Canapés are bite-size pieces of toast, bread or crackers topped with a savory spread and served as small treats, usually before a meal. For certain gatherings, such as afternoon get-togethers, some hosts may provide a wide variety of canapés or mini-sandwiches as a collective meal. The size and variety of canapes will suit young guests, too. Use healthy ingredients to make sandwiches and canapés as appetizers for any dining occasion.
Cucumbers serve as a healthy ingredient in many appetizers. Make a cucumber-infused canapé by topping a whole-wheat cracker with a dollop of a puréed concoction featuring reduced-fat sour cream, cucumbers and a dash of garlic salt. Cut whole-wheat bread into small squares to make a series of mini cucumber sandwiches. Use a light cream cheese or creamy ranch dressing as a spread, and dig out cookie or biscuit cutters for making fun sandwich shapes for little ones in the crowd.
For a Mediterranean flair, serve canapés made from toasted pieces of pita topped with a bit of hummus and garnished with sliced or chopped black olives. Make small sandwiches out of sliced whole-wheat baguettes by topping with a spread of hummus and roasted peppers. Most supermarkets offer a selection of hummus featuring flavors like garlic and tomato. To save time, cut the pita or bread a day ahead of time.
Make a bowl of tuna salad for a set of sandwiches or canapés, but for a healthier alternative, substitute mayonnaise with non-fat sour cream or a mixture of olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice. Add flavor by including such healthy ingredients as basil or bean sprouts. For the canapés, puree the tuna salad before placing it on wheat crackers and sprinkle it with a bit of chopped fresh parsley. Use circular or triangular cut-out pieces of squaw bread for sandwiches. Add cheese to make mini tuna melts.
Assemble Southwest-style canapés by topping crackers with a puréed mixture similar to guacamole, including avocados and lemon juice, as well as a dash of salt, pepper or creamy chipotle dressing. Decorate them with a little grated cheese. Make a set of avocado sandwiches stuffed with alfalfa sprouts, slices of cheese or low-fat mayo. Lemon juice not only adds a zesty flavor to avocado but prevents the fruit from turning brown, particularly if you prepare the dishes a few hours before serving.