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Healthy and festive holiday snacks

RICHMOND, Va. – Registered Dietician and self-proclaimed “Certified Vegetable Lover” Alexandra Caspero enjoys making mostly vegan dishes using healthy and whole ingredients. She walked us through the steps on creating a few seasonal delights with us, including festive Goat Cheese Balls with Crushed Pistachios and Pomegranate Seeds. For more info you can visit http://www.delishknowledge.com

Festive Cheeseballs:
20 ounces goat cheese, softened to room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2/3 cups chopped pistachios
2/3 cup pomegranate seeds
2/3 cup chopped herbs (dill & chives)
Crackers, sliced vegetables for serving

In a bowl, stir and mash together goat cheese, cream cheese, salt and pepper. Use your hands to roll the cheese into 3 balls.
Roll one ball in the pistachios and cover the outside completely. Roll another ball in the herb mixture and cover the outside completely. Roll the last ball in the pomegranate seeds and cover the outside completely.

Serve with crackers and sliced vegetables.

Poinsettia Cocktail (alcoholic and non-alcoholic option)
1/2 cup 100% pomegranate juice
2 cups champagne or sparkling apple cider

Divide pomegranate juice among 4 glasses. Top with champagne or sparkling apple cider and top with arils.

Honey Cinnamon Roasted Chickpeas:
1 (15 ounce can) chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon honey

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Drain chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and rinse them under cold water until starch is removed. Place chickpeas on a paper towel to dry.
In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, honey, cinnamon, and sugar. Place chickpeas in bowl and stir until all of the chickpeas are evenly coated. Spread out the chickpeas on a large baking sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until chickpeas are crunchy and no longer soft in the middle.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature.