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5 Healthy & Delicious Summer Appetizer Recipes

Monday, June 6, 2011

With summer virtually here, everybody is beginning to watch what they eat in order to prepare that perfect beach body. Below we explore 5 healthy and delicious appetizer ideas perfect for a summer event that will keep guests satisfied and slender.

1. Apricot Canapés.

  • 16 dried apricots
  • 8 tsp crumbled bleu cheese
  • 2 ounces chopped pistachios
  • ½ tsp honey
  • fresh ground pepper

This appetizer is so easy to make and delicious. Simply top each apricot with ½ tsp blue cheese, sprinkle with the pistachios, drizzle a little honey, and add a dash of ground pepper.

2. Classic Smoked Salmon.

  • 16 thin slices smoked salmon
  • 12 slices pumpernickel bread
  • 1 cup horseradish cream
  • lemon slices
  • fresh dill sprig

For those craving a little lean protein, cold smoked salmon tastes great on a warm summer day. Just spread each slice of bread with 1 tsp horseradish cream and top with a slice of salmon. Serve with the dill and lemon as a garnish.

3. Prosciutto-Basil Crostini.

  • 1 baguette cut into ½ inch thick slices
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 oz thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 2 dozen large basil leaves
  • salt and pepper

Prosciutto is an Italian dry-cured ham that is very popular in the warm summer months. First brush plenty of olive oil on both sides of the baguette slices as well as sprinkling them with salt and pepper. After preheating the oven to 400 degrees, bake the slices until they are golden brown (about 7 minutes per side). Once they are done take them out and  top with a basil leaf and a slice of prosciutto. To finish drizzle a little olive oil on top and season with a bit more pepper.

4. Mango-Tomato Salsa.

  • 1 cup finely diced mango
  • 2 finely diced plum tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp minced red onion
  • 1 tsp minced serrano chile
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 2 tsp chopped mint
  • salt and fresh ground pepper

This salsa is a refreshing and low-calorie way to start off the summer season. Just mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve in a bowl with a side of tortilla chips, or individual amuses rolled in a small triangle slices of tortilla bread.

5. Roasted Grapes.

  • ½ lb grapes
  • 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup low-fat plain or vanilla yogurt
  • salt and pepper

Although it sounds strange to roast fruit, roasting grapes is a great way to bring out their natural sweetness without adding any extra sugar. After preheating the oven to 450, arrange the grapes in small clusters on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the grapes appear to have a slightly crispy skin. Serve warm with a dollop of yogurt for dipping.