The holidays are notorious for taking a toll on waistlines, sometimes unraveling all the progress made in the weeks and months prior. Between cookie exchanges, holiday parties and happy hours, the calories can really put a halt on weight loss efforts. Fortunately, a little planning can go a long way. Here are some healthy snack ideas to add to your holiday spread this year:
1. Veggie Tray
Fresh vegetables are an easy appetizer to keep your holiday guests occupied while they’re waiting for the main meal. Pick up a pre-assembled tray at the supermarket or create your own medley of carrots, celery, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, snow peas, cherry tomatoes, radishes, cucumbers, or any other veggies that you enjoy. And if you’re feeling adventurous, add some pickles and olives to the mix. (Pssst…hummus, salsa and guacamole are great alternatives to Ranch dressing if you want to include a dip.)
2. Fresh Fruit Bowl
Choose a variety of fruits like blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, sliced apples, and grapes, and you’ll be sure to lure in the sweet tooths of the family. To keep apples from turning brown, add a little citrus, like orange wedges or sliced pineapple. Fruit bowls store well for a couple of days in the fridge and also make great side dishes for breakfast if your guests are staying overnight.
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Place a bowl of nuts in your family’s central gathering place and watch them disappear before your eyes. It’ll also give you a good excuse to bust out those holiday nutcrackers that have been packed away all year.
4. Smoked Salmon
Smoked salmon makes a beautiful and delicious addition to any holiday spread, especially when paired with capers, red onions and remoulade. Mini toasts or toasted baguette are lovely, but crackers work well, too.
Popcorn is a fast, easy and healthy snack that can be dressed up with a variety of flavorings, like cheese, yeast flakes*, or cayenne pepper.
6. Blue Cheese, Figs and Honey
This is one of my all-time favorite snacks, and it’s a perfect add-on to a charcuterie board. If you’ve never paired blue cheese with honey, then you’re just missing out. Pick up some honeycomb* or simply drizzle a little honey over the cheese. It’ll seriously leave you speechless.
Don’t forget to include some non-alcoholic drink options for those who are abstaining from alcohol for any number of reasons. Seltzers, flavored waters, or other non-caloric beverages can easily be spruced up with festive garnishes.
8. Pico de Gallo
If regular salsa isn’t feeling festive enough for you, toss together some pico de gallo. Most traditional recipes include some variation of the following: tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, lime juice and cilantro. (I add bell peppers to mine.) And a little side of guacamole never hurts.
These healthy snack foods will be sure to keep you and your guests happy and healthy.
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