This is a guest post by Kaitlin Cushman of Nutrition Gone Wild.
So you feel like you’ve been missing out on parties and the fun of weekend bar hopping because you decided it’s time to take your health to the next level. Ya know, focusing on taking our hot bods to the next level when you don’t have a man and you’re on the prowl…
You’re eating clean and that’s just not an easy feat when you want to maintain your social lifestyle.
Time to be the party hostess and bring the party to you! Much easier to keep to your clean eating endeavor when you have it on your own turf.
Let’s talk about a few clean party food options for your next house party!
Fruit and Cheese Skewers
The best party foods are foods that you don’t even really need a plate for, keeping your hands free for handshakes, hugs, and maybe some shot taking…
Hence the skewer is the perfect platform for our first party dish!
Luckily cheese can be part of clean eating, and there is nothing like the combination of salty cheeses with sweet fresh fruit!
Any fruit will do for our skewers, but there are some less processed cheese options that are acceptable when eating clean:
Feta: A high-protein, low-calorie option, feta is one of the healthier cheese choices. With its dense texture and saltiness, a little goes a long way. One ounce of feta will only cost you 75 calories and packs 4g of protein per serving.
Mozzarella: Another lovely cheese of the minimally processed variety, mozzarella is also high in protein and low in calories. One ounce of mozzarella will cost you 71 calories and packs 7g protein per serving.
Swiss: A crowd favorite, swiss cheese in another healthier cheese option. One ounce will cost you 108 calories and packs nearly 8g of protein per serving. In comparison to other cheeses, swiss is quite low in sodium with only 54 mg per ounce.
For your party platter, choose two types of fruit, 1 cheese, and optionally a dressing for extra flavor.
My favorite combination is watermelon, blackberries, and feta with a balsamic vinegar drizzle (found this recipe on Pinterest and I love it):
On a toothpick, stab together:
- 1 cube watermelon
- 1 blackberry
- 1 cube feta
(For a party, I would suggest making 3 skewers for every guest you expect to attend)
Drizzle balsamic vinegar over the skewers on a pretty plate of your choice.
Chips and Dip (But not the usual kind)
Chips and dip are a classic party food. Not that it matters, but I have always wondered if it’s popular because people really like chips and dip that much or that it is cheap and easy…
Chips are essentially a pretty empty snack. Fried potato chips and tortilla chips are packed with fat, sodium, and contain little nutritional value. And with all the processing they go through, they surely don’t fit into a clean eating regimen.
You can however make your own chips and dip with just a little extra effort. Carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, beets, and zucchini can be made into nutritious chips perfect for any party.
For your party, choose any 3 of these veggies to make a rainbow bowl of chips!
My favorite combination is zucchini, sweet potatoes, and parsnips (inspired by this recipe):
Use a mandoline or slicers to cut 1/6th inch thick slices of each.
Place veggies on paper towels and blot to remove extra moisture, lightly sprinkle with sea salt, and let sit for 15 minutes.
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
On a non-stick oven sheet, spray with olive oil and spread the veggie slices evenly (try not to overlap them. You also may want to keep each variety separate.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until crisp. Let them sit for 5 minutes on the sheet after cooking before moving them to a bowl.
When it comes to dip, avoid anything pre-made and creamy. Stick to some homemade guacamole or hummus.
Avocado is an awesome superfood worthy of your clean eating diet. This popular fruit (yes it’s got a seed, so it is a fruit) is full of heart-healthy unsaturated fat and a ton of antioxidants.
Consider this guacamole recipe for your next party!
And chickpeas, the basis of hummus, are low calorie, high protein (15g per cup), high fiber (12.5g per cup), and packed with manganese and folate. You can add all kinds of spices and pureed veggies to make for a flavorful hummus dip.
Consider this hummus recipe for your next party!
If making your own chips is too much of a commitment, consider offering carrots, celery, cucumber slices, or other delicious veggies to dip.
To satisfy that sweet tooth that never goes away, a food clean eating food option is dark chocolate nut clusters.
Nuts are an awesome source of protein, heart healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Combine that with the power of antioxidant rich, dark chocolate and you have yourself a health conscious dessert!
Try this out:
Almonds, pistachios, walnuts, pecans, and cashews are all great choices for this recipe. I would choose any 2 of these for your party clusters.
At your local health foods store, you can buy dark chocolate in large chunks/bulk, perfect for melting.
You must double boil the chocolate to melt it. If this is something new to you, click here to link to some simple instructions.
On a wax paper sheet (on a pan), cluster together a few nuts. Pour dark chocolate over nuts, until nuts are covered. Top with a pinch of sea salt.
When finished covering nuts in chocolate, put them in the freezer to harden.
Click this link for an awesome almond version.
So are you ready for the party?
There is so much more to party food than greasy, high calorie junk foods that most of us are used to. Parties already mean the addition of alcohol to your day, why add so many unhealthy party munchies too?
The beauty of these party foods is that they are clean, healthy, and your friends will love them! With so few ingredients in your clean eating recipes, you won’t be breaking the bank or ruining your diet.
You can party with a sound mind that you and your friends snacked on only the healthiest party foods, making for a more mindful night of eating.
Which one are you going to try? I’d love to know how it works out for you!