Healthy Holiday Appetizers and Finger Foods

Better (and Still Delicious) Dips

It's tough to throw a party without a dip or three on the table. The carrots might not satisfy on their own. Dips don't have to be loaded with saturated fats, a week's worth of calories and nothing in the way of an actual nutrient, though.

Hummus, for one -- a mixture of chickpeas, sesame tahini, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and seasonings -- is high on flavor and relatively low in fat (none of it saturated). It's also low in calories and sodium and relatively high in protein, iron and fiber [source: Self]. This traditional Middle Eastern dip can be spiced up with additions like roasted peppers, eggplant or lots of extra garlic.

Some other healthy dips include:

  • Light ranch salad dressing
  • Mango and bell-pepper salsa
  • Pico de gallo (salsa fresca)
  • Pureed cannellini beans with lemon juice, olive oil and garlic
  • Refried beans with fresh tomatoes and cilantro (topped with some reduced-fat cheddar)
  • Mashed eggplant baked with lemon juice, olive oil and feta

Serve with toasted whole-wheat pita, reduced-fat whole-grain crackers or veggies instead of chips.

Next, why even make them dip?