Sitting down to a beautiful platter with a glass of wine in hand is a quintessential part of our Barossa culture and it can be hard to stop nibbling when these tasty morsels are right in front of us.
Unfortunately though, a lot of the traditional elements of a platter (like rich creamy cheeses, preserved meats and highly processed white crackers) can be very high in saturated fats, salt and preservatives which are linked to various unwanted health conditions.
By no means do we need to cut any of these delicious things out of our lives, but here are a few tricks you can do to help your next platter be a bit more balanced and health-friendly:
Dried fruits (such as apricots, apples, pears, dates, figs and muscatel grapes) complement a platter beautifully and their sweetness lends itself particularly well with cheeses. Fresh varieties of all these fruits also work, as well as pomegranate, berries, kiwifruit and cherries.
Try adding a range of different colours with capsicum, celery, radishes, cherry tomatoes, carrots, cucumber and snow peas. Not only will they add fibre, vitamins and antioxidants to your platter but they also add a great splash of colour! Preserved vegetables work too, like olives, pickled cucumbers, sun-dried tomatoes, marinated artichoke hearts, capsicum, mushrooms or onions.
Rather than reaching automatically for the jatz, why not try a grainier cracker (our favourites are the ‘Tuckers Multifibre Chia Linseed & Freekeh Crackers’ or ‘Carman’s Super Seed & Grain Crackers’). Fresh grainy sourdough dipped in olive oil, balsamic vinegar and dukkah is also delicious.
Popcorn is a great addition for extra fibre - try an air-popped one such as ‘Messy Monkeys Lightly Salted Popcorn’. Roasted chickpeas or favva beans are also delicious for something different! Look for the ‘Happy Snack Company’ range which comes in different flavours too.
Unsalted, raw nuts and seeds of any kind add protein, healthy fats and fibre plus a delicious crunch - try walnuts, almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.
Choose dips made from fresh, healthy ingredients such as a greek yoghurt tzatziki, hummus, pesto, fresh guacamole or tomato salsa.
For cold meats, choose some leaner varieties like lean leg ham, shaved turkey and smoked salmon.