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Recipes for Healthy Holiday Appetizers
  • Posted December 27, 2019

Recipes for Healthy Holiday Appetizers

Finger foods are delicious, but they can pack on the calories even when you just nibble. Here are two appetizer makeovers with plenty of flavor and a lot less fat.

Jalapeno poppers are a favorite thanks to their creamy filling and crunchy coating. By baking instead of deep frying them, you'll cut back on hundreds of calories yet keep the crunch. Another crowd pleaser is taco dip. Ingredients with a lower fat content make all the difference in this recipe.

Baked Jalapeno Poppers

  • 12 fresh jalapeno peppers, halved lengthwise, stems, seeds and membranes removed
  • 8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1 cup grated part-skim mozzarella
  • 1 teaspoon cumin or fennel seeds, slightly crushed
  • 1 teaspoon mild ground chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Note: Wear disposable gloves to prepare the jalapenos to minimize the capsaicin that gets on your fingers.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly coat a large baking sheet with nonstick spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, mash together cream cheese, mozzarella, cumin or fennel seeds, chili powder and black pepper. In a shallow dish, whisk the egg and egg whites.

Spread out the flour on a sheet of wax paper. Spread breadcrumbs on another sheet of wax paper.

Fill each pepper half with a heaping tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture.

One at a time, dredge each pepper half in flour, dip into the egg mix and press into the crumbs to coat. Place, cut side up, on the baking sheet.

Bake until tender and golden, about 25 to 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

Yield: 24 poppers

Layered Taco Dip

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon taco seasoning
  • 1/2 cup grated jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup black olives, pitted and chopped

Mash avocados and spread over the bottom of an 8-inch square glass baking dish or bowl.

Blend yogurt, sour cream and taco seasoning in a separate bowl and then carefully spread it over the avocado with a spatula.

Sprinkle on grated cheese and chopped olives and serve with vegetable spears for dipping.

Yield: 4 cups

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has tips for enjoying holiday foods without weight gain.

SOURCE: University of Leeds, news release, Dec. 18, 2019
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