One thing I’ve been asked a lot over on Instagram, is HOW can I stay healthy yet have fun at the same time? How do I find the balance between the two?! Well, for me, it’s all about trying to add in nutrition where possible into the normal every day things (say, like a healthy charcuterie board!), meanwhile also giving yourself grace to just ENJOY YOSELF sometimes with the “real stuff."
Now to adding nutrition into your everyday things you enjoy, just to make them a littttle bit healthier. Well you can find LOTS of recipes where I do just that, like myhealthier cookie dough blizzard, or myedible chocolate chip cookie dough… But another is having both date nights in AND gals nights in with my roommates, with making this healthy charcuterie board!
Here’s the video breaking it all down -- but also scroll down past it if you’re just wanting to READ about how to construct this delicious healthy charcuterie board, (you can also make it a healthy cheese board too!), more than watch it and hear me tell ya face to face!
KEYS TO A HEALTHY CHARCUTERIE BOARD
1. Grab a good lookin' board to get this party started!
For A++ presentation of your healthy charcuterie board, you’ll want a great, relatively big board to put all of your essentials on! Either a fun wooden board or a marble slab is what I’d recommend, as both can offer a great backdrop to a delicious charcuterie board. You’ll see in my photos and video, I went with a big wood board. I actually got this one from HomeGoods for a whoppin’ $25! Talk about a steal. I also have my marble platter next to it that I got as an engagement gift (that was NOT $25, haha), but I ended up fitting all of it on just the wooden tray.
The key for picking cheeses for your board is this:
-- Make sure you get different textures: some hard and some soft.
-- If wanting to make a healthy charcuterie board, consider getting some of the cheeses part-skim/low-fat. I’d recommend doing half and half, so that some are full fat, some are a bit healthier.
-- Get at least 2 colors: don’t just pick all white cheeses, or all yellow. You’ll see I did a variety by doing 2 white, a yellow, and a cream cheese block with raspberry preserves on top for more color
I mixed it up here by getting regular brie cheese (white, soft), but part-skim colby jack (yellow/white, hard), part-skim mozzarella (white, hard), and then a greek yogurt based cream cheese and natural jelly for the cream cheese and jelly duo (soft, white, red).
Setting up the cream cheese block: if you’re using full-fat or even light cream cheese by the block, you can simply put it right on the tray after unwrapping, and let it sit out for 5-10min to soften. Then add a scoop of preserves (whether it be a low sugar jam or a fig preserve) on top. Trust me, this will be a hit with your guest(s)! Now if you are using a greek-yogurt style/low fat cream cheese that is in a tub versus a block, you’ll want to use a little serving bowl to put it in before adding the topping. See my video for how I did this!
There’s no rules here, but you definitely need em’! I try to have at least 2 if not 3 different crackers on the board for people to choose from. In this one, I used Back To Nature’s Multi-Grain Flatbread Crackers, simple water crackers, and Crunchmaster’s protein crackers. Depending on how much money you want to spend (and how healthy you want to go), you can choose simple crackers like Ritz Crackers and wheat thins, to more upscale “cracker thins” and rosemary crisps.
4. Additions for the healthy charcuterie board
Now for the fun additions to your healthy charcuterie board!
Fruit! Let’s add both nutrition and color by adding some fruit. I add sliced red apples (also great with the cheese!), red raspberries, and then also dates.
Nuts! I added Now Food’s raw cashews, roasted almonds, and their crunchy cashew squares
Random Additions! Olives and Now Food’s whole wheat sticks!
5. Don't forget the wine!
And of course for the FUN part of this healthy charcuterie board, let’s pop those bottles and pour some wine! I always suggest having a mix of both red and white wine, unless you know for sure that both you and your cute date (or cute gals), all like one or the other!
My fiance actually ordered this CRAZY package of 24 bottles of wine from Groupon, haha, so we had no shortage of having both red and white available when our friends came over for this night!
6. Finishing touches
There’s no PERFECT formula for putting together a healthy charcuterie board, or any cheese board for that matter! Here are my best tips though:
-- Space is your friend, don’t overcrowd the board or cram things together.
-- Separate the cheeses and the crackers with other things (see my video how I put all 4 cheeses in different corners!)
-- Make sure to have COLOR on the board! Both from your cheeses, fruit, and other additions.
-- Don’t forget having cheese knives for each cheese people will have to cut into!
7. Healthy tips for a date night in!
Last but not least, let’s talk about some HEALTHY LIVIN’ tips. I’m all about having a good time and not being obsessed, but here’s some ways to make sure you DO enjoy yourself AND also feel good a few hours later (and the next morning!)
A. Moderate the wine! After each glass, make sure to hydrate with some good ole’ water.
B. Make the night more about the people you’re with, whether it’s a date night or girls night. Sure, enjoy all the goodies on your healthy charcuterie board, but more than that, make it about engaging with the person/people, and having those extremely refreshing, deep conversations that are oh so needed for a healthy life.
C. Enjoy yourself! Relax! It’s okay to shut off and let yourself simply breathe and have some fun. A healthy life means being able to shut off from work and stresses, and letting yourself not always be super preoccupied with health or food. TREAT YO SELF!
Sarah Grace Spann
Sarah Grace Spann is a registered dietitian and ex-D1 athlete gone serial creator and entrepreneur who loves the Lord. Current obsessions: anything pumpkin, DIY skinny spicy margaritas, athletic clothes (I’m uncertain if I actually ever wear real clothes) and my “ME time” (hello extro-introvert).