Since many appetizer recipes are created without regard to caloric content, including many of mine, here are some cooking tips for making recipes healthy and reducing your guilt!
  • You can substitute plain yogurt in many recipes that call for mayonnaise. Yogurt adds less fat and can add a zingy tang to the dish! Plus it's very good for you! You can also use the light mayos.
  • Replacing butter in dishes can help make the recipe more healthy. You can saute in a vegetable or meat broth instead of oils or butter. Use olive oil instead of other cooking oils to add nutrition. You can replace butter and shortening when you're baking with applesauce, fruit purees and even tomato puree! Sunsweet even makes a special product for this purpose called "Lighter Bake". There is a butter replacement called "Earth Balance Buttery Sticks" that works pretty well as a substitute in baking.
  • Substitute breast of chicken or turkey in recipes calling for more fat laden red meats. Sometimes you can leave the meat out altogether!
  • Use lower fat cheeses like mozzarella instead of cheddars. There are also reduced salt and calorie cheeses now available as well as low fat and non fat cream cheeses and sour creams.
  • There are a number of sugar replacements on the market now for baking and cooking, like Splenda, though personally I believe in using all natural ingredients when I can. Also you can again substitute fruit purees, honey and even molasses in many instances.
  • To add more nutritional value to foods you can use dark green leaf vegetables like spinach and kale instead of iceburg lettuce, use buttermilk or yogurt instead of creams.
  • Whenever possible replace fresh fruit and vegetables or frozen instead of canned.
There are a lot of ways to increase the health of your appetizers and turn you tiny foods into nutritional snacks. I'm just beginning to learn how to eat more healthy and I've begun to apply this to some of my own h'ors d'oeuvres recipes.

I am starting to experiment with new recipes that include foods higher in anti-oxidants and are more nutritionally beneficial. Try out my Taste of The Islands Nachos for one of my healthier recipes for snacks. I'm starting to use a juicer for my martini recipes that use fruit juices too!

Here's to a healthier happy hour!


  1. Great advice! It's much easier for me to cut fat and sugar before cutting down on portions. When I'm hungry, I'm HUNGRY... so thanks for providing these helpful tips.

  2. Eileen, I'm just learning some of the tricks myself though some I've used for years.
    I have used low or non fat mayos and sour creams and sugar substitutes for years (though I don't use aspertame at all).
    With the addition of a juicer I'm finding new ways to get nutrition into my food - like using vegetable juice or fruit juices instead of water in recipes.
    Every little bit helps!


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