Terrific Healthy Christmas Appetizer Recipes

Whether you’re planning a Christmas get-together or you know someone who is, chances are you’ll need an appetizer or starter to share this holiday season.
The following appetizer recipes are crowd-pleasing finger foods that are easy to make.
This collection of party-worthy appetizers proves you can have it all: Refined presentation with delicious, bold flavor without packing on the calories.

Terrific Healthy Christmas Appetizer Recipes:

The following recipes are the perfect way to start your holiday cocktail party or Christmas dinner. They are easy, low-calorie and diabetes-appropriate appetizers and they will  impress your guests for sure.

1. Cheese Olivettes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 ounces 2% reduced-fat extra-sharp cheddar cheese, finely shredded (about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 ounces whole-wheat pastry flour (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 24 pimiento-stuffed manzanilla olives
 Preparation:
  1.  Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Place first 3 ingredients in a medium bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed for 1 1/2 minutes or until smooth.
  3.  Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and pepper in a medium bowl. Add flour mixture to cheese mixture; beat at low speed just until combined (dough will be slightly crumbly).
  4. Pat olives dry. Shape 1 teaspoon dough into a ball; flatten. Place 1 olive in center, working dough around olive until covered. Roll between palms until round and smooth. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat procedure with remaining dough and olives to form 24 olivettes. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until lightly browned on bottom. Cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Terrific Healthy Christmas Appetizer Recipes

2. Roasted Beet Crostini

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch beets with greens attached
  • 16 1/2-inch-thick slices baguette, preferably whole-grain, cut on the diagonal
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces creamy goat cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Preparation: 

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Trim greens from beets, reserving stems and greens. Place the beets in a baking pan, cover with foil and roast until very tender when pierced with a knife, 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours, depending on the size of the beets. Uncover and let cool. Reduce oven temperature to 350°.
  3. While the beets cool, arrange baguette slices in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake, turning the slices over once halfway through, until toasted but not browned, about 14 minutes.
  4. Thinly slice the beet green stems and finely chop the leaves; keep stems and leaves separate. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the stems and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the greens, vinegar and water and cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are tender and the liquid has evaporated, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in salt and remove from the heat.
  5. Peel the cooled beets and cut into 1-inch pieces. Place 3/4 cup beet pieces, goat cheese and pepper in a food processor and puree until smooth (reserve the remaining beets for another use).
  6. To assemble crostini, spread about 2 teaspoons beet-cheese spread on each slice of toasted baguette and top with sautéed greens.
  7. Makes: 16 crostini Active Time: Total Time:

3.  Fresh Herb-Tomato Crostini

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 (8.5-oz.) French bread baguette, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large tomato, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
Preparation:

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Stir together olive oil and garlic; brush on 1 side of each bread slice. Place bread slices, garlic sides up, on a baking sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly toasted.

2. Whisk together lemon juice and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Add tomato and next 3 ingredients; gently toss to coat.

3. Top each bread slice with tomato mixture (about 2 rounded teaspoonfuls each). Sprinkle with cheese.

Green Tomato-Fresh Herb Crostini: Substitute 1 finely chopped large green tomato for red tomato. Proceed with recipe as directed.

Fresh Herb-Tomato Tabbouleh Salad: Omit first 3 ingredients. Decrease feta cheese to 1/4 cup. Prepare tomato mixture as directed in Step 2; drain. Reserve seasoning packet from 1 (5.25-oz.) tabbouleh salad mix for another use. Pour tabbouleh mix into a large bowl; stir in 1 cup boiling water. Cover and chill 30 minutes. Stir in tomato mixture. Cover and chill 1 hour. Top with feta cheese, and season with salt to taste. Makes 6 servings. Prep: 10 min; Chill: 1 hr., 30 min.

Terrific Christmas Appetizer Recipes – Sources: http://www.eatingwell.com/www.myrecipes.com