BYOP — Bring your own platter for the holidays

Published 8:06 am Sunday, November 23, 2014

The holiday season is upon us and with the holidays come many parties and gatherings.  One of the most challenging parts of the holiday season is finding tasty, yet healthy treats.

With a new spin on the traditional BYOB, one can eat healthy through the holidays by BYOP —bringing your own platter.  Bring Your Own Platter (BYOP) provides the option for you to bring your own food to parties or gatherings to ensure you will have a snack or meal that is delicious as well as nutritious.

Your Hy-Vee dietitians recommend following these healthy holiday tips during the holiday season:

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•Balance carbohydrate foods with lean proteins.  Add a slice of deli meat, cheese or nuts to fruit, crackers or cookies.

•Select whole-grain alternatives, such as whole-grain crackers and whole-grain tortillas, when possible.

•Incorporate healthy fats such as olives and nuts into snacks and treats.

A tray of cheese, crackers and dips on a table with baked party foods

•Choose smaller portions or bite-sized pieces.

•Limit alcoholic and sugar-sweetened beverages. Try adding fresh fruit or a cucumber to water for a refreshing beverage or drink alcohol in moderation — one drink for women, two drinks for men per day.

Here are five BYOP snack ideas that combine better-for-you holiday foods to create a festive platter perfect to serve for holiday parties and gatherings.

•Artisan Nut Thin crackers, green and red pepper strips, cubed Cabot 50 percent reduced-fat cheese and Beer and Bacon Glazed Almonds (contact if interested in this recipe).

•Celery sticks, Laughing Cow light white cheddar, pomegranate arils, pistachios and Mary’s Gone Crackers.

•Anjou pear slices, Babybel cheese, dried apricots and pecans.

•Dark Chocolate Coconut Fillo Tarts, Clementines, almonds.

•Angie’s Holidrizzle dark chocolate sea salt kettle corn, sea salt roasted almonds, Zöet dark chocolate, dried cherries and cranberries.

BYOP is not only a great way to eat well, but also to spread holiday joy.  It will ensure happy and healthy holidays.

Dark Chocolate Coconut Fillo Tarts

Serves 15 (1 tart each)

All you need

•1/2 cup shredded coconut

•1/3 cup chunked Zöet 57 percent dark chocolate

•1 (1.9 ounce) package Athens pre-baked mini fillo shells

•1 (5.3 ounce) container coconut yogurt

•15 almond slices

 All you do

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sprinkle coconut evenly on a baking sheet. Bake for approximately 7 – 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until golden brown.

2. Remove from oven and set aside.

3. Melt chocolate on high in microwave, stirring every 20 seconds until melted.  Spoon approximately 1/2 teaspoon chocolate in bottom of each fillo shell, spreading up onto sides of shell. Chill in freezer for 5 to 10 minutes.

4. Spoon a dollop of coconut yogurt into fillo shells. Top each dollop with a sliced almond.

For garnish, drizzle melted chocolate on top of yogurt-almond combination followed by a pinch of toasted coconut.

Nutrition facts per serving: 80 calories; 4.5 g total fat; 2.5 g saturated fat; 0 g trans fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 7 g carbohydrates; 4 g sugar; 2 g protein; 1 g fiber; 0 mg sodium

Source: Hy-Vee Dietitians

Photo credit: MSPhotographic/iStock