Healthy and Fresh Appetizers for Outdoor Parties

Appetizers and finger foods can be the most exciting part of a meal – sometimes they even steal the show from the main dish itself. In the summertime, chips and dips might be convenient but they aren’t always the healthiest pair.

Next time you need a healthier appetizer or hors d’oeuvre, ditch the bag of chips and store-bought salsa and make slimmer versions of your favorite meal starters.

Instead of Ranch or Onion Dip…
Blue Cheese Dip. Most prepackaged dips and mixes have a lot of calories, fat, sodium and even sugar. Making your own, especially one perfect for the Atkins Diet, is a healthier alternative to your store-bought standby.

Instead of Salsa Con Queso…
Ada Wong’s 7 Layer Dip. A protein-packed alternative to the Mexican-inspired dip that finds its way onto many tables as a pre-dinner feast, this Biggest Loser finalist’s 7 Layer Dip recipe has less than 150 calories per serving and is just as delicious as the more fattening alternative.

Instead of Pigs in a Blanket…
Lower Calorie Pigs in a Blanket. Hot dogs are traditionally one of the more fattening items you can place on your picnic menu. Since pigs in a blanket are often wrapped in buttery dough, only two or three small pieces can be a calorie bomb. Substitute in flaky phyllo dough and lower-fat beef franks for a slimmer option.

Instead of Party Mix…
Multigrain Soy Trail Mix. Party mixes with nuts, pretzels, crackers and chips can be loaded with fat, not to mention sodium and carbohydrates. This mix, with a base of multigrain Cheerios and roasted soy nuts, is rich with fiber and protein – not calories.

Instead of Cheese & Crackers…
Salmon & Cucumbers. If you’re looking for something as elegant as a cheese plate but lighter on the calories, stick with cucumbers instead of crackers. Smoked salmon, onion and dill add plenty of flavor to a small amount of cream cheese for a fast and simple starter.

Also Read:

Healthy Main Dishes for Picnics and Parties

Plan a Healthy and Fun Summer Picnic

5 Healthy Burger Recipes for Barbecues

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