Easy-peasy charcuterie delight
By Sonia Cervantes
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Festivities and seasonal delights are in full bloom.
Planning and preparing for the holiday feast can be stressful, time-consuming and expensive. That is why it’s also a great time of the year to add holiday cheer with a festive charcuterie board. Charcuterie is a French term that originated in the 15th century and is pronounced “shar-coo-tare-ree.” It refers to the culinary art of displaying cured meats and accompaniments like cheeses and fruits.
Charcuterie boards have become very popular, and the newest trend is to combine a greater selection of foods, flavors, contrasts and colors, which makes it fun!
They are no longer limited to traditional meats, cheeses and accompaniments. It is ok to be creative and mix and match foods to accommodate all palates.
Holiday charcuterie boards make entertaining easy with less cooking, fewer dishes to wash, and most importantly, they add a special festive touch to the table.
Here are some of the basic steps to make a fun and tasty holiday charcuterie board that even kids will love.
First – Pick a platter or cutting board. The size will depend on how many foods and snacks you want to display. They are all bite-size, easy to grab, and easy to share. You will also need small bowls for dipping sauces, condiments and spreads.
Second – Pick the foods you enjoy. Shop in your fridge and pantry first to use what you already have. It will save you time and money.
Third – Make a healthier version. Add proteins like rolled turkey slices, low-sodium prosciutto, salmon lox, any kind of cooked beans; low-fat cheeses like goat cheese, skim mozzarella and gouda; hard-boiled eggs; roasted chickpeas and nuts of any kind.
Add festive colors with lots of fresh fruits and veggies. Get creative and make some artsy holiday characters. Add some canned and jarred foods, like olives, marinated or pickled veggies, and some sweet and salty spreads like hummus, tapenade, mashed avocado, tzatziki sauce. For condiments and dips, include low-fat cream cheese dip and natural fruit preserves. Vegan or vegetarian dips are always good choices.
Fourth – Unleash your creativity and start assembling your unique holiday charcuterie board. Go for the visual, and enjoy the variety of colors, textures and flavors!
Wishing you and your family a healthy and happy holiday season full of peace, love, and lots of joy!
Sonia Cervantes is a certified health coach, certified nutritionist, master herbalist and founder of Sonia’s Healthy Corner. She helps individuals, families and organizations take care of their health through simple everyday lifestyle changes. She describes herself as a “foodie with a passion for health.” Visit soniashealthycorner.com