In Atlanta, it’s Springtime! The trees are wearing their flowery best and the world has suddenly become green and lush. (And yellow from the pollen, too!)

Its time to gather our friends and celebrate its arrival! Often when we go to parties and potlucks, there are the same old sad appetizers and offerings. This recipe is different! Here’s a decadent way of serving up a delicious but a little better-for-you appetizer to a crowd. You can feel good about sharing – and your friends will love it!

Smoked Paprika makes this treat taste meaty and delicious. Its tastes like bacon – without the meat! It’s also a good source of four different carotenoids which all function as strong antioxidants. Paprika has an active ingredient called capsaicin which gives the “heat.” This has been shown to help boost metabolism, relax blood vessels, and lower blood pressure. All that in wonderful stuffed dates!

Blue Cheese Stuffed Dates

(1 date per serving)

½ Cup Blue Cheese

2 TB Light Cottage Cheese, whizzed in the blender until creamy

24 Whole Dates, Pits removed

¼ Cup Sliced Almonds

1 Tsp Smoked Paprika

Step One Mash the blue cheese and cottage cheese together in a small bowl. Stuff the mixture into the dates.

Step Two In a small sauté pan, over medium hight heat toast the almonds until golden, about 2 – 4 minutes. Spray or toss with a few drops of oil and toss with the smoked paprika. Take the dates, and cheese side down, press into the nuts to coat the top with the mixture.

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