Everyday Charcuterie is the New Snacking Craze for Good Health
A charcuterie board or grazing platter may be your perfect answer if you’re searching for a way to enjoy the fun and convenience of snacking without sacrificing good nutrition. Charcuterie has become a popular way to bring together snackable foods in a way that feels like a small meal. Preparing a meal of snacks is self-care – it’s easy to do, it boosts your health, and it gives you energy. Plus, it gives you a chance for artistic expression. With some simple preparation, you can enjoy a feast for yourself.
The Everyday Charcuterie
Charcuterie can be a fun treat when it’s too hot to cook, your appetite is lagging, or you’re in the mood for a nontraditional meal. It also works well when the refrigerator and pantry are filled with odds and ends and it’s nearly dinner time. Just work with what you have on hand and focus on variety and presentation. It’ll feel like a feast.
Nutritionists will tell you that the more colors of food you eat, the more healthful vitamins and minerals you’re likely to consume as well. Start with color and you’ll find other important considerations fall into place.
3 Things That Make a Great Everyday Charcuterie
The most important consideration is assortment. Keep it simple with eight to ten items. One or two cheeses and sliced meats or a protein butter, a bit of fresh fruit, pecans, veggie sticks, jam or honey, hummus, pickles, and crostini, bread, or crackers should do the trick.
Variety in texture and flavors are the next consideration. Both require a bit of thought. You want a range of flavors: salty, savory, spicy, sweet, and sour. And textures: soft, crunchy, and chewy. You may find you want to swap a jam for hummus, or cherry tomatoes for carrot coins.
Finally, think about carbs, fat, protein, and fiber. Are they all present and in good balance? Again, if you have a broad assortment of items, you’re likely to have these covered. Still, it pays to consider these as well.
Presentation is Nearly Everything
Now, bring out those odd patterned pieces you never use but can’t bear to toss. On the other hand, plain white pieces in different shapes work equally well. Do yourself a favor and overcome the temptation to just use your regular dishes or something disposable. You want your snack to feel special.
You might be tempted to put all the cheeses on one plate and the fruits on another while relegating pecans, olives and pickles to individual bowls off to the side. Don’t. Instead, put each of those bowls on a separate plate or board, and then add a few of the other items. Fruit and a soft cheese with the pecans, sliced meats with the pickles, veggies with the olives. Put hard cheeses on a board where they can be cut easily with one hand without fear of damaging the dish.
Breads, crackers or crostini can be carefully arranged in one or more baskets or trays.
That’s it. Now you have a snack that will satisfy your nutritional needs. Moreover, it gives an outlet to your creativity – even if you think you’re not a creative person, and provide you energy for whatever comes next.
Of course, if you’re ready for a relaxing evening, you might want to crack open a bottle of wine, pop the top on a hard cider, or pour a craft beer. Check out these recent posts for some ideas on pairing your charcuterie with beer and wine,
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