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I love appetizers! And I adore parties where lots of them are served. In fact, I'm thoroughly happy when that is all that is served. Appetizers are a fun way to sample different foods and flavor profiles. Unfortunately, they tend to be high in calories and low in nutritional value. Today, we are going to share some ideas for appetizers that are both delicious and nutritious.
I know this is far from the most exciting idea, but hear me out. I set out a veggie tray anytime I am hosting a party. We all know the standard veggie tray, right? Carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, and maybe some pea pods or grape tomatoes. All excellent options, especially when kids are involved, but we can do better than that. To jazz things up a bit, swap out a few of the old standbys. Try asparagus, turnips, fennel, zucchini, or endive lettuce. Focus on seasonal vegetables for great flavor and variety. In the fall or winter, do a roasted vegetable tray. And,to make your tray look extra special, keep stems and leaves on when possible.
What dip always accompanies that quintessential veggie tray I mentioned above? Yep, ranch. Every time- and not exactly packed with nutrition usually. With just a bit of creativity, you can satisfy that urge to dip while packing in lots of nutrients. Veggies and crackers are delightful when dunked in hummus, fresh salsa, or guacamole. Try something a little more daring with White Bean and Sun Dried Tomato Pate or Thai Coconut Curry Hummus by VegKitchen. Or, how about this yummy Avocado Lime Dip from doTERRA? For a healthier version of ranch, try this Hemp Seed Ranch recipe (P.S. there is a recipe for cauliflower buffalo wings here too). Mix the ranch recipe in a blender with a can of drained and rinsed white beans for a thicker dip.
Avocado Lime Dip with Spicy Sweet Potato Fries
- 2 avocados
- 1–2 drops Lime Essential Oil
- 2–3 dashes hot sauce
- Salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
- 1–2 large sweet potatoes, unpeeled and cut
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Pepper, freshly ground, to taste
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Toss ingredients together in sealed bag until evenly coated.
- Place evenly on large-rimmed baking sheet.
- Roast, turning once until wedges are golden brown and crisp (25–30 minutes).
- Place ingredients for dip in mini food processor and mix until smooth.
- Transfer dip to bowl and serve alongside sweet potato fries.
Tip: For extra crispy fries, lightly toss cut potatoes in 2–3 tablespoons of cornstarch.
Balance is important when you are choosing your appetizers. Having a plate of fruit available brings a touch of sweetness to balance the savory appetizers. I'll be honest, I typically make selections for my fruit plates based on color. Blueberries, red apple slices, kiwi, pineapple, orange segments, and red grapes look fabulous together! Make your fruit selection more finger friendly by assembling fruit kabobs instead of arranging on a platter.
Ah, Crostini! Small slices of toasted or grilled bread served with any topping your heart desires. Can all my food come in this format? There are so many options here.You could serve a crostini duo or trio. These recipes would make a wonderful trio.
A Few More Ideas...
Just a few more ideas to help you round out the appetizer selection for your next party. It's easy to find plant based recipes that will make your appetizers a hit at any party. Remember, if you are hosting, keep it simple. Two options is fine unless you are only serving appetizers. In that case you might want a few more. Also...you might want to invite me!
- Vegetable Spring Rolls
- Nuts (Seasoned or Plain)
- Roasted Chick Peas
- Vegetable Tempura
- Mini Falafel Balls
- Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms
What are some of your favorite appetizers?