Healthy Holiday Hors d’oeuvres

If I’m being honest, one of the things I look forward to most about holiday parties and get-togethers, besides visiting with friends and family of course, is the hors d’oeuvres. I’m a sucker for cheesy dips, bread, crackers, cocktail meatballs and finger sandwiches. I always find myself eating more than my share of appetizers and hovering around the food table. I just can never seem to get enough! However, most of the hors d’oeuvres that I reach for are loaded with calories, saturated fat and sodium and leave me feeling sluggish, bloated and full at the end of the night. To remedy this problem, I’ve come up with several fun hors d’oeuvre alternatives that I want to share. Whether you’re the one hosting the holiday party or you’ve volunteered to bring an appetizer to an event, one of these tasty hors d’oeuvre is sure to please.

Pumpkin Spice Fruit Dip


2 cups vanilla Greek yogurt

¼ cup pumpkin puree

2 tbs honey

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

½ tsp vanilla extract


Simply whisk all ingredients together in a medium sized decorative bowl. Serve with apple slices, strawberries, or any other fruit you prefer.

Rosemary Hummus


2 (15 oz.) cans garbanzo beans, drained

3 tbs olive oil

2 garlic cloves

¼ tsp salt

2 tbs chopped fresh rosemary


In a food processor, combine garbanzo beans, olive oil, garlic and salt until smooth and creamy (about 15 seconds). Add chopped rosemary and stir manually with a spoon. Transfer to a serving dish. Serve with pita chips, baby carrots or chopped bell pepper.

Pomegranate and Dark Chocolate Clusters


Seeds from one pomegranates (About 1 cup)

10 oz. package dark chocolate chips


Heat dark chocolate using a double boiler until thoroughly melted (Homemade double boiler = deep pot, boiling water, and glass bowl with chocolate to render chocolate). Add pomegranate seeds to the melted chocolate and mix together being careful not to burst any of the seeds. Once combined, use a spoon to scoop out tablespoon sized clusters onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place baking sheet in freezer for ½ hour before serving.

Roasted Cinnamon, Maple and Cardamom Nuts


1/2 cup pecans

1/2 cup almonds

1/2 cup cashews

2 tbs unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted

1 tbs maple syrup

2 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp cardamom

¼ tsp salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl making sure nuts are evenly coated. Spread mixed nuts on a lined baking sheet. Roast for 15-20 minutes or until nuts are lightly browned. Let cool before serving.

Blog post by Emory Dietetic Nutrition Intern, Julie Winter

Photo by Pexels