Responsible for bringing the appetizers or party platter to your next event? Dump the boring vegetable tray and bring something that is both nutritious and delicious. There are many food pairings that work well together to satisfy hunger without ruining appetites for the meal ahead. The best part, minimal preparation is required to assemble a platter that looks amazing and that guests will love. It simply takes a trip to your local grocery store or specialty market to pull together a few essential items and curate a platter that fits your taste preferences.
Focus on a combination of textures and colors when selecting items for your appetizer platter. As a registered dietitian, I also like to consider balancing the platter with a combination of fruits, vegetables, healthy fats and whole grains. After all, sometimes a party with heavy appetizers becomes your meal for the evening so you might as well make sure that what you offer has a little bit of something from various food groups.
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Here are a few different delicious and healthy produce options to consider incorporating on your next party platter tray:
Fruits & Veggies Platter:
- Asparagus – A fantastic source of fiber, folate, and vitamins A, C, E and K, this is the ultimate finger food on a party platter. Try it grilled, roasted or blanched on a party platter.
- Endive – A healthy substitute for scooping up dips instead of chips or crackers, endive has a crisp texture and mildly bitter and slightly sweet taste. At only one calorie per leaf and a good source of potassium, it is a great option for those that are looking for lower calorie options on the party platter.
- Grilled Pineapple – Naturally sweet, pineapple is a good source of Vitamin C, potassium, manganese, copper and folate.
- Jicama – A root vegetable, Jicama is low in calories and a fantastic source of fiber, and Vitamin C. This crunchy, crisp vegetable is a great addition to any party platter that includes dips or you can simply sprinkle sliced jicama with cayenne pepper and serve with fresh lime wedges for a refreshing, crisp treat.
- Golden Kiwi – A little sweeter than your typical green kiwi fruit, yellow or golden kiwi is a good source of vitamin C, potassium and folate.
- Mango Slices – A sweet fruit with great flavor, texture and fragrance, it is also a nutrition powerhouse. One cup of mango provides only 100 kcals, and is a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin A and fiber.
- Zucchini – Sliced thinly like carrot sticks and served raw or grilled, Zucchini is a nice addition to many different party platters. Zucchini is low in calories and a good source of potassium and folate.
Part Platter Combos:
Assorted olives + feta cheese topped with sundried tomatoes + Hummus + Sliced Whole Grain Baguette + Grilled Zucchini and Eggplant + Marinated artichokes
Tzatziki sauce + Babaghanoush + Grilled Pita Bread + Sliced Cucumbers + Cherry Tomatoes + Tabbouleh salad +Lamb Meatballs
Guacamole + Salsa + Tortilla Chips + Black Bean Salad + Sliced Jicama Sticks + Sliced Red, Green and Yellow Peppers + Pineapple and Cilantro Salad
Figs, Pears, Nuts & Cheese:
Fresh Figs + Sliced Pears + Roasted and Flavored Almonds and Walnuts + Goat Cheese +Whole Grain Crackers +Prosciutto
Melon, Meat, and Cheese:
Cantaloupe + Watermelon+Brie or Camembert Cheese+Prosciutto+Grilled Sliced Whole Grain Baguette
Sliced grilled pineapple + sliced mango +passion fruit + Steamed Shrimp +Mozzarella cheese + Whole Grain Crackers
Is your mouth watering yet? Make sure to invite us to your next party! 😉
Alison Massey is a registered dietitian (RD), certified diabetes care and education specialist (CDCES), and freelance writer. She's been working in the field of nutrition for more than 15 years helping individuals make sustainable changes to improve their health. When she's not writing you can find her basking delicious recipes or exploring the Chesapeake Bay in Southern Maryland where she resides.