Healthy Christmas Snacks
Sesame-Soy Nut and Pretzel Mix
If any one dish is devoured quickly and constantly (usually by the fistful) throughout the holiday, it’s snack mix. Consisting of salty nuts, pretzels, and cereal doused with a Worcestershire and butter, this innocent munchie racks up sodium and calories quickly. Our healthier version gives you all the salt, crunch, and bold spices of the original with the addition of whole-grain popcorn, toasty whole-wheat cereal, and spicy wasabi peas. The peas inspired an Asian track with toasty sesame oil and reduced-sodium soy sauce, cashews, and pungent ground ginger.
Glazed Cocktail Meatballs
These mini meatballs are perfect for holiday parties and tailgating. We made them healthier by forgoing sodium-heavy ingredients like the usual ketchup and chili sauce and including whole-grain bulgur in place of breadcrumbs. You can also serve a larger portion of these meatballs for weeknight dinner. To up the kid-friendly factor, omit the ground red pepper in the glaze and serve with mashed potatoes (à la Swedish meatballs). For a tangier glaze, substitute cranberry sauce for the grape jelly.
Spicy Soy Bar Nuts
The almonds and cashews roast at slightly different rates, so place each in a separate baking pan. After initially roasting, you can place them in the oven together with the peanuts for this recipe, but rotate the pan for even cooking.
Nutty Carrot Flatbread
We were so inspired by the vegetable flatbread made by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl of greenkitchenstories.com, we decided to create our own hearty, seed- and nut-packed version. The gluten-free slices are perfect for sandwiches. Pop slices into the toaster oven for crispy edges. Or wrap in foil for soft, warm slices.
Mini Cheese Balls
Save 108 calories, 7g sat fat, and 69mg sodium per serving over a traditional cheese ball. Almond milk cream cheese is delicately nutty, with a buttery-rich texture and zero grams of sat fat. Find it at Whole Foods stores nationwide. You can substitute 1⁄3-less-fat cream cheese, which adds 1.6g sat fat to each serving.
Trail Mix Chocolate Bark
A good old nut and raisin blend delivers sugar, salt, and crunch—AKA all things good. Healthier than store-bought alternatives, this snack is ideal for gift giving.
Goat Cheese Queso Dip with Vegetable Chips
This warm, tangy twist on fundido is perfect with sparkling wine; the bubbles help cut through the richness. We pair with veggie chips, but you can also serve with crudités for a fresher take. The dip is very easy to put together. One note on mixing: Blend the beans until they are completely smooth and puréed for the silkiest, creamiest results. You can’t overblend it, but if you stop too soon, the dip might have a few lumps. The great thing about this dip is that it can be made ahead and rewarmed when you’re ready to serve it. To reheat, stir gently over low heat until hot. For an herby version, add a generous 1⁄4 cup of a mix of chopped herbs, such as parsley, chives, and a little basil.
Banana, Chocolate, and Hazelnut Dip
Made with Greek yogurt and light sour cream, this delicious spread makes a guilt-free treat. Serve on graham crackers, or add it to a peanut butter sandwich for a touch of sweetness without loading it up with calories.
Beet Hummus with Blue Cheese and Walnuts
We love creating innovative hummus recipes, and Beet Hummus with Blue Cheese and Walnuts is no exception. This beautiful, crimson-colored dip is made with chickpeas, tahini, beets and garlic.
Mac and Cheese Bites
Feed a hungry crowd these all-star, feel-good favorites at your next party. Nothing is as comforting as melty, creamy, cheesy, comforting macaroni and cheese. Be still our hearts.
Nutty Parmesan Herb Scones
Our portable protein-packed pastries won't send you into midmorning nap mode. Store scones in an airtight container for three to five days, or freeze up to one month.
Garlicky Turnip Fries With Pomegranate Ketchup
It's turnip time! Take advantage of peak season, and serve up this delicious app.
Goat Cheese Cheesecake Bites
Who says goat cheese is only for savory food. Creamy and luscious, goat cheese makes for the perfect ingredient in a thick, decadent cheesecake dessert. Mixed with Greek yogurt and a touch of powdered sugar, this adorable cheesecake bites are the perfect solution for using up leftover goat cheese. Topped with fruit preserves and served in pre-made mini-phyllo shells, this cute, crowd-pleasing dessert is ready in minutes.
Endive Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Walnuts
Delicate, bitter-flavored endive is dressed up with a single orange section, toasted walnuts, goat cheese (or blue if you prefer), and a drizzle of orange, honey, and balsamic-infused syrup. Perfect for a holiday fete, each bite of this balanced recipe packs a burst of tangy, salty, and sweet flavors.
Unlike classic pesto, there's no oil in this filling. Once everything is minced in the food processor, though, it develops a paste-like consistency. Thaw the pastry in the fridge overnight, or leave out at room temperature for an hour or two.
Marinated Feta Skewers
If you can find a container of multicolored tomatoes, use those for the prettiest presentation.
Salty Maple-Pecan Popcorn Balls
Anyone who grew up making popcorn balls will remember fondly the quick, hot work of shaping the sticky mixture into balls that would quickly set up. It’s an old-fashioned treat that we’re bringing back, because they’re a 100 percent whole-grain dessert. That’s right—popcorn is a whole grain, and popcorn balls are an easy way to turn those grains into a sweet, healthy treat for the family.
Apple Pie Energy Bites
No-Bake Chewy Granola Bars
These bars are a perfectly portable snack you can prep on Sunday and enjoy throughout the week. Wrap leftovers tightly in plastic wrap, and store in the fridge. The bars will continue to firm up as they chill.
Sea Salt and Vinegar Zucchini Chips
Light, crisp, and just as good as their junk-food counterparts, these veggie chips are a revelation. Malt vinegar is made from fermented ale and is mildly sweet. If you prefer a sharper flavor, substitute cider vinegar or white vinegar. The best way to get uniform slices? Use a mandoline.
Creamy Spinach and Feta Dip
Bright and tangy non-fat Greek yogurt helps save 100 calories and 3g sat fat in this delicious, creamy dip. Sharp feta cheese adds a punch that complements beautifully with the fresh herbs. Perfect for game day, this appetizer is a surefire crowd pleaser that serves well with vegetables, pita chips, or tortilla chips. It requires almost no preparation, and is ready to serve immediately.
Sweet and Spicy Nut and Pretzel Mix
A favorite flavor combination makes this appetizer perfectly munchable. Set a timer to remind you of the nuts toasting in the oven.