5 Steps to a Sensational (& Safe!) Grazing Platter
Traditional grazing platters and cheese boards are built around high-calorie ingredients - creamy cheeses, fat marbled meats, oily antipasto pieces, dried fruit and chocolate. Simply building your board backwards - by making fresh produce the feature - you can turn the tables towards a lighter, healthier platter that is still just as tasty.
Grazing platters are also a fantastic way to be inclusive of friends and family with food intolerances. When forgotten by hosts, food intolerances can turn fun gatherings into stressful occasions. With just a few simple swaps, you can make sure there's something available for everyone.
GF = Gluten Free
DF = Dairy Free
LF = Low FODMAP
LF* = Considered low FODMAP when consumed in small quantities. Check the Monash FODMAP app or contact our Dietitian for more details.
V = Vegan
When choosing a platter, consider the number of people you're serving and the look you're after. Go traditional with a white ceramic piece, make it rustic with a wooden board, or give it a stylish vibe with marble. If you have any guests with allergies be certain to make sure all ingredients on the platter are safe for them to consume - or consider serving safe foods on a separate platter so that your guests can enjoy peace of mind.
Fresh is best - particularly when it comes to keeping things low-calorie! Think past your everyday carrot and celery sticks. Here are plenty of options that provide crunch, colour, and hardly any calories. Even better, all these options are naturally gluten free, dairy free and vegan. Many of these are also low FODMAP - just look for the symbol (LF).
Free Veg (all GF, DF, V):
"Free" veg their name from being especially low in calories and carbs - meaning you can eat freely of these without worrying about your weight. The following options are also low FODMAP when consumed in the quantities you'd usually find on a grazing platter.
cherry tomatoes (Tip: choose a medley for a variety of shapes & colours.)
sliced capsicum (Tip: mix thinks up by including a little of each - red, yellow & green.)
Fresh Fruit (all GF, DF, V):
Make the most of this summer's delicious produce.
Low FODMAP: strawberries, blueberries (LF*), grapes, kiwifruit, dragonfruit, passionfruit, pineapple, rockmelon.
Other: cherries, lychees, watermelon, honeydew melon, mango.
We all know that protein helps us feel full for longer. These days there are also plenty of plant-based options on the market suitable for any vegan family or friends. Be sure to keep protein options chilled (or heated) until ready to serve, and discard any leftovers that have sat at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
lean ham (GF, DF, LF)
devilled eggs (GF)
roasted chickpeas & fav-va beans (GF, DF, V, LF*)
vegie pakoras (GF, DF, V)
thai chilli & lime cakes (DF, V)
pepperoni-style slices (DF, V)
Fibre also helps us feel full for longer - so try swapping refined white crackers for those containing added grains or seeds. Be mindful of crackers with added dried fruits as these may not be suitable for friends or family following a low FODMAP diet.
wholegrain crackers (DF, V)
wholegrain gluten-free crackers (GF, DF, V, LF*)
wholegrain rice crackers (GF, DF, V, LF*)
air-popped popcorn (GF, DF, V, LF*)
Add the final touch to your platter or board by selecting one or two flavour sensations. These will likely be the highest-calorie ingredient, so choose thoughtfully.
Cheeses (all GF):
Choose cheeses that pack a punch when it comes to flavour. This way you'll only need a sliver rather than a thick slice to get that cheesy taste! Flavourful cheeses include sharp & vintage cheddars, smoked cheeses, blue cheeses, and cheeses infused with truffles, garlic, pepper or herbs.
Thankfully nowadays there are plenty of options available for people with food intolerances. Check out Yumi's range of gluten free and dairy free dips. Or better yet, you could try making your own!
Something Savoury (all GF, DF, V):
Not everyone loves creamy dips or cheeses. Why not pick one of these savoury alternatives instead?
roasted mixed nuts (LF)
salted nuts (LF)