’ll also be talking turkey at a Twitter party on Wednesday night. Be there or be square!