Make A Light Appetizer: 5 Easy Tips.
Happy hour is a moment of conviviality that everyone loves but is not without consequences for health and the scale! To limit the damage, it's better not to drink or snack on anything before the meal. We will give you 5 easy tips for a light aperitif.
1- Limit yourself to one glass of alcohol or soda.
When you are invited, it is difficult to refuse an aperitif before the meal. Even if you are watching your weight, do not deprive yourself of this moment of conviviality! The first tip for a light aperitif is to limit yourself to one glass of alcohol or sweetened beverage from the store.
As for alcoholic beverages, you can choose what you like because no alcohol is better than another for health or weight...
Just a reminder, 1g of alcohol provides 7 calories, so each glass represents about 100 calories, whether it's a dose of pastis or whiskey, a bowl of cider or a flute of champagne, or even half a beer...
Note: Regarding alcohol consumption, official recommendations advise limiting it to 1 glass per day for women and 2 glasses per day for men, but not every day!
As for sweetened beverages, the same moderation applies because 20cl of soda is equivalent to 5 sugar cubes! Sugar-free versions are not much better as the artificial sweeteners they contain are bad for the gut microbiota and weight.
2- Avoid processed foods.
The time for aperitif often rhymes with snacking on industrially processed foods that are high in salt, sugar, and fat such as chips, savory biscuits, deli meats, or tarama...
The commercial chips and appetizer biscuits have the double disadvantage of being very calorie-dense (180 calories per 30g) and particularly addictive. They are mindlessly nibbled on and hard to stop eating. That's why it's better not to start!
To avoid gaining weight in summer or during the end-of-year festivities, two seasons when aperitifs are abundant, it is necessary to banish these calorie-packed processed products.
The second tip for a light aperitif is to prioritize fresh products such as radishes, cherry tomatoes, and baby carrots. For more indulgence, you can accompany them with a homemade spread (see below) or serve them with bressola or lean ham, two of the least fatty deli meats.
3- Prepare homemade drinks
Another tip for a light appetizer is to make your own drinks. Homemade drinks allow you to control the ingredients and prioritize low or non-alcoholic cocktails.
Luckily, nolo (short for no alcohol and low alcohol) aperitifs are trendy and there are countless recipes available online! During outings with friends, you can even easily find them on the menu at bars and restaurants.
Among the ideas for light and healthy aperitifs, you can prepare:
• homemade tomato juice with a splash of lemon juice and a drop of Tabasco (in comparison, store-bought tomato juice contains 6g of salt per liter!)
• fruit smoothies that are healthier than store-bought fruit juices because they contain the fiber from the fruits
• flavored detox water
• homemade lightly sweetened iced tea with honey or agave syrup.
In any case, pay attention to the presentation by presenting these drinks as real cocktails to make up for the absence of alcohol.
4- Make homemade spreads
You will have understood, homemade is the key to making a light appetizer and avoiding industrial products that are bad for your health and your figure.
A good trick to include vegetables in your menu while adding indulgence to your appetizer is to prepare homemade spreads with healthy ingredients.
For example, you can try our recipes for:
- Zucchini spread with sesame
- Eggplant spread
- Chickpea hummus
- Red lentil hummus
- Green pea hummus
- Tuna rillettes
5- Prefer raw oilseeds
The days when you don't have time to cook, the last tip for a light appetizer is to serve your guests raw nuts, that is, unsalted and unroasted nuts.
When they are devoid of salt, these dried fruits make a healthy snack with numerous nutritional benefits.
Therefore, always have the following for aperitif time:
• pumpkin seeds
You can even prepare a mix of all these nuts in a jar that can be enjoyed without guilt!