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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

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

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

Ingredients

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

Instructions

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

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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

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