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How to build a healthy antipasto platter

Jessica Sepel

4 minute read
Jess Sepel shows us her healthy version of an antipasto platter

I love spending an evening with my beautiful family, friends and husband while sharing good-quality wine, delicious wholesome nibbles and all-round great conversation.

At the moment, I enjoy making a healthy antipasto platter whenever I have guests over. It’s incredibly easy and fun to create. You can even get the kids and hubby involved in the creation process, because there’s no right or wrong way to do it.

Quite often, the snacks and platters on offer at parties aren’t the most nutritious. So I want to show you how to boost the nutrition factor of your platter, without sacrificing the taste. Don’t be afraid to get creative! Invest in some wooden boards in different sizes, and ensure you set out a separate knife for each cheese.

Making your antipasto platter nutritious doesn't mean it has to be boring! There are a few things to keep in mind when constructing a healthy platter.

Firstly, things to limit include:

  • Deli meats – these are okay to enjoy every so often, but they do contain a lot of sodium and preservatives such as nitrites (these give deli meat their distinctive colour and flavour), which can have a negative impact on our health
  • Salted nuts/sugar-coated nuts – if you’re adding nuts, select raw, unsalted and sugar-free options instead
  • Dried fruits – the drying process means the fruits are stripped of their water content, yet retain all the sugar. Enjoy whole, fresh fruit as a fibre-rich, hydrating alternative
  • Processed crackers – offer carrot and cucumber sticks for dipping instead
  • Chips – opt for corn chips, as potato chips usually have added sugar/preservatives
  • Milk chocolate – choose dark chocolate (70% and above) if you’re going to add chocolate to your platter

When you’re building a healthy antipasto platter, focus on nutritious, whole food ingredients, including:

Cheese

Start with cheeses, the building blocks of the platter! Cheese is a great source of protein, calcium and healthy fats, helping to keep your guests fuller for longer. Not to mention, it's delicious on seed crackers!

  • Mozzarella
  • Cheddar
  • Goats cheese
  • Ricotta

Fruits

Then, add some fresh fruit for a dash of colour, a bunch of vitamins and a plethora of antioxidants. The more colour, the more antioxidants!

  • A few bunches of grapes
  • Figs
  • Dates
  • Strawberries

Vegetables

Don’t forget about the veg! This is honestly the perfect way to get that extra serve of vegetables into your diet. Plus, it’s great for a fussy kid or husband. Constant exposure to vegetables, even if they don’t touch them at first, helps fussy eaters become more familiar with and open to trying vegetables. Vegetables are full of fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, so don’t hold back.

  • Slice up your favourite veggie sticks – carrots, capsicum, cucumber and celery are always crowd favourites
  • You could also enjoy some baked or chargrilled veggies – a mix of eggplant, capsicum and artichokes in olive oil are delicious on some seed crackers to provide that extra pop of colour
  • Then you can also add a small bowl of olives, artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes

Nuts and seeds

Aim for raw, unsalted varieties. I like to sprinkle a mix all around the platter. Nuts are a great source of monounsaturated fatty acids, and having them on your platter will help you reach the recommended intake of 30g of nuts per day!

  • Cashews
  • Almonds
  • Pistachios
  • Pecans

Dips

The last component: dips! Now, where’s the fun in eating without having something delicious to dip your food into? Dips are delicious, but often nutrient dense – however, it’s so easy to make a healthier version of your favourite varieties. I don’t feel a platter is complete without:

And now all that's left to do is enjoy!

Looking for some more healthy options? Check out these Jessica Sepel recipes:

About the author

Founder of JSHealth, author of two best-selling books and accredited nutritionist, Jessica Sepel is passionate about taking a balanced approach when it comes to food. Jess believes we need to give up diets to overhaul our relationship with food and advocates for moderation, mindfulness at meals and healthy body image.

Check out more articles by Jess, including the delicious and healthy recipes she’s created exclusively for nib.

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