Lighter Drinks, Dips and Treats for New Year's Eve

This time of the year can be really fun for indulging, but there comes a point when you just need a break (hello, January 1st!). If you find yourself hitting that point when you still have some more festivities to attend (I’m looking at you, New Year’s Eve), then these lightened up drinks, dips and treats are for you.

Skinnier Sips

Alcohol is high in calories. Cutting down how much you drink in any given night is smart for a number of reasons, including your waistline. Try alternating between a drink and a glass of sparkling water to slow your drinking pace. And keep in mind that mixed drinks can often deliver lots of extra calories. A glass of wine is usually around 120 calories; beer can range upwards of 250 calories for higher-alcohol brews. Here are a few lower-calorie alternatives:

Spritzers (pictured above): Spritzers are a great way to curb the alcohol per drink.

Bellinis: They have more calories than spritzers, but like spritzers, they help you to drink less actual alcohol.

Alcohol-free wines have half the calories of regular vinos and they’re surprisingly delicious.

Desserts

Berry Strata : This is like a berry bread pudding -- yum.

Chocolate Fondue: You can dip lots of fruit into this chocolate fondue, which itself is made lighter with cocoa powder and evaporated milk.

Fruit Tart: Alton Brown’s fruit tart uses puff pastry, which is less calorie-dense than traditional pie crust, making this a lighter apple pie alternative. Plus, it’s pretty and festive.

Oatmeal Chocolate Cherry Cookies (pictured): While not exactly a diet food, these cookies add some wholesome ingredients (whole-wheat pastry flour, oats and dried cherries), which make them healthier than your average cookie.

Dips and Other Appetizers

Spinach and Cannellini Bean Dip: This vibrant green dip is a super-healthy alternative to sour cream and mayo-based dips.

Cracked Pepper Potato Chips with Onion Dip: Homemade potato chips will be a sure hit. Watch them carefully so they don’t burn. The onion dip will make them even more irresistible.

Kerri-Ann is a registered dietitian and nutrition coach who writes on food and health trends. Find more of her work at kerriannjennings.com or follow her on Twitter @kerriannrd or Facebook.

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