How to plan for a healthy canapés

Impress your guests with healthy canapes

When the holiday season comes around, it only means one thing: holiday binge-eating. But it doesn’t have to be that way! You can still easily continue with your healthy diet, because the holidays are not an excuse to break a good habit.

Sure, stuffing yourself with carbs, sweets, and booze over Christmas or New Year’s Eve will not exactly make you fat the following day, but it might trigger a relapse. You don’t want that to happen, do you?

Keeping your healthy diet during the holiday season is important for three main reasons:

a.      Regulate Your Health Conditions

You are on a healthy diet for a reason. Perhaps it’s due to high cholesterol, high blood sugar, or a fatty liver. If you binge on a holiday, you might be tempted to extend your holiday feast, and by then it would be too hard to go back to healthy eating. And then you’re going to get real sick.

b.      Avoid Guilt

Giving in to that single night of bacchanalia will make you feel guilty the following day. Count on it. Why did I eat too much pudding and cold ham? My teeth hurt from all that chocolate caramel I devoured like a cow! What’s wrong with me?

c.       Inspire Others

By eating healthy even on a festive holiday dinner, you will inspire others to follow suit. It’s just food; you’ve got nothing to lose by skipping anything greasy, deep-fried, sugar, and carbs.

Healthy Can Be Delicious

You can still make your holiday party extra special by serving healthy food. How, you ask? By serving lettuce? Why, by serving canapes, of course! You know, those bite-sized, gorgeous, mouth-watering, decorative food items. This small bread or cracker with a colorful topping like an artwork, often served with wine? Eaten during a pretentious cocktail chatter before you proceed to the formal meal?

Yes, that’s it.

Canapes are easy to prepare, guests will delight in the variety of toppings, and it’s going to be impossible to overeat—because you’d be nibbling them (daintily!). Also, who’d actually take the entire passing tray and snack on canapes like they’re chips?

Also, canapes (not to be confused with hors d'oeuvres) can be absolutely healthy and still become tiny gastronomical adventures to your guests, who would likely become impressed by your culinary skills.

How to Plan for a Healthy Canape

A canape consists of a base, a spread, a topping (main item), and a garnish. You can keep it healthy: from the base to the garnish! Sure, you can add a little sinful something, but not too much, so you can enjoy healthy melt-in-your-mouth morsels without a shred of guilt. Here are some ingredients that are packed with vitamins and nutrients!


A toast or crackers are the most common canapé base. But you can go creative and use any of the following healthier options:

  • Cucumber
  • Lettuce
  • Halved hard-boiled egg
  • Wholegrain rye toast
  • Wholegrain tortillas
  • Sourdough bread
  • Aubergine
  • Carrot
  • Apple


  • Olive oil
  • Pili nut butter
  • Tofu
  • Kefir
  • Neufchatel
  • Lite/mozzarella/feta/cottage cheese
  • Nonfat/Low-fat butter


    Enjoy your dainty dish with these heart-healthy spreads and toppings, just mix and match, combine and blend!

    • Light cheese spread
    • Smoked salmon
    • Lean chicken
    • Polenta
    • Beetroot hummus
    • Asparagus
    • Smoked mackerel
    • Prawns
    • Pili nuts
    • Slivered almonds
    • Avocado
    • Eggs
    • Smoked tuna
    • Mushrooms
    • Radish
    • Tomatoes
    • Goat cheese
    • Any fruit


      • Nuts
      • Chopped herbs
      • Chopped olives
      • Chopped peppers
      • Shaved truffles
      • Caviar
      • Cornichons


        Google for exciting canapé recipes, or simply use your inherent culinary talent and go crazy with your imagination. Experiment!

        For your holiday dinner, pick 5 to 6 recipes to give your guests plenty of options. And don’t apologize for serving just canapés and drinks. Canapes can absolutely be standalone meals.

        No doubt that after your guests have indulged in your healthy trays of canapes, they’d be thanking you (and talking about your lovely feast). Not only did you give them delicious and healthy holiday treats, but you actually helped them keep their healthy diet and prevented catastrophic binge-eating.

        With these festive yet healthy canapés, your holiday dinner truly will be unforgettable and Instagram-worthy!

        Bon Appetit.


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