Start The New Year Off Right With Healthy Party Snacks

You’ve decided to throw a New Year’s Eve party, and you want to make sure that it goes off without a hitch. You clean the house, pick out the music and – to make yourself a presentable host – dry clean your best outfit and make a hair appointment at the salon.
Now, there’s the matter of refreshments. Obviously, your guests expect some sort of bubbly beverage, but what will you feed them? Considering that New Year’s Eve is a time when people make resolutions to improve their lives, why not serve some delicious healthy party snacks? If you provide your guests with foods that are full of vitamins and lean protein, low on fat and calories, and bursting with flavor, they’ll be forever grateful to you for helping them start 2015 the right way.
Check out these three healthy snack recipes that are easy to prepare and satisfy the palate.

Tomato basil skewers

No healthy spread is complete without a good dose of vitamin C for the immune system, calcium for the bones and protein for energy and building blocks for the body. Follow this recipe, which comes courtesy of The Nutrition Twins:

Ingredients

      • 16 small fresh mozzarella balls
      • 16 fresh basil leaves
      • 16 cherry tomatoes
      • Extra-virgin olive oil
      • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions

Thread the cheese, leaves and tomatoes through 16 skewers. Drizzle them with olive oil and season to taste.

Black bean dip

Chips and dip are a standard at every party, including New Year’s Eve. What kind of dip can you buy, though? Everything that’s out there is probably full of fat and empty calories. Well, instead of buying something, try making your own dip. Your guests are sure to remember your unique touches and flavors, as well as the fact that you made it with love. Here’s a recipe for black bean dip, courtesy of Food.com. It’s low on cholesterol, full of lean protein and packs a terrific kick.

Ingredients

      • 2 cups of black beans, cooked and drained
      • 4 teaspoons of tomato paste
      • 3 tablespoons of water
      • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
      • 2 teaspoons of lime juice
      • 1/2 a teaspoon of ground cumin
      • 1/8 a teaspoon of cayenne pepper
      • 1/2 a teaspoon of salt
      • 2 green onions, chopped
      • 2 tablespoons of mild green chilies, chopped

Directions

Set the green onions and green chilies aside for now. Throw everything else into the food processor until it has been blended into a nice, thick dip. Once it’s all mixed together, stir in the onions and chilies.

Mississippi spiced pecans

If you want to serve something that verges on indulgent while still remaining healthy, southern food may be the way to go. These pecans are both sweet and spicy and are a good source of both monosaturated fat and antioxidants. Follow this recipe, which comes courtesy of Eating Well

Ingredients

      • 1 pound of pecan halves
      • 1 tablespoon of packed dark brown sugar
      • 1.5 teaspoons of kosher salt
      • 1 teaspoon of fresh, chopped thyme
      • 1 teaspoon of fresh, chopped rosemary
      • 1/2 a teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
      • A pinch of cayenne pepper
      • 2 tablespoons of extra olive oil

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread the pecans out on a large baking sheet and roast until they’re nice and fragrant. This will probably take about 12 minutes, but you should still keep a close eye on them to make sure they don’t burn.

Mix the sugar and spices, combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Dump the pecans into a larger bowl and coat them thoroughly and evenly with the olive oil. Sprinkle the sugar and spice and mix well. These can be served warm or stored in an airtight container after cooling.

 


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