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Impress At Your Next Holiday Party With Cheap, Healthy Appetizers!

The holidays are fast approaching and with them come office parties, and evenings together with family and friends! As much fun as these parties are, they can become troublesome to your waistline – and your wallet! Creating fresh and delicious holiday appetizers that don’t break the bank can seem overwhelming, but we have you covered! These Cucumber Tuna Cups and Mexican Stuffed Mini Bell Peppers are sure to be a hit, and they won’t break the bank!

Cucumber Tuna Cups

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Preparing cucumbers in a specific way can result in a clever and delicious appetizer. Cut a cucumber into slices measuring 1½ inches thick. Use a spoon to hollow out each slice, creating a tiny bowl. Avoid inserting the spoon straight through the slice. Next, mix a simple tuna salad using canned tuna, mayonnaise, and a dash of salt and pepper. Add additional herbs and spices as desired. Fill each cucumber slice with a scoop of tuna for refreshing bite-sized goodies.

Spicy Version: Canned tuna, mayonnaise, hot sauce to taste.
California Version: Canned tuna, mashed avocado, bacon bits
Protein-Rich Version: Canned tuna, hummus.

Stuffed Mexican Mini Bell Peppers

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For a tasty appetizer that’s easy to both make and eat, buy a batch of mini bell peppers. These colorful vegetables are excellent for livening up any table spread. Cut each bell pepper in half and remove the flesh with a spoon. Set aside on a plate or tray. In a separate bowl, combine your preferred choice of cheese, cooked meat and rice, vegetables, and spices. Fill the hollowed bell pepper halves with the mixture. Top with a generous sprinkling of cheese and spices. Grill for 8-9 minutes or until the sides of each pepper are lightly blackened. The peppers should be soft to the touch.

Mexican Version: Taco meat, avocado chunks, quinoa or rice, salsa.
Mediterranean Version: Tofu, spinach, feta cheese, olives.
Hawaiian Version: Ham, cheddar cheese, pineapple.

For a full list of Cheap DIY Party Appetizers that will impress at your next party, check out the full article on Fix.com

Halloween Treat: Healthful Hearty Snickers Bars

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Trick or treat! Hall-o-ween is right around the corner! I, like many, have an undying love for all things chocolate, but I am always searching for that “healthy alternative” that fits my lifestyle but also doesn’t compromise taste. Let’s get started, here’s what you will need:

• Cashews
• Coconut milk (substitutes; almond or rice milk)
• Medjool dates, pitted
• Shredded Coconut
• Local Honey
• Peanut Butter (substitutes; any nut butter or PB2)
• Nut of Choice (hazelnuts, peanuts or almonds)

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Prep time: 20 – 30 mins
Total Time: 4.5 – 5 hours
Serves: 6 – 20 people based on cut sizes
Average calories per bar: 80
 

For the base
• 1 1/2 cups cashews
• 1/2 cup shredded coconut
• 8 Medjool dates, pitted
• 3 tbsp local honey
1. In a food processor, process cashews into small pieces.
2. Add in coconut, dates, and local honey and process until a sticky dough forms.
3. Add parchment paper to your dish to prevent sticking.
4. Rolled the sticky dough into a ball to make for a more even layer.
5. Use your palm to flatten the ball and use a silicon spatula to evenly distribute the dough
6. Place in the freezer.

For the caramel
• 8 Medjool dates, pitted
• 1/4 cup peanut butter
• 2 tbsp coconut milk
• 1 tbsp local honey
1. In a food processor, process dated and honey.
2. Add in peanut butter and gradually add in coconut milk until a smooth caramel forms.
3. Remove dough from the freezer.
4. Spread the caramel over the base.
5. Place back in the freezer for easy layer of chocolate

Toppings
• 1/4 cup nut topping of choice ( I LOVE using hazelnuts for their added flavor but used shaved almonds for this recipe – I used whatever I have in my kitchen)
• 1 cup melted chocolate (I use dairy free, soy free chocolate chips, but feel free to use what is in your kitchen)
1. Remove tray from the freezer.
2. Melt chocolate in the microwave, stirring every 15 seconds until completely melted.
3. Pour chocolate over the caramel layer and spread evenly with a silicon spatula
4. Place back in the freezer until hardened (I normally wait 3-4 hours).
5. Remove from the freezer, cut to desired size and enjoy!

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