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How to Build a Healthy Charcuterie Board

How to Build a Healthy Charcuterie Board

The classic charcuterie board recipe is usually filled with a variety of delicious but highly processed meats and high fat cheeses that can run on the unhealthy side. The key to building a heart healthy charcuterie board is to fill it with lean protein foods, healthy fats, whole grains and lots of fruits and vegetables! Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind when making your shopping list for a healthier board…

Ingredients:

  • Meats/Protein- Keep your board packed with healthy, lean proteins like herb roasted chicken or turkey, grilled pork tenderloin, marinated tofu or a few hard boiled egg slices. Try to avoid processed, high nitrate/high salt luncheon meats.
  • Cheeses- Try a mix of hard and soft cheeses….low-fat cheddar or swiss, fresh mozzarella, goat cheese, feta, crumbled bleu cheese, or plant-based, non-dairy cheese.
  • Whole grains- Keep your carb options healthy by choosing whole-grain crackers and low-sugar bread like sourdough, sprouted grains and pumpernickel. Also flavorful are crackers made with rice or chickpeas.
  • Vegetables- Include fresh crudités like carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, snow peas or radishes. Tuck in small bowls of olives, sun-dried tomatoes, marinated artichokes or marinated mushrooms.
  • Fruits- The sweetness of fresh and dried fruits adds a nice balance to the savory flavors of the cheese and meats. Add color with assorted berries, apple or pear slices, grapes, dried apricots, figs or dried cherries/cranberries.
  • Nuts- Raw, unsalted nuts are high in heart-healthy fats and protein while adding crunch to your board. Tasty choices include almonds, pistachios, walnuts and cashews.
  • Dips and Spreads- These add another texture option. Stone ground mustard, hummus, seasoned Greek yogurt, guacamole, or fruit jams give loads of flavor in a small amount.
  • Herbs- Make your board look extra fancy by topping it with fresh or dried herbs. Rosemary, thyme, oregano and basil add visual interest and flavor without using salt.

Instructions:
  • Choose your board, platter or plate. Wooden chopping boards work just fine!
  • Lay out your ingredients and plan for the spacing of each.
  • Place the dips and spreads around the board. Use small bowls. Get creative and use a hollowed out bell pepper as a vessel. From here you can arrange ingredients according to what goes best with each dip or spread.
  • Arrange your board with all your chosen food items. Let your inner artist loose …there’s no right or wrong way in arranging!
  • Top a few items with garnishes. Have on hand cheese knives, small spoons, spreaders, small plates, cocktail forks or wooden picks and napkins.
  • Dig in and enjoy!

Click here to download the PDF recipe. 


Dawn Davoli ​​​

Dawn Davoli, Registered Dietitian is a frequent presenter at the Excela Health Mall Walkers program and also provides education through public speaking engagements and the school-based program “Healthy Habits”.