Appetizers are usually served in bite size portions, so that alone helps make it healthy (through portion control) as long as you keep to a minimum and not go back for third helpings. However, if your guests live healthy lifestyles or you yourself have decided to offer more healthy alternatives when entertaining, then you must have in your arsenal a range of healthy appetizers recipes.
When planning your healthy appetizers platter, treat it as if you’re planning a healthy set meal altogether. Make sure your healthy appetizer at least complements something healthy in the main course and dessert. Healthy means eating more fruits and vegetables, so keep in mind that produce is the core of your healthy appetizersVegetables are nutritious, with almost no cooking required, and easy to make (though not counting the mise en place needed beforehand). Vegetables you can count on as ingredients for healthy dishes include bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, cucumber, squash, salad greens, spinach, beets, artichoke hearts, broccoli and more. You can stuff them with rice, quinoa, lean ground meats, turkey, chicken, herbs, seasonings and breadcrumbs.
Skip the usual fried finger foods and instead, bake these treats in the oven or grill them. Should you need a bit of oil for sautéing, use olive oil or safflower oil which has less cholesterol. Although cheese and cream-based appetizers are super delicious, they do not help your healthy cause. Replace the regular cheeses with low fat versions. Better to lessen or take out the rich sauces, cream and cheese in the appetizer recipe than tempt your guests who are trying to eat healthy. Remember that these rich foods give of appetizing aromas especially when hot, so keep them out of dieters’ reach.
Mini bowls of healthy salads make good appetizers. Dress them in very light vinaigrettes. Salsas and guacamoles are healthy as depending on how you make them and what ingredients you put in. Grilled vegetables and fruit skewers make lovely, healthy and colorful appetizers so entice your guests with more of these.
To get the maximum nutrients possible, buy organic produce from your local farmer’s market. Choose the freshest you can find and keep the seasoning to a minimum. Wash them well and prepare them at the last minute if you can unless they need to be marinated, grilled or baked. Healthy appetizers rely on herbs, lemon, and spices for flavor aside from the nature of the produce itself.