You feta believe there’s a way you can combine simplicity with nutrition – a grazing board is one of the most versatile dishes that you can serve at a party or simply enjoy with the kids for a quick lunch. We’ll be diving into some of the essentials for your board – plus, our 8-Week Program expert, Bianca Monley, shares her top tips for a healthy grazing platter.
The founder of healthy meal service, Lifely, and mum-of-three Bianca Monley is familiar with the time limits for whipping up nutritious food while balancing work and family commitments. That’s why she’s dropped some helpful tips to making a healthy grazing board without losing hours over a hot stove. Here are a few of the key steps to ensuring you’ve got a quality meal the whole family will enjoy that won’t take all your time – or your money! Here’s how to do it.
Bianca says the key to any good meal is some high-quality, fresh produce like fruits, veggies and herbs.
“If you can grow even a little bit of it at home, it makes a huge difference to the end result,” Bianca says.
It helps to include a variety of fruit and veg to your platter:
You can add anything you’ve got in the kitchen; you really can’t go wrong when you’re making a grazing board. Bianca shares that she loves decorating the board with colourful bunches of food to bring “colour to the plates”, making it “appealing to everybody.”
“The more colour there is, the more attractive it is,” Bianca says.
A source of protein
An element of protein on your board depends its nutritional profile while adding more variety and colour. Meats like ham and turkey, or plant-based foods like tofu or even legumes like roasted chickpeas can add a good amount of this nutrient to the plate, while luring the whole family in. You might even consider adding some seeds and nuts in – hemp seeds, for one, are loaded with nutrients and happen to be one of the few complete plant proteins. These seeds boast around 9.5 grams of protein per 30-gram serving, and they’re loaded with healthy fats like omega 3, linoleic acid and medium chain triglycerides, which are known by researchers to promote weight loss and manage appetite. Hemp experts, Grass Roots, have everything from hemp seeds to oils and supplements so you can get your fix of this protein-rich food.
A bit of cheese
Cheese will “brie” the glue that brings the whole board together – and what platter would be complete without a bit of the yellow stuff? Hard cheeses like Manchego, gouda and Swiss cheese pair well with your fruit and veg, while soft cheeses like ricotta, goat’s cheese and feta also work. The cheese also adds a good dose of calcium, with varieties like gouda packing in around 198 milligrams of the nutrient in a 28.5-gram serve. Goat’s cheese has a little less calcium, coming in at around 85 milligrams of calcium in that same-sized serve, but the latter takes the cake for vitamin B2 and iron content.
Crackers and dip
You’ll want to add some crackers to give a little pizazz to your grazing board – give our gluten-free seed crackers a go – after all, crackers are cheese to your, well, crackers! Some wholesome dips will add that much-needed element of healthy fats – plus, it’ll give you something to dip your fruit, veg and crackers in. If you’re not a fan of crackers, consider adding in some pita bread, flatbread or flatbread crisps. Take a look at some of the fun options for dips:
The best thing about your grazing board is that you can reuse the ingredients the next day and recreate new meals – it’s the gift that keeps on giving.
“Everyone can grab what they like, throw it in a sandwich, throw it in a wrap,” Bianca suggests.
Remember – there’s no wrong way to make your grazing board, add whatever you’ve got on hand; you can easily adapt your ingredients to match your family’s needs. It doesn’t need to be the most aesthetically pleasing dish – just as long as you’ve got all your elements on the board, it’ll be a hit.
“There’s no method to this, I think the messier it looks, the better,” Bianca says.
Keen for more simple healthy eating tips? Get more exclusive content from Bianca and our team of experts when you sign up to the 8-Week Program. If you’ve been having a little trouble keeping that sugar addiction at bay, we’re here to help. We know it can be hard to stick to your health goals – especially when you’re trying to manage it alone. Join us for the 8-Week Program where we’ll be quitting sugar and turning our health dreams into a reality. When you sign up with us, you’ll have access to clear-cut meal plans, community support and exclusive access to our sugar-free content. Here’s what’s on offer:
- 8 weeks of meal plans and shopping lists.
- 90+ member-only recipes.
- Community forums to share your journey.
- Support and guidance from the I Quit Sugar team.
- Exclusive content from our panel of experts.
So, if you’re ready to ditch sugar and the host of maladies that come with it, it’s not too late to join. We’d love to help you get started on your health journey. Sign up HERE today!