It’s Easy To Celebrate September As National Fruits & Veggies Month!

Produce On Your Plate Makes The Holidays Great

Tis the season for food, friends and fun and let me emphasize food! Cookies, fruit cake, holiday dinners, buffets are part of what makes the season bright, right? How about if we add some produce in the mix as the base of an appetizer, as a garnish sprinkled on a flatbread, or as the dippers? Here are 4 appetizers that score high on taste with delish flavor combinations and nutrient amplifications. Unleash your inner creativity with decorations to add to the festivity.

Pumpkin Dip With Fruit Dippers


  • Reduced-fat cream cheese- Neufchatel or Farmers- 3 ounce
  • Canned pumpkin- ½ cup
  • Applesauce, unsweetened- ¼ cup
  • Vanilla full-fat Greek yogurt- 5-ounce container
  • Orange zest- 2 tsps
  • Brown sugar- 2 TBSP
  • Pumpkin pie spice- 1 teaspoon


  1. Use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese, add in pumpkin, applesauce, Greek yogurt, brown sugar, orange zest and pumpkin pie spice.
  2. Adorn the pumpkin “tree” with boughs of fruit
  3. Serve with:
  4. Apple slices, skin on
  5. Pear slices, skin on
  6. Apple chips


Mediterranean Dip


  • Hummus- 1 container
  • Crumbled feta-1/2 cup
  • Chopped pistachios- ¼ cup
  • Diced roasted red peppers- ¼ cup
  • Chopped Kalamata Olives- ¼ cup
  • Diced Cucumber, skin on- ¼ cup
  • Green onions, ¼ cup chopped


In a shallow bowl, layer:

  • Hummus
  • Red peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Olives
  • Green onions
  • Pistachios
  • Feta
  • Serve with any of the following:
  • Pita chips
  • Lentil Chips
  • Chickpea chips
  • Raw veggies

To take it up a notch, form the hummus into the shape of a tree, star, menorah and sprinkle with peppers, olives, green onions, cucumber, pistachios and feta


Festive Flatbread


  • Ricotta, whole milk – ¾  cup
  • Juice from 1 orange
  • Grated orange peel- 1 teaspoon
  • Grated ginger root- 1 teaspoon
  • Honey roasted pistachios
  • Pomegranate arils


Spread a thin layer of ricotta on dried fruit and nut crackers and sprinkle Pomegranate arils and pistachios on top


Lentil, Walnut & Red Pepper Spread


  • 1 12 oz jar of roasted red peppers, drained well
  • ¾ cup walnut halves
  • 1/2 cup canned lentils, drained
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs, plain
  • 1-1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 TBSP pomegranate molasses (or 1.5 teaspoons balsamic vinegar + 1 tsp honey)
  • ½ tsp Sea salt
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika


  1. In a food processor with a metal blade, pulse the walnuts, then add lentils and garlic and olive oil, add in the remainder of the ingredients.
  2. Pulse until blended.
  3. Unleash your creativity shaping the following dippers like a tree:
  • Cauliflower florets
  • Broccoli florets
  • Carrots
  • Radishes

Ring in the holidays with a ho-ho-ho and lots of yum, wishing you good cheer, great eats and a delicious, nutritious New Year. #haveaplant

Other Stories