Between Friendsgiving, gift wrapping soirees, and dinner parties, there is no shortage of festivities to attend this time of year. We always look forward to entertaining or attending events, but overlook the effort that goes into bringing the perfect dish, or hosting all together! If this sounds familiar, you’ll be happy to hear we’ve taken the guess work out of what to make. Lindsay, at Weeknight Bite, created the most epic holiday party snack board that is perfect for any occasion! Between the beautiful colors, flavorful fall fruits and veggies, cheeses (naturally!) and a yummy homemade pumpkin dip, it’s sure to be a crowd pleaser. Snag the recipe below!
When it comes to the holidays and all of the festivities that come along with it, it can be difficult to stay on track with a healthy routine. That’s why I love any opportunity where I can bring something to a party, because then there’s a guarantee that there will be at least one dish that’s fresh and healthy! My absolute favorite recipe to contribute to any party isn’t really much of a recipe at all and it doesn’t require any cooking. It’s a loaded “snack board” that’s kind of a cross between a crudité platter and a cheese board. Typical cheese & cracker appetizers can be pretty heavy and will likely leave you feeling stuffed and lethargic. That’s why I like to load up my boards with fresh, seasonal fruit and veggies, nuts, nutrient-packed dips and grain-free crackers (like Simple Mills sprouted seed crackers, Jilz Crackerz, or Flackers flaxseed crackers).
There are a few keys to creating a snack board that’s equally gorgeous and delicious. The first is variety. The beauty of these boards is that you can really offer something to everyone. So load it up with several types of cheeses cut into different shapes – some cubed, some sliced, etc. (you can also go dairy-free with some almond cheeses). Then, you’ve got to have lots of fruits, plenty of veggies, nuts, and a couple different dips. Equally as important as the variety of ingredients is the color on your board! The more color you can get on there, the better!
And lastly, one of the biggest secrets to creating a beautiful snack board is how you assemble it. I love a board that looks natural and thrown together, but is still organized. You can do that by placing everything in organized piles (starting with the bigger items like cheeses, dips, and any ingredients that are in bowls), and then filling in the empty spaces at the end with smaller ingredients like nuts, dried fruit, and crackers. Make sure you’ve covered all of the empty space! Now for the recipes…
A couple cheeses: manchego, goat’s milk brie, aged gouda, and goat’s milk cheddar (you can also make this entirely dairy-free with almond cheeses from Kite Hill)
Crackers: I like grain-free crackers like Simple Mills, Jilz Crackerz, or Flackers
Fruit: persimmons, mini apples, pomegranates, fresh figs, and green or red grapes
Veggies: colorful carrots and gherkins
Dried fruit: I used apricots (you could also use dried figs if you can’t find fresh ones)
Nuts: marcona almonds, walnuts, and pistachios
Dips and spreads: Pumpkin White Bean Dip (recipe below!), fig jam, and honeycomb (spread on top of brie)
Simply arrange each ingredient on a large board in organized piles. Dig in!
Spiced Pumpkin Dip with Browned Butter & Sage
The best thing on this board has got to be the Spiced Pumpkin Dip with browned butter and sage. This dip is super flavorful, savory yet sweet, and is such welcome change from the typical dips you tend to see on a crudité board.
1 1/2 tbsp grass-fed butter (like Kerrygold)
5 fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped
1 (15-ounce) can white beans (also called cannellini beans), drained and rinsed
3/4 cup pumpkin puree (pure pumpkin, not the pumpkin pie mix)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp 100% maple syrup
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Salt & pepper to taste
Pumpkin seeds & fresh sage for garnish
Makes about 1 1/2 – 2 cups of dip and serves 6-8 (feel free to cut the recipe in half if entertaining a smaller group, or make the full batch and save extras in the fridge for about a week!).
1. Add butter to a small saucepan over medium-high heat and allow it to melt. When it begins to brown, swirl it around for about 2 minutes until it becomes a more golden color and smells nice and nutty. Turn off the heat and add the sage. Set aside to cool.
2. Add the remaining ingredients into a food processor with the browned butter and sage. Pulse until smooth.
3. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. Scoop the dip into a bowl and garnish with fresh sage leaves and pumpkin seeds.
5. Serve with crackers, cheese, fruit, veggies, and nuts!
Makes you want to dive in, doesn’t it?! Where will you bring this appetizer this holiday season?