Stressing over what festive appetizer to bring to that Christmas party this weekend? Find some mistletoe, and kiss your worries goodbye! We’re here to save you with a ridiculously easy, sweet and savory treat.
In case you haven’t noticed, we are not big bakers. Cooking is where we thrive. Baking… not so much. So when we’re invited to a Christmas party, you best believe we’ll be the ones volunteering to bring an app (ideally with some kind of cheese involved). If you need any more proof of this, check out the appetizer recipe we shared before Thanksgiving.
Let’s be honest: appetizers can get unhealthy quick. It’s not uncommon for appetizers to include copious amounts of ingredients like cream cheese, mayo, sour cream, puff pastry, sugar, more sugar, etc.—especially around the holidays.
In fact, one of my favorite appetizers to make at this time of year has always been puff pastry squares filled with Brie and canned whole berry cranberry sauce. It’s super easy and always a crowd pleaser. Lately, we’ve been wondering how we can lighten up those same flavors. So, we started by swapping the canned cranberry sauce for homemade cranberry chia jam. Let’s compare: one can of whole berry cranberry sauce contains 660 calories, 132g sugar, 168g carbs, and 0g fat or protein. The entire recipe for our cranberry chia jam contains 470 calories, 53g sugar, 99g carbs, 6g fat and 6g protein. *How ’bout them
Our next healthy swap was switching the puff pastry for our favorite Simple Mills Rosemary & Sea Salt Almond Flour Crackers. These crackers add a nice crunchy texture to this appetizer, as well as some savory notes from the rosemary and sea salt—which balances perfectly with the creamy texture of the Brie and sweetness from the cranberry jam. Bonus: they’re gluten free, so your friend or family member with Celiac won’t be upset with you for bringing something to the party that they can’t enjoy. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
P.S. We’re super proud to report that this marks our ONE HUNDREDTH blog post! Holy moly. 100 posts since we started this thing less than a year ago in March. Thanks to all of you who have been here since the beginning and to those of you who just arrived—we appreciate each and every one of you!
Cranberry Rosemary Brie Bites
- 4.25 oz box Simple Mills Rosemary & Sea Salt Almond Flour Crackers
- 7 oz soft ripened Brie cheese, cut into about 60 bite-sized pieces
- 12 oz fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- Combine cranberries, water and maple syrup in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer.
- Simmer, stirring occasionally, until cranberries start to burst, about 6-8 minutes. Gently mash the cranberry mixture and continue to cook until desired consistency is reached.
- Stir in chia seeds, remove from heat, and set aside to cool. Note: Once cooled, chia jam can be refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to use (up to 1 week).
- To assemble bites, layer crackers, Brie cheese, and about 1 tsp of cranberry chia jam, in that order. Garnish with fresh rosemary if you want to be #extra. No shame.
Yield: 30 servings
Serving size: 2 bites
57 calories per serving • Fat: 3.1g • Carbohydrates: 5.6g • Protein: 2g