Have a Plant: Fruits & Veggies for Better Health

This 2016 holiday season, bring some dazzle to your holiday parties with healthier snack platters, tasting plates and side dishes.

4 Ways to Make Your Holidays Healthier

  1. Use small snack-style plates and serving utensils. This will decrease how much people will try to fit on their plate and help reduce return trips back to the party foods.
  2. Create low(er)-calorie beverages. Use flavored sparkling waters with fresh juices, whole fruit and fresh herbs.
  3. Display fresh cut veggies as the centerpiece. Serve in various sized bowls, cups and platters with varying heights and depths to increase eye appeal of the display.
  4. Create your menus with a “bite-size” theme. Enhance the palates of your holiday guests with food pairings, coupling two or three different foods together that bring out unique, delicious flavors you may not experience eating each food by itself.

9 Bite-Size Holiday Food Pairings

  1. pistachios + fresh pomegranate arils + brie cheese
  2. mini mozzarella balls + cherry tomatoes + basil leaves + wooden skewers drizzled with balsamic reduction
  3. blue cheese + baguette wedges + pear slices
  4. wasabi peas + Asian sesame sticks + pistachios
  5. Medjool dates + gouda cheese + prosciutto
  6. manchego cheese + pistachios + peppadew peppers
  7. thin slice whole grain bread + apple wedge + cheddar cheese + walnuts
  8. whole wheat snack crackers + Neufchatel cheese + fresh mint + mandarin oranges
  9. pistachios + Gala apple wedges drizzled with honey or lavender honey + aged gouda cheese

Finger food appetizers are a hit at any gathering. Try this recipe for Apricot-Pistachio Cream Cheese Spread at your next get-together or simply for breakfast or brunch paired with a whole-grain bagel or baguettes.

Recipe

Apricot-Pistachio Cream Cheese Spread

Serves 24 (1 tablespoon each)

All you need

  • 1 (8 oz) pkg reduced-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup chopped dried apricots
  • ½ cup chopped unsalted pistachios
  • 1 tbsp honey

All you do
Stir cream cheese, apricots, pistachios and honey in a bowl until well combined.

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Serving Tip: Serve with fresh bakery baguettes that have been sliced and slightly toasted in oven.

Nutrition Facts per serving: 43 calories, 3g fat, 1g saturated fat, 5mg cholesterol, 45mg sodium, 4g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 3g sugar, 1g protein.

Source: Adapted from EatingWell, Inc.

The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

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