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12 healthy fall appetizers to try this month

Easy and healthy fall appetizers to try this month | www.ricottaandradishes.com

One of the busiest months of the year is now well underway, and those holiday get-together invites are already starting to pile up!

Whether you’re hosting a gathering at your place or stopping by a family member or friend’s house for a visit, it’s always nice to have some kind of tasty appetizer on hand. The problem is, it can be a struggle to come up with a new idea for each party you’re invited to – especially if you’re aiming to bring something healthy.

When I’m not feeling overly creative, I tend to revert back to old favourites like a vegetable tray or shrimp cocktail. These are nutritious and crowd-pleasing but admittedly a tad boring! Instead, I’ve been forcing myself to think a bit outside the box while still aiming for something quick, easy to prepare and nutritious.

Today I bring you a collection of easy and healthy fall appetizer recipes (some from my own blog and others from blogs I read regularly) in the hopes that you’ll gain a new idea or two to try this season. Each dish is simple and flavourful with a focus on whole foods.  Many are vegetarian as well so they will suit meat-eaters and vegetarians alike.  Happy cooking!

1. Sweet potato rounds with black beans, avocado & Greek yogurt

These fun Mexican-inspired sweet potato rounds with black beans and Greek yogurt are a cross between nachos and one-bite canapés.  Sweet potatoes are rich in essential nutrients and dietary fibre, making them a more filling stand-in for tortilla chips.  The Greek yogurt and black beans provide some lean protein to make them more filling.

Sweet potato rounds with black beans, avocado & Greek yogurt | www.ricottaandradishes.com

2.  Pumpkin hummus

Hummus is a classic party dip that just about everyone enjoys – not just vegetarians.  This homemade pumpkin hummus, made with convenient canned pumpkin purée, is exceptionally tasty and ideal for fall.  Serve with vegetable sticks or whole grain tortilla wedges for dipping and watch it quickly disappear!

Pumpkin hummus | www.ricottaandradishes.com

3. Garlicky basil chicken stuffed mushrooms {A Pretty Life}

Stuffed mushrooms are a holiday appetizer staple, and these garlicky basil chicken stuffed mushroom caps are a fun twist on the classic.  Mushrooms are known for their disease-fighting properties and they make a great vehicle for the decadent combo of garlic, lean ground chicken and cheese.  Just one or two will tide your guests over for a good while!

4. Greek yogurt ranch dip

Classic ranch dip is practically a necessity at a holiday party, but the conventional store-bought kind is high in “bad” fats, calories and preservatives.  Making your own Greek yogurt ranch dip is not only extremely easy to do, but it ensures that the resulting dip contains more of the good stuff (like satiating protein) and less of the bad (fat, sodium, sugar and preservatives).  This should keep you and your guests feeling full and satisfied.

Greek yogurt ranch dip | www.ricottaandradishes.com

5. Vegetarian black bean chili {Bakers Beans}

Chili isn’t just great as a warm, comforting lunch or dinner – it can also work beautifully as an appetizer!  Serve this chunky vegetarian black bean chili in small clear cups and garnish with a spoonful of fresh salsa.

6. Carrot fritters

Fried foods aren’t an everyday kind of snack, but for a special occasion these carrot fritters are a tasty treat.  Similar to potato latkes but made with shredded carrots, they are delicious served with a dollop of Greek yogurt.

Carrot fritters | www.ricottaandradishes.com

7. Sunflower sesame seed crackers {Fox in the Kitchen}

If you plan on serving a classic cheese and crackers spread at your next fall get-together, consider baking your own crackers for a personal touch.  These homemade sunflower sesame seed crackers would be an asset to any cheese spread!  The crackers themselves are vegan, but if you do eat cheese then I’d recommend serving them with a nice sharp cheddar, a creamy Boursin or herb-crusted goat cheese.

8. Apple, goat cheese & honey crostini

These apple, goat cheese and honey crostini take a bit of time to prep, but the extra effort is well worth it.  Creamy, tangy goat cheese pairs beautifully with the crunchy apples and sweet honey for a balanced nibble that both meat-eaters and vegetarians will enjoy.  To keep them on the healthier side, be sure to use a whole grain baguette and slice it thinly.

Apple, goat cheese & honey crostini | www.ricottaandradishes.com

9. Dill pickle kale chips {The Primal Desire}

If you’re searching for an addictively crunchy appetizer idea, look no further than these dill pickle kale chips.  Seasoned just like the classic potato chip flavour, they’ll go fast when placed in front of hungry guests.  The best part?  They’re so low in calories that you could eat a bowlful and gain nothing but a generous helping of essential vitamins and minerals.

10. White bean dip with cherry tomatoes, feta & basil

Like hummus, white bean dip is one of those dishes that is healthy by nature and pretty much impossible to mess up!  The white beans are nice and mellow in flavour, letting the bright tomatoes and fresh basil shine.  Serve this dip with whole wheat pita chips or celery sticks.

White bean dip with cherry tomatoes, feta & basil | www.ricottaandradishes.com

11. Garlicky tomato and avocado bruschetta {Food Mamma}

Classic tomato bruschetta is a staple on any Italian-themed appetizer spread, but this garlicky tomato and avocado bruschetta version also boasts deliciously creamy avocado.  Rich in healthy fats, avocado adds an unexpected hit of creaminess that perfectly compliments the acidic tomato.

12. Kale and tofu dumplings {North & South Nomads}

These kale and tofu dumplings are another appetizer that virtually anyone would enjoy, even those who claim not to like tofu!  They’re fried, but the forgivingly light tofu and kale filling helps make up for any additional fat.  Try them as part of an Asian-themed spread (served with soy sauce for dipping, of course!).

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{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Chelsea @ Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen November 13, 2014, 5:24 pm

    Great round up of ideas here! Love the look of those Mexican sweet potato rounds.

    PS. That’s so neat you’re a nutritional scientist in Guelph! I just recently became a dietitian and I know a lot of people who went to Guelph (I went to Brescia). I’m living in Burlington now. :)

    • Jennifer Andrews November 14, 2014, 12:12 pm

      Thanks for the comment, Chelsea. Quite a few people I went to school with (either in undergrad or masters) ultimately went on to become RDs, so that doesn’t surprise me! Small world, that’s for sure. Also I really like your blog :)

  • jess meddows November 14, 2014, 12:35 pm

    oooh thanks for sharing our dumplings, Jennifer!

    Great round up of posts. Those sweet potato rounds are so cute, and such a healthy way to have Mexican! :)

  • Julia @ Swirls and Spice November 14, 2014, 4:02 pm

    What a great variety of appetizers! I think I’ll try the white bean dip first! They all look good though!

  • Meaghan September 11, 2015, 1:48 pm

    What a great roundup! Just in time for Fall entertaining.. Love the heathy collection, nice change from all those non so healthy football snack ideas I’ve been seeing all week!

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