Beat the bloat this holiday season with a low carb cheese board!
Cheese boards are a popular appetizer choice during the busy holiday season, and it’s easy to see why. I mean, who doesn’t love cheese?! Cheese boards are so great because they are really easy to put together. You just get a bunch of your favorite cheeses and finger foods, arrange them on a board, and call it a day. It’s a nice way to offer your guests a lot of variety, without a whole lot of effort on your part, and you don’t have to worry about dirtying up a whole bunch of dishes either.
When making cheese boards, people usually tend to load them up with a whole bunch of carbs – slices of crusty bread, crackers, bread sticks, etc., and lots of sugary fruits like grapes and figs. While those foods are delicious, they can be an unwelcome temptation to people who are trying to watch their weight, or for people with certain medical issues. This holiday season, I decided to offer my guests a low carb cheese board instead.
My low carb cheese board starts off with some delicious cheese, of course! I love Stella cheeses. They are so flavorful, and really quite reasonably priced. That makes it easy to pick up a few different varieties to please all of my guests. I also like the fact that I don’t have to go to a fancy cheese store to find them, as they are available at Walmart and my local grocery store. They have quite a large selection of cheeses (16!!) to choose from, too, which is great. I chose four different varieties of Stella cheese for my cheese board – Parmesan, Romano, Asiago and Italian.
The Parmesan and Romano are both hard cheeses, so I decided to use them to make some cheese crisps in place of crackers. All you have to do to make these is shred the cheese with a grater, lay it out on a paper plate, top with any seasonings you want and pop it in the microwave for one minute. Let them cool for another minute, remove from the plate, and they will crisp right up! You can also make these in the oven by laying the cheese out on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper and cooking for 5-6 minutes at 400 degrees.
I made plain Parmesan, rosemary Parmesan, black pepper Romano and crushed red pepper Romano cheese crisps. They came out so good, and I loved the flavor of all of them! They have a really nice crunch to them, and your guests will never miss the crackers!
I see a lot of people just stick a big hunk of cheese and a knife down on their cheese board, and that always bothers me. My guests did not come visit me to have to work for their food! It’s fine to do that with soft cheeses that are more suited for spreading, but I like to cut my firmer cheeses up into bite-sized pieces so guests can just pop them onto their plate or in their mouth, and not spend time cutting up their own cheese. It just makes things flow better too, when people are lined up to get their food.
I added four different meats to my cheese board – ham, hot capicola, prosciutto and pepperoni. Just have your deli slice these thin, then roll them up tightly and place them on your board.
Instead of loading up my cheese board with a bunch of sugary fruits, I loaded it up with a selection of low carb vegetables. These pepperoncinis, Mediterranean mushrooms, olives, pickles and banana peppers have a lot of flavor and perfectly compliment the meats.
Your guests will have fun experimenting and trying out new flavor combinations. I love pepperoni and a banana pepper on a black pepper cheese crisp!
If you want to add some fruit to your low carb cheese board, berries are a good option. I added a few strawberries in, as they are not terribly high in sugar and they bring a little pop of color and freshness to the cheese board.
Finally, I added some almonds to my cheese board. Guests always love to snack on nuts, but some nuts like cashews and chestnuts are high in carbs. Almonds, Brazil nuts, Macadamia Nuts, peanuts and pecans are all great low carb options to add to your cheese board.
This holiday season, give your guests a low carb appetizer they’ll feel good about – a delicious cheese board featuring a variety of Stella cheeses. Check out their website for some more great recipes, along with tips for the perfect wine pairings! Additionally, you can enter to win a trip to Napa Valley! How awesome would that be?!
What will you add to your low carb cheese board this holiday season?