Here are two reasons I like going to parties, whether big or small: the food and the people. Notice how food came before people? Being that I’m not really an extroverted person, I really take into consideration the food situation of a gathering. If there’s good food, I’m definitely going (provided that there is at least one person I am close to). Anyway, going back to food, I noticed that a lot of party foods are chips, pork, beef, and soda, and not enough of the healthier stuff. I wish that people would sometimes think about offering healthy party snacks. It would definitely be a nice change from the greasy, salty, and sugary stuff we fill our bodies with. Here are some foods that can be made into fun and delicious healthy party snacks.
Try: lettuce, broccoli/cauliflower, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, celery, radish, mushroom, green pepper, asparagus, green beans
Raw or blanched vegetables served on a tray are a great way to make your guests eat healthier. You can cut the vegetables into strips or bite-sized pieces for easy consumption. This serving suggestion is an alternative to the usual vegetable salad.
Try: cheese or sour cream based dips, pureed vegetable or bean dips, hummus, guacamole, fresh salsa
Dips are a great companion for your vegetable tray. Instead of using store-bought dip, try making your own healthy party dip. You get to control the ingredients and taste of what you serve.
Try: almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, pine nuts, pecans, pistachio
Nuts are high in protein, fiber, phytonutrients, and good fat. Not only do they have health benefits, they also have interesting tastes and textures that your guests will enjoy.
Try: fruits in season
Fruits are a healthy way to add something sweet to your table. They satisfy your sweet cravings without loading up on sugar and fat. Fruits are high in fiber, low in fat, and full of water.
Microwave popcorn is loaded with fat, sodium, and other chemicals. You can make your own healthy alternative by making air popped popcorn. You can buy a special air popping machine to make things easy for you. You can also just make the popcorn on a stove top by using a pan. Add a little olive oil to prevent the kernels from burning or sticking to the pan. If you want to use the microwave, you need a brown paper lunch bag and 3 tablespoons of corn kernel. Fold the top over twice and pop the bag in the microwave for two minutes. One cup or 8 grams of air popped popcorn has about 31 calories.
Try: potato, sweet potato, yam
Instead of buying greasy and fattening store bought chips, you can opt to make your own before the party. You can choose to use potatoes (the regular or the sweet variety) or yam. Roast or bake them in an oven, using just a little to no oil.
Try: fruits or vegetables in season
Forget about those canned or boxed fruit and vegetable juices. They have a lot of added sugar and calories. To keep with the healthy party snack theme, make your own fruit or vegetable juice to serve with your snacks. If you can help it, try not to add any sugar.
Try: lemon or lime, fresh grapefruit, cranberry or grape juice, peppermint extract, mint leaf, fresh cucumber, zero to low calorie water flavoring
Tap water can get boring so you can try making your own flavored water. It doesn’t really cost much to make and people will enjoy the surprising taste of seemingly ordinary H2O.
Even if parties are occasions to let loose and enjoy yourself, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice your healthy diet every time you go to one. These basic healthy party snacks can be used as guidelines to create your own delicious treats. Remember that healthy doesn’t have to be boring and a party doesn’t have to be a license to let go of your healthy eating habits. Have fun and be healthy!
Top Photo Credit: e_digitalis