Charcuterie boards are fun. They’re colorful, flavorful and typically present an interesting selection of foods. They are also versatile because they can be used as an appetizer or a meal. Here are ways to make a healthy charcuterie board to take to any party, meal or get-together.
Pick out quality meats of different textures and flavors for your board. A great combination is spicy, smoky and salty. You will want to choose meats that are minimally processed, like artisanal meats, or meats that are free of nitrates. Prosciutto, pepperoni and naturally cured salami are delicious choices. Smoked turkey and beef jerky can also provide interesting options.
Who doesn’t love cheese? Like meats, choose cheeses with different textures and flavors. Hard cheeses like parmesan, swiss, gouda and sharp cheddars complement softer cheeses like camembert, goat or brie.
Fruits and Vegetables
Seasonal fruits and vegetables can brighten up any charcuterie board with their vibrant colors and refreshing flavors. While carrots and celery are excellent vegetable options, you can also use cucumber slices, broccoli, roasted peppers, bell peppers or cauliflower. Figs, pears, apples and grapes are great fall fruit choices. For warmer months, choose cherries, peaches or fresh berries.
Brined or Pickled Foods
For a salty, zesty taste, add dill or sweet pickles, olives, pepperoncini, pickled jalapenos or any other assortment of pickled vegetables.
Add nuts to your charcuterie board to add some crunch. Raw nuts have no added fat and tend to have less salt. Raw almonds are a fantastic addition to any board.
Crackers and Breads
Crackers and breads are a must for your board; however, choose healthier options like 100% whole wheat baguettes or breadsticks. For your gluten-intolerant friends, be sure to add some gluten-free crackers.
Dips and Spreads
Don’t forget the dips for your goodies! Have a selection of healthy options like hummus, gourmet mustard, fruit spreads and guacamole.
Putting it Together
When you’re planning a board, the size of it depends on how many guests you will be serving. For each person, plan a few pieces of cheese and one or two slices of meat. Then pile on the others. The beauty of your healthy charcuterie board is that there is no right or wrong way to assemble it. Have fun with it and enjoy! Having this as a serving option is a great way to have healthy food for any social event. Check out our other recommendations for ways to maintain your diet without sacrificing your social life.