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5 Healthy Holiday Appetizers (Including Grape & Goat Cheese Balls!)

Dec 10, 2015 | Recipes | 0 comments

Goat Cheese Balls with Grapes and Pistachios

Prepare to have the best Healthy Holiday Appetizers out there, including my grape & goat cheese balls. Healthy can still be festive!

Simple can be delicious. With minimal ingredients, I created this healthy holiday appetizer to pack a punch in flavor and satisfaction. The combination of creamy goat cheese and crunchy pistachios add richness to crisp and juicy grapes. Plus, talk about an easy appetizer to put together at the last minute. Add the final touches and this might be the tastiest Christmas tree you’ll find all season!

As an added bonus, we have rounded up 5 additional healthy holiday appetizer recipes to help you get inspired. And if you are looking for even more healthy holiday recipes, check out our e-Cookbook. It's filled with 24 make ahead, festive recipes good for the holidays – or any day for that matter!

 

Grapes Rolled in Goat Cheese and Pistachios

Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 2 cups grapes
  • 10 oz soft goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped pistachios
  • 2-4 pecan halves (optional)

Instructions

  • Allow goat cheese to come to room temperature.
  • Roll individual grapes in goat cheese.
  • Coat in pistachios.
  • Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
  • Arrange on plate and add 2-4 pecans as tree trunk.

What is the nutrition like in these grape & goat cheese balls?

Grapes (Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Potassium, Antioxidants)

Grapes are super high in antioxidants and thus may help reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases. Red grapes have a higher antioxidant content than green grapes. Grapes' potassium also may help support healthy blood pressure.

Goat Cheese (Vitamin A, Vitamin B2, Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron, Probiotics)

If dairy bothers your stomach, you may want to try goat cheese. Goat cheese, and hard goat cheese in particular, is easier on digestion, due to differences in the protein structure and lowers levels of lactose.

Pistachios (Vitamin B6, Copper, Thiamine, Manganese, Phosphorous, Antioxidants)

Pistachios are particularly high in two antioxidants that are good for your eyes. Pistachios are also lower in calories and higher in protein than many other nuts.

Variations on This Quick Appetizer Recipe

There are so many things I love about these goat cheese balls, not the least of which is that they're such a quick appetizer recipe to throw together. My other favorite part though is how customizable they are. It would be so fun to whip up a couple of versions of these and serve them together.

Here are some ideas on how to mix it up:

  • Include herbs: Finely chop your favorite herb and mix it in with the goat cheese before rolling the grapes. Rosemary, basil or thyme would be delicious here.
  • Add honey: You can either buy honey goat cheese or stir a little honey into your goat cheese before rolling the grapes for a slightly sweeter bite.
  • Use a different nut: Chopped toasted pecans or walnuts would be delicious in this recipe as well. Don't be afraid to use a few pulses from a food processor to help you chop. Slivered almonds also work well!
  • Swap the grapes: Grapes are so good here but you could also use halved dates or even cherry tomatoes as the center for these goat cheese balls.
  • Add balsamic: Add a drizzle of balsamic glaze to your goat cheese balls right before serving.

More Healthy Holiday Appetizers:

1) Sweet Potato Round with Herbed Ricotta and Walnuts from The Roasted Root

Healthy Holiday Appetizers Sweet Potatoes

If you love sweet potatoes as much as I do, these are a must! If you're looking for Thanksgiving appetizers, the vibrant orange color is perfect for the table as well.

2) Bacon, Spinach & Feta Stuffed Mushroom from iBreathe: I’m Hungry

Bacon Feta Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms

With all of the desserts around at the holidays, sometimes I just want something truly savory. With earthy mushrooms and salty bacon and feta, these fit the bill!

3) Honey Drizzled Apple Gouda Bacon Bites from Sand & Sisal

Apple Bacon Gouda Bites

In my mind, a good holiday appetizer provides the perfect bite. You don't want anything too filling, just a bite with enough flavor to hint at all of the deliciousness to come. Well, so much flavor is packed into just a couple of bites here, they're pretty much perfect.

4) Paleo Fried Zucchini with Cool Dill Dip from Paleo Newbie

Dairy Free Creamy Dill Dip with Zucchini

I love a good creamy, but totally dairy-free, recipe and this dip is a good one! It's super versatile too so if you want a totally prep-ahead spread, you could serve the dip with some beautiful crudites.

5) Almond Crusted Chicken Bites with Honey Mustard Dip from Food Faith Fitness

Almond Crusted Chicken Bites Appetizer

These little bites are perfect if you're hosting a party where appetizers shine through as the main meal. These are full of protein, so are filling and satisfying in addition to being delicious.

More Holiday Resources:

Now that you have your healthy holiday appetizers covered, let's' move on to the rest of the meal, shall we? Here are some excellent holiday resources to help you with the rest of your spread.

Pomegranate Cocktail with Rosemary: While this wine is generally my go-to, sometimes it's fun to add something a little extra festive to a holiday gathering. When I want to go above and beyond, this is the cocktail I choose!

5 Simple Holiday Recipes to Make with Kids: If your visions of joyfully baking alongside your kids don't always match up with the often chaotic reality or cooking with kids, you likely need to simplify the recipes. In this post I share 5 recipes that are special and festive, but simple enough to actually be fun to make with kids.

Prep Ahead Holiday Recipe Collection: I don't want to brag, but I've pretty much mastered the art of the prep-ahead holiday meal over the years. In this recipe collection, I share my best freeze-ahead and make-ahead holiday dishes for a stress-free and flavor-ful holiday.

What is your favorite holiday appetizer? Share your ideas and pictures on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram as @prepdish in all 3 places, or leave a comment below.

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