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Earlier this week, we talked about the importance of being present and how your presence could be the best Christmas gift to give your friends and family this holiday season! Today, we’ll share some healthy shareable snacks and treats that are perfect for bringing to a friend’s house or a loved one’s home when you want to gift them your time, your attention, and your presence. Chat, laugh, reminisce, and give them your undivided focus as you graze on the following scrumptious foods.

1. Healthy Mayo-Free Avocado Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs are the perfect appetizer or snack at a party, but they’re typically made with mayonnaise — which is extremely high in salt and saturated fats, posing risks to your cardiovascular health and your immune health. This version of these popular shareable snacks swaps out mayo for avocado instead.

Avocado doesn’t just give these deviled eggs the much-needed creaminess that mayo provides. Avocado also adds numerous nutritional benefits, such as providing exceptional immunity-boosting nutrients (such as 22% of your daily needs of vitamin C; more than half of your daily needs of vitamin B5; and lots of copper, magnesium, vitamin E, and more), as well as enhancing your gut health and reducing your risks of heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases.

6 large eggs, ideally local, organic and free-ranged
2 medium-sized ripe avocados
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp minced cilantro
1 tbsp minced green onions

First, boil your eggs. Fill a pot with water, boil the water, then add the eggs. Remove from heat and set aside for 15 minutes before draining the water and placing the eggs in cold water to stop the cooking process.

When your hardboiledd eggs are no longer hot to the touch, peel them. Then, cut them in half and scoop out the yolks and place them in a mixing bowl.

Slice the avocados and scoop out the avocado flesh into the bowl. Mash the avocado and egg yolks together, then stir in the lime juice, cilantro, chives, and salt.

“Refill” the egg whites with a dollop of the egg and avocado mixture. Enjoy!

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2. Smoked Salmon and Brie Cucumber Bites

These shareable snacks look like something that might be served as a canapé at a nice restaurant, but they’re a breeze to make and oh-so-tasty. The creamy richness of the brie cheese balances well with the saltiness of the smoked salmon and the slight tang of the capers for a delicious bite-sized morsel that is sure to delight your friends, family, and guests. And instead of using crackers, you swap them out for healthy, hydrating cucumber slices!

Smoked salmon is a classic holiday appetizer ingredient, but it’s also surprisingly healthy. Salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3 fats, which most Americans are deficient in. These fats are critical for numerous processes in your body, including balancing inflammation, managing your cholesterol, producing important hormones, and even supporting your immune system. So you’ll be celebrating the holidays with these shareable snacks while also celebrating health and wellness!

1/2 medium-sized wheel of ripe Brie cheese, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 tbsp capers, minced
1/4 cup minced scallions
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
3 organic cucumbers, sliced into 1/4-inch thick circles
3 slices of smoked salmon, chopped (ideally from wild salmon)
Pinch of dried dill

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. While your oven is heating up, place the cheese into a baking dish. Then, bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is sizzling.

Stir in the garlic, capers and minced scallions. Bake for another couple of minutes.

Arrange the cucumber slices on a serving tray. Top with the cheese-and-herb mix, then a piece of smoked salmon. Add some dill for garnish and extra flavor, and enjoy either warm or at room temperature.

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3. Easy Buffalo Chicken Waffles

Chicken and waffles are a quintessential southern dish, but you don’t have to work away in the kitchen for hours and hours in order to wow your friends and family with these shareable snacks. You’ll cut a lot of time from your preparation process using whole-grain instant waffles — they’re a great source of B vitamins and fiber. You can save further time by swapping out the homemade cooked chicken for store-bought rotisserie chicken. Regardless of the route you go, the end result is the same: An amazing combination of crunchy texture and juicy morsels, all topped off with the richness of melted cheese and creamy dressing.

4 instant whole-grain mini waffles, ideally organic
1/2 cup organic brown coconut sugar
1/2 cup hot sauce of your choice
1 lb boneless skinless chicken, cooked, shredded
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup ranch dressing
1/2 cup diced green onions

Pop the waffles into your toaster and toast until golden brown. While your waffles are cooking, shred the chicken and mix with the sugar (coconut sugar is lower on the glycemic index, so it has less of an impact on your blood sugar) and hot sauce.

On a baking sheet, place the toasted waffles. Top with the chicken mixture, then sprinkle with cheese.

Bake for five minutes or until the top of your chicken-and-waffles is sizzling, then drizzle with dressing and garnish with the diced green onions. Enjoy warm!

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