March is National Nutritional Month, which focuses not on good or bad foods, but emphasizes the importance of making informed food choices. This is an approach I can fully support. As a vegan with a huge sweet tooth, alimentary harmony is all about balance, which isn’t black and white. No single diet is best for everyone, but society at large would no doubt be happier and healthier with greater awareness of exactly what they’re eating. That all starts with simply reading the label!
Plant-based eaters are already seasoned pros at packaging interrogations, but it’s a skill that everyone can benefit from. Knowing which nasties to avoid goes a long way. Questionable ingredients like artificial colors and flavors, high-fructose corn syrup, and trans-fats should be on the permanent no-fly list for every conscious consumer. It might surprise you which brands do and don’t fit the bill. Voortman has been baking treats tirelessly since before superfoods were trendy or keto was a thing, but their consistent commitment to quality makes their cookies an ideal example of healthy indulgence.
Speaking of trends, charcuterie boards are all the rage these days, capitalizing on human nature to snack, graze, and nibble through the day. It’s a simple approach to hosting friends without putting out a full dinner menu, while still satisfying with a wide range of delights. Of course, there’s the stunning visual impact made by so many shapes, colors, and textures. Composed of simple staples that may not wow by themselves, the collection of complementary bites add up to far more than you would expect.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be all about meat and cheese. Dessert boards are where it’s at!
Dessert charcuterie is the new fun way to serve dessert. You don’t need to be a baker, spend a ton of money, or squander your precious time to assemble your own. In fact, you probably have everything you need already on hand!
Balance is the key, like anything else in life. Truly anything goes, and having a wide array of options ensures there’s something for everyone. Crisp wafer cookies are the most important feature for me, which guides the selections that follow. Voortman has so many bold flavors, I like to use one or two to get the party started. From there, I’ll match corresponding fresh fruits, pair dips that both contrast and heighten those flavors, and fill in the gaps with some additional treats. Your only limit is the size of your board!
In truth, you don’t need to spend a minute in the kitchen for this show-stopping composition. Just remember, it’s all about balance! Wholesome fresh ingredients, decadent chocolates, and healthy treats create a harmonious, natural union.
There’s a lot to be said for chocolate hummus if you wanted to go all-in on desserts with benefits, but I’m a fan of darker cacao endowment here, given the other lighter components. You can whip up this dip in one minute flat, and it’s great on ice cream, too.
Another crowd-pleaser is cheesecake, which graciously accommodates any flavors you can throw at it, while still retaining a tart, tangy vigor. More than just vanilla, it provides the light and lemony contrast to the darker, earthier additions.
Rounding it all out with something nutty, peanut sauce is often seen as a spicy topper for Thai food, but makes a rich addition to the final course, too. A touch of maple syrup and a pinch of salt is all it takes to flip the script over to the sweeter side.
A lot is said about the path towards health and wellness, but for me, it’s one that must still lead to dessert. At the end of the day, I’ll always crave something sweet, so I’m careful to stock only smarter choices. It’s all about creating a happy balance that starts on the plate, or in this case, charcuterie board!
Dark Chocolate Dip:
- 1/2 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips
- 1/4 Cup Full-Fat Coconut Milk
- 1 Tablespoon Maple syrup
Lemon Cheesecake Dip:
- 1/2 Cup Vegan Cream Cheese
- 2 - 4 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
- 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Sweet and Salty Peanut Dip:
- 1/2 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
- 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
- 2 - 4 Tablespoons Full-Fat Coconut Milk
- 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 - 2 Packages Voortman Wafer Cookies
- Fresh Fruit, such as Raspberries, Strawberries, Sliced Apples, Grapes, or Orange Segments
- Roasted Nuts, such as Peanuts, Cashews, Pistachio, Almonds, or Pecans
- Treats, such as Toasted Coconut Chips, Chocolate Morsels, or Truffles
- For the dark chocolate dip, combine the chocolate chips, coconut milk, and maple syrup in a small dish. Microwave on full power for 1 - 1 1/2 minutes, pausing at 30 second intervals to stir thoroughly, until completely smooth.
- For the cheesecake dip, place the cream cheese in the bowl of your stand mixer and add in 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice along with the maple syrup and lemon juice. Beat vigorously until smooth and creamy, slowly drizzling in additional lemon juice as needed, until it reaches your desired consistency.
- For the peanut dip, whisk together the peanut butter, maple syrup, 2 tablespoons of coconut milk and salt in a small bowl. Slowly drizzling in additional coconut milk as needed, until it reaches your desired consistency.
- To assemble, start by placing the bowls of dip spaced evenly across your board. Add 2 - 3 tall stacks of wafer cookies around them, and then fill in the gaps with as many fruits, nuts, and treats as you'd like. Serve and snack happy!
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 284Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 161mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 3gSugar: 18gProtein: 6g
All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimates.