Charcuterie Boards are fun to eat and perfect for entertaining. Here are some tips to help you make a healthy charcuterie board that everyone will love.
Healthy Charcuterie – an Easy Appetizer or Dinner
Don’t you just love meat and cheese boards filled with all kinds bite-sized goodies that you can mix and match while sipping on a glass of wine?
I know I could help empty a meat and cheese tray for dinner along with a big bowl of salad and be completely happy. Who doesn’t love appetizers for dinner?
How to Build a Healthy Charcuterie Board
Charcuterie boards are typically filled with processed meats and cheeses can be a little bit unhealthy. I’ve come up with a better way to enjoy a meat and cheese board without compromising the flavor.
Healthy Charcuterie Board Ingredients
There are no set ingredients when it comes to making a heatlhy charcuterie board. The key is to fill it up with a balance of quality ingredients like nitrate free meats, artisan cheeses, veggies and fruits.
Grab a board. It can be wood slate, marble or a ceramic plate and pile on an assortment of meats, cheeses, vegetables. Use a variety of textures and flavors that everyone will enjoy.
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Select any variety of meat with an assortment of flavor and texture. Think salty, smoky and spicy. More importantly, choose meats that are free of nitrates and minimally processed. You can find nitrate free meats in most healthy supermarkets or check with local artisans for minimally processed meat and cheese.
Meat used on this board: Nitrate free salami, pepperoni and proscuitto. I also found a fig salami which is a fun addition to a cheese board.
Any variety of cheeses with a combination of flavor and textures. Soft cheese such as brie, goat or camembert are good choices as well as sharp cheddars, Parmesan, or gouda, swiss.
Cheese used on this board: sharp cheddar with herbs, mild cheddar
Fresh Seasonal Vegetables
Seasonal vegetables brighten up any board with their refreshing flavors and vibrant colors. Celery and carrots are always a great stand-by option, and so are cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, roasted peppers, hot peppers, cucumber slices, cauliflower and broccoli.
Vegetables used: carrot and celery sticks
Fresh Fruit and Dried Fruit
The sweetness of fruit balances out the saltiness in the meats and cheeses and makes a nice contrast in both taste and appearance. Once again, different flavors and textures play well together.
Here are some seasonal fruit suggestions; in the fall and winter use figs, pears, grapes or apples. In the warmer months, fresh berries, cherries and peaches are a great choice. Use dried fruit sparingly since it contains more sugar than fresh fruit.
Fruit used on this board : fresh grapes, dried apricots
Pickled or Brined Foods
Think olives, sweet or dill pickles, pickled jalapenos, pepperoncini, marinated artichokes or any variety of pickled vegetables for a salty piquant flavor.
Pickled Foods Used: Greek Olive Mix, Hot Pepper Rigs, Baby Dill Pickles
Spreads and Dips
Spreads and dips are a must for dipping those veggies! Healthy Hummus, fruit spreads, gourmet mustard, bean dips, guacamole or pate like this mushroom pate.
Spreads and Dips Used: Homemade Hummus
Nuts to add some crunch. Use an assortment of raw nuts which are lower in salt and have no added fats. Nuts in the shell can be a fun addition to add to the board too, or you can serve Maple Glazed Cashews which have slightly sweet and crunchy taste.
Nuts Used on this Board: Almonds
Bread and Crackers
Any kind will do, my recommendation is a whole wheat baguette, bread sticks, crostini or plain and simple crackers. Don’t forget a helping of gluten-free crackers for your guests with gluten intolerance.
Breads and Crackers Used: Crostini, and Cheese sticks
Add These to Your Meat and Cheese BoardPrint
How to Build a Healthy Charcuterie Board
Charcuterie boards are very customizable. Use these ingredients to make your board or make your own creation
Place all of the ingredients onto a board or platter and enjoy!
The amount of items on the board depends on how many people you will be serving. One to two slices of meat per person, and a few pieces of cheese. The beauty of these boards is that they can sit out for a while without spoiling and it’s easy to store any leftovers.