With Easter and Passover right around the corner, a holiday party is probably in your near future. Whether you’re the host or a guest, if an appetizer is of need we suggest turning to the tried-and-true crudités platter.
Unlike the winter holidays where the food focus is on comfort and heartiness, this time of year calls for more simple and lighter options. A healthy crudités platter is the perfect solution as it’s full of versatility, is time efficient and crowd pleasing. It is also a great opportunity to make healthy eating fun and approachable, because who doesn’t love snacks!?
We want to challenge you, though! Step away from the ranch dressing surrounded by raw veggies and be creative with your platter. Keep reading for some of our tips on constructing an avant garde crudités and see what’s on our platter this season!
Tip 1: Make the spreads/dips the focus
Most traditional crudités feature cheese, diary-laden dips, premade salad dressings etc. These often lack excitement and do not appeal to everyone. Having a star dip or spread in the middle of your board will help everything else fall into place. Our top choice: Miyoko’s Double Cream Spreadable Cheese. Being dairy-free, vegan, and paleo-friendly this delectable soft cheese is a true crowd pleaser. Many people may be spectacle of ‘fake’ cheese options, but this will definitely change their minds. These incredible cheeses are on sale for the month of March so get your hands on some soon! To include a nut-free option (as we don’t want anyone left out) we also included another crowd pleasing dip – Cedar’s Organic hummus. We went with the roasted red pepper flavor, but anything works! Guacamole or Spinach Dip are some great choices, as well!
Tip 2: Don’t be afraid to mix it up
Give your board some variety! Do not shy away from having both cooked and raw vegetable options; feature both sweet and savory snacks and include plenty of different textures and colors. Since you won’t need to spend much time cooking for this appetizer put in some extra effort to make it interesting – let your creativity and cravings flow onto the platter!
Tip 3: Use seasonal ingredients
We all know by how great it is to utilize what produce is in season, so definitely keep that in mind when constructing your crudités. This will help you keep the flavors and colors rich, while keeping the cost down.
Tip 4: Presentation is Key
People eat with their eyes first, so it pays to take the time setting up your crudités in an aesthetic manner. This is another area to let your creativity out: play with the layout, make it a bit messy, scatter the colors and have fun! Making the presentation pretty to the eye will have people reaching in before you even remind them these snacks are healthy!
Healthy Crudités Platter:
Most ingredients are easily interchangeable with whatever you prefer or have on hand, these were just some options we liked! The amount will vary as well depending on the size of your party. We also kept our board vegan, gluten free and paleo-friendly so everyone has an option to pick from – enjoy!
Cedar’s Organic Hummus (or other dip of choice)
Raw Vegetables: Carrots, Radish, Cucumber
Beet Chips (The how-to is included below – Sweet potatoes work great, too!)
1 box Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers (Vegan + Paleo-friendly!)
Nuts: Almonds, Walnuts
Dates (can sub figs)
Grapes (can sub cherries, berries, or other seasonal fruit)
Optional: Feel free to add in more sweet elements, such as chocolate covered fruit and nuts or even some allergy-friendly candy!
1. Make the beet chips: Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Thinly slice 2-3 medium sized beets (use a mandolin if possible), spread them out on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, spray with olive oil or coconut oil cooking spray, add a pinch of salt and pepper, then bake for 15-25 mins, flipping halfway through, until crispy.
2. While the beets cook, chop up the rest of your veggies, wash and dry your grapes and begin gathering the rest of your ingredients.
3. Start assembling your crudites: Start by placing your dips/spreads as those are the focus and place your other items around them. NOTE: We suggest not putting out any crackers or watery cut vegetable (i.e cucumber) until ready to serve. Simply leave a spot for those and add them right before serving.
4. Remove the beets from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes.
5. Add the beets, crackers, cucumbers and any other ingredients left aside to your platter, serve and enjoy!