I particularly love holiday seasons, because they are the perfect time to bring people together, shower them in love, and partake in communal self-care (such as laughter and the consumption of delicious food!). In case you are feeling any pressure when it comes to hosting, here are some of my go-to tips to simplify the process:
- Tip one: APERTIF HOUR. The secret is GREAT APPETIZERS. People often come hungry! So when your guests arrive, you want to make sure they have something to snack on. However, be mindful about what you serve, because your guests could fill up on apps! A vegan charcuterie board is one of my favorite appetizer options. (see how to create one below!)
- Tip two: PREP LIKE YOU’RE ON A TV SHOW- Prep is the most important part of the whole process if you’re the host. Par-cook your proteins, then when it’s about time to serve, heat and finish! Also, cook what takes the longest first, and cook last what heats the fastest and is the most delicate.
- Tip three: SERVE FAMILY STYLE, it’s more fun! I typically prefer more engaged, community-focused events over formal meals. Serving family style makes it easy for your guests to try everything and get second helpings if they like!
Can a charcuterie board be delicious…AND nutritious!?
I love creating vegan charcuterie boards for events and parties. At their core, my signature boards are simple, containing a robust selection of vegetables and fruits in a variety of colors. I keep my charcuterie boards seasonal, with light, hydrating fruits and veggies for summer and grounding veggies and fruits for winter.
Here are some of my favorite summer fruits and veggies that deliver big health benefits:
High in fiber, blueberries are the perfect weight-loss snack. By keeping you feeling full longer they help you to avoid snacking between meals. Their high fiber content can also aid in regulating digestion. Polyphenols in blueberries inhibit inflammation, helping to minimize free radicals that lead to premature aging, chronic disease, and autoimmune disorders.
The high vitamin A and C levels in strawberries help detoxify your body while neutralizing inflammation. Strawberries also aid in balancing your gut pH level. Folate, a B vitamin found in these super-berries, supports the tissue development required for a healthy pregnancy. Folate also aids in preventing anemia. It also can improve skin elasticity and overall skin hydration.
Cherries are an excellent source of anthocyanins and flavonoids which can help protect you against chronic illnesses like cancer. The phytochemicals in cherries have been shown to lower body inflammation. They’re also chock full of vitamin C and fiber which can help you feel full and prevent disease.
Peas are sweet-tasting but you may not realize that they can support healthy blood sugar levels. They’re a low glycemic-index vegetable with a very high level of protein and fiber. This helps regulate the rate sugar is released into your bloodstream. Peas help you feel fuller longer and can potentially help you manage a healthy weight. High in plant-based protein, peas also contribute to healthy hair, skin, and nails.
This versatile veggie is a great addition to a low-carb diet. It’s not just low in calories but is also high in potassium and manganese. These minerals are vital for regulating your sodium levels, can lower blood pressure, and aid in the formation of connective tissue. Zucchini also supplies vitamin C and energy-boosting B vitamins.
No vegan charcuterie board would be complete without a sprinkling of raw and organic (if possible) nuts such as cashews, walnuts, almonds and macadamia nuts. These little legumes are both satisfying and rich in fiber, antioxidants and healthy fats. For a fall vegan charcuterie board, I might include roasted pumpkin seeds which are brimming with fiber and magnesium.
Along the edges, I’ll place whole grain or seeded (another great source of magnesium!) crackers and in the center a luscious vegan dip, like my grounding beetroot hummus that is not only delicious, but also beautiful and packed with nutrients and powerful antioxidants. A homemade vegan cashew spread and dehydrated portabella mushroom jerky are also delightful options for those looking for a cheese and salami substitute.
Find more info in THIS Yahoo piece.