If you are planning a party during the hot summer months, you'll probably want to serve refreshing, cold appetizers to your guests. Many people prefer to provide refrigerated appetizers because they can be made the night before the party, which allows the host to focus on other last-minute party details before the event. There are many cold appetizers that are delicious and nutritious.
There's nothing easier than putting cheese on a plate, so choose from a wide variety of cheese trays to serve at your gathering. Save money by skipping the costly prepared platters and make your own by cutting up cheaper blocks of cheese. The basic cheese tray typically features Swiss, cheddar and Monterey Jack. Serve this type of cheese with multigrain crackers. Make a Greek cheese tray that features feta cheese, olives, grapes, walnuts and pita bread. Serve an Italian cheese tray with Asiago, mozzarella, olives, peppers and prosciutto. If your guests have advanced palates, serve other types of imported cheeses such as Gouda, manchego or spreadable goat cheese with a crusty baguette.
Dips can be served with many different items, such as chopped vegetables, fruits, crackers, chips and bread. Choose from a wide variety of dips, including the basic favorites of ranch, French onion, crab and bean dips. If you want to branch out and serve a new variety of dip, make cream cheese and black olive dip or pico de gallo. Many grocery store delis sell prepared hummus at reasonable prices as well.
Serve bite-sized roll-ups that can be made the day before and chilled in the refrigerator. There are many types of roll-ups to choose from, including those made from tortillas and wrap bread, or those that feature deli meat. Often referred to as pinwheels, many types of roll-ups feature some sort of soft cheese, such as cream cheese, which holds the roll and its ingredients together, or try a creamy salad dressing. Make healthy versions that feature lean meats, such as turkey or grilled chicken, as well as vegetables and herbs. Use spinach tortillas instead of flour versions.
There are many types of salads that are ideal additions to a healthy appetizer plate. Skip the standard lettuce salad and serve something different. Some of these types of salads include crab meat and shrimp salad, pasta salad and five-bean salad. You can even serve chicken or tuna salad with crackers or a cut-up baguette. Choose from healthy fruit salads, such as a mixed berry salad, cranberry and orange salad and apple slaw salad.