When I say perfect I really mean rustic and healthy. ‘Perfect’ just sounded great with ‘platter’ but you know what my style really is! We have Smushie’s second birthday this weekend (how did that happen, seriously) and a platter is one of best ways to feed guest regardless of the numbers.
So here are my tips to a pure and simple platter and yet another way to sneak some of those vegetables in to unsuspecting victims….
1. Keep it Simple – Do not overload the board with lots of choices, especially those that are not nutrient dense. Less choice actually makes it easier for people (and easier for your prep too.)
2. Have Extra – This helps with point number one, just have extra of your platter choices on hand so you can top up once they start getting low (it will help save some stress).
3. Lots of Vegetables – Include vegetables at every opportunity. Trust me if they are there (and not to many other options) people will eat them! It’s a little gentle encouragement and helps to foster a culture around good food. Vegetables sticks are an easy given, but I also really like making dips with vegetables this brings me to point number three.
4. Make Your Own Dip – Dips are actually really easy to make. Most of them you just need a quick wiz in the processor. Even better, you can make almost any vegetable into a dip so you are winning in that regard – not to mention you will look like this amazing domestic goddess even if that is the only thing on the board you made. Check out my Roasted Pepper Dip and Easy Beetroot Dip (which is in these pictures).
5. Protein – Do not be afraid to add a good source of protein and dietary fat, this can be either a meat or meat alternative option. It really adds something to the platter and having these nutrients at every meal (snacks and platters included) helps with energy levels. This divine piece of salmon above already came prepared so took no extra effort at all, can be served cold and tastes AMAZING – my version of a ‘treat’ food!
6. Healthy Base – Have your base ingredients (crackers or chips) as healthy and natural as possible – I highly recommend Nairns Oatcakes as they are made with over 80% rolled oats. Their milled oatcakes are a nice thin option for platters. You can read my full review on them here.
7. Trying Foods – Platters are a great way to offer children (and big people) foods to try. Maybe add some olives or different types of vegetables, when children see other people eating and trying it helps encourage them to give things a go.
8. Dietary Requirements – Keep in mind dietary considerations. Maybe have some wheat and gluten free options, appealing vegetarian options and depending of the type of function highlight potential allergens – you could use a little board to highlight certain foods.
Most of all – enjoy! Platters just seem to bring people together which is honestly the most important ingredient of all!
xxx Dr Julie Bhosale