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Top 7 Healthy Appetizers For New Year's Eve

Ashley Seruya |
December 26, 2013 | 4:51 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

These savory, creamy stuffed mushrooms are the perfect bite for your guests in fancy frocks. (Food & Wine/Pinterest)
These savory, creamy stuffed mushrooms are the perfect bite for your guests in fancy frocks. (Food & Wine/Pinterest)
2013 has come and gone as quickly as grandma's cobbler perched on the Christmas dessert table.

As 2013 rushes through its last moments, savoring these final few days is more important than ever. It is likely that the parties will be nonstop until the clock strikes midnight on Jan. 1, and spending quality time with family and friends will be the top priority.

With the New Year, however, comes New Year's Resolutions. The most popular, by far, is pledging to make the coming year a healthy one. With workout plans and veggie-stocked fridges, January tends to be a month of new beginnings and, unfortunately, unkept promises. 

Instead of focusing on what you will do and eat after the holiday season finally comes to a close, beginning the healthy journey right now may be more successful. Help yourself ease into your 2014 New Year's resolution by sipping a little less champagne on New Year's Eve, and giving your body some appropriate nutrition. By avoiding (or at least reducing) the amount of alcohol you consume, and taking advantage of the delicious nutrients that fruits and veggies have to offer, you can better prepare yourself for the challenge to come. 

Beware, if you don't, you may wake up on someone's couch New Year's morning, last night's champagne flute still in hand, with a throbbing headache and an unquenchable thirst. Most importantly, you will wake up with no desire to fulfill your healthy New Year's resolution. Avoid this situation by hosting your own New Year's party, and make these 7 healthy appetizers for you and your guests.

1. Zucchini Carpaccio with Feta & Pine Nuts

This recipe's main ingredient is raw, nutrient dense zucchini, a very popular winter squash. Zucchini is high in vitamin A, which helps the body's immune system function properly. Zucchini is also an excellent source of potassium. Potassium is one of the most important minerals for the human body, and is essential for organ function and tissue and cell health. This recipe also contains small amounts of olive oil, which is high in healthy fats and can help control blood sugar levels. Feta and pine nuts add heavy amouts of flavor, which contribute high calcium content and some fiber to this well rounded dish. 

2. Walnut & Gorgonzola Apple Rings

Combining sweet apples and candied walnuts with the sharp, salty flavor of gorgonzola cheese creates an appetizer with a robust flavor profile. Beyond the top-notch flavor combination, this hors d'oeuvre is a good source of fiber and vitamin C, and the heavy sprinkling of walnuts could promote a healthy heart and lowered cholesterol levels.

3. Goat Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

Goat cheese takes center stage in this stuffed mushroom recipe. Though many people often associate cheese with high fat content and next-to-nothing in the nutritional department, goat cheese is a very different story. The difference between almost any other kind of cheese found in the supermarket and goat cheese is the milk source. Goat's milk is a much better source of nutrients for the human body than cow's milks, and so cheese made from goat's milk is much healthier than cheese made from cow's milk. Typically, goat's milk cheeses are lower in cholesterol, calories, and fat, and they are easier for humans to digest. The other main ingredient in this dish, mushrooms, are a good source of vitmain D and iron.

Root vegetable chips are the perfect companion for this punchy pesto dip. (CHOW/Pinterest)
Root vegetable chips are the perfect companion for this punchy pesto dip. (CHOW/Pinterest)
4. Roasted Garlic & Edamame Spread

Spreads are the perfect appetizer choice for any party. Pair this one with sliced carrots, peppers, and cucumbers to maximize the health and nutritional benefits. The also dip offers many nutritional benefits on its own. Edamame, also known as steamed soybeans, are a low calorie food high in protein, fiber, vitmains A and C, and have a decent amount of iron. This edamame base is studded with the flavor powerhouse that is garlic, which has been used to prevent many different cancers, and is linked to helping wtih heart and blood flow issues.

5. Cheesy Pesto Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes create the perfect, bite-sized vessel for this cream cheese pesto filling. Often incorrectly categorized as a vegetable, this fruit is a good source of vitmain A and C. Many studies have also attributed tomatoes to cancer prevention and a lowered risk of heart disease. The addition of pine nuts, olive oil, and garlic make these tomato bites a healthy morsel for every guest to enjoy.

6. Garlic, Kale & Spinach Dip

Kale has become the greens power house in the food world in the last few years. Gaining celebrity status, kale is one of the most nutritiously dense leafy greens, containing huge amounts of vitamin A, C, and the hard-to-attain K. Kale also contains many cancer fighting antioxidants and has a high fiber content. Spinach is a close second in the leafy greens hierarchy, also containing those anti-cancer antioxidants. Spinach has also been said to prevent premature aging and improve cardiovascular health. Combining both of these powerhouse veggies with garlic and blending them to create a smooth puree makes a perfect dip for crackers or root vegetable chips.

7. Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce

One of the more exotic options, these spring rolls contain low calorie, lean, protein rich shrimp. Shrimp also contains a high percentage of zinc and selenium, which help support your immune system and metabolism. The dipping sauce for these itty bitty rolls is mainly made with peanut butter, which is full of healthy fats that keep you fuller longer. Peanut butter also contains vitamin E, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin B6.

Reach Staff Reporter Ashley Seruya here or follow her on Twitter here.



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