Low-carb festive platters
You 100% don’t want to be dieting during the holiday season. But equally you don’t want to spend a couple of weeks undoing all your hard work maintaining your weight. As always the key message is not about depriving yourself, but about making sensible swaps that will keep you feeling full, satisfied, and not put you in the diet deprivation mindset, especially at this time of year. So here are a few things to keep in mind when making a festive platter or cheese board:
Use low-carb crackers
Although there are now many good store-bought options available, anything “low-carb” can be pricey and to be honest are not always made from the best ingredients. Remember low-carb doesn’t necessarily mean healthy. So why not make your own low-carb crackers. My recipe for Super seedy nori crackers (available in the membership site) are a great addition to any cheese board or platter. But if you’re buying store-bought ones ideally choose gluten-free (particularly if you are prone to bloating), and always ones with few additives. Crudites make a brilliant substitute for crackers. Cucumber, carrot, celery sticks are all great for dipping into dips instead of crackers. And I actually prefer sliced cucumber (cut into slices ~0.5 cm thick) instead of crackers for cheese. It’s much lighter and a lot less filling.
Cheese, dips and toppings
So many things to choose from here.
As always home-made is generally best so you’ll know what the ingredients are. But I totally understand at this time of year the need for a short-cut or two! If buying store-bought dips again try and choose ones with as few ingredients and preservatives as possible. And dips made from olive oil vs other vegetable oils are also preferable. Depending on how these other vegetable oils are treated (eg heated) can determine how healthy or not they are for us. There is much debate over seed and vegetable oils now, but olive oil always comes out on top. Similarly watch for added sugars … you’ll be surprised how many savoury foods contain added sugar. Hummus (super easy to make and you can make so many different flavours – there are several in the membership site), guacamole, baba ganoush.
Alternatively, instead of dips try different cheeses, cold cuts of meat, olives, pickles, quail eggs, stuffed peppers, and some fruit all go well on a festive platter. Just be mindful that if you are watching your weight and have a lot of other festive events then stick with the veggies as much as possible. Even a low-carb platter can whack on the calories if you eat too much cheese, dips and olives.