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Summertime is a time of backyard barbecues, family gathers, and endless foodie temptations. While it's doable to manage portions during dinnertime, one of the toughest times to exercise good old Mr. Willpower is during the appetizer portion of the evening. Instead of stuffing your face with cheese- and deep-fried goodness, try one of these five healthy apps at your next summer shindig.
1. Hummus and Veggies: Use either store-bought hummus or make your own and serve it with freshly sliced cucumber, celery, and carrot sticks. To make hummus at home, blend together 4 garlic cloves, 1 can of garbanzo beans, 2 teaspoons of salt, 3 tablespoons tahini, the juice of two lemons, and a few dashes of hot sauce with a little bit of water in the food processor.
2. TBM Toothpicks: There are few matches more perfect in life than tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil. Slice cherry tomatoes 3/4 in half and stuff with one basil leaf and a bite sized chunk of mozzarella. Spear with a toothpick and serve chilled.
3. Black Bean Dip: Full of fiber and flavor, beans are the perfect go-to app to keep hunger at bay. For a healthy black bean dip blend together 1 can of black beans with onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon. Serve it with sliced whole-wheat pita triangles.
4. Goat Cheese Topped Apples: Perfect for those on the low-carb train. Dress up apples or veggies with your favorite figure-friendly toppings. For this recipe, stir together goat cheese with honey and black pepper. Spread the mixture on thinly slice apples and garnish with sprigs of watercress.
5. Guacamole: As heart-healthy (and oh-so delicious) avocados are, they're also packed with fat. Save the unwanted fat by mashing a cooked pack of frozen peas in with 1/2 of a mashed avocado, cilantro, chopped tomato, onion, and lime juice. Serve it with pitas instead of tortillas chips.