Summer Anti-Inflammatory Charcuterie Board

https://youtu.be/CCFbEqf9XHE

The thing I love about charcuterie boards is that theyโ€™re like edible works of art. Iโ€™m a very visual person, so even if food tastes good, if the presentation is beautiful, it makes it that much betterโ€“ kinda like how the same gift feels so much more if itโ€™s beautifully wrapped vs presented in a paper bag. 

Presentation goes a long way.

Now to go one step further and get that perfect trifecta for foodโ€“ it also needs to be healthy. And since weโ€™re all about an anti-inflammatory diet thatโ€™s sugar-free and gluten-free, Iโ€™m gonna show you how to create a gorgeous summer charcuterie board thatโ€™s also anti-inflammatory.ย 

summer anti inflammatory charcuterie board

What is a Charcuterie Board?

We really need to start this conversation out with defining what qualifies a board as “charcuterie”, and how you can make your board anti-inflammatory.

So the word โ€˜charcuterieโ€™ is actually French and it means “cured meat”.ย 

And if you know anything about an anti-inflammatory diet, you know that cured and processed meats are a big no-no because theyโ€™re usually highly inflammatory.

This obviously poses a challenge when you want to make an anti-inflammatory version of a charcuterie board.

So when youโ€™re making an anti-inflammatory charcuterie board, you have two options:

1-You can find meats that would be great on a board that are NOT cured and donโ€™t have nitrates, OR- you can skip the meats, but just know that this will technically not be a charcuterie board at that point.ย 

Instead, it would technically be like a veggie or veggie, fruit, and cheese board or any combination of those.ย 

You can also include any of the meats and then just not partake in those meats in sticking to an anti-inflammatory way of eating.

Or you can purposely decide youโ€™re gonna have a little cheat/treat meal.

Youโ€™re a grown adult and I leave it to you to make that decision on your own ๐Ÿ˜, but choosing the CORRECT meats per the guidelines I just gave are what will keep the meat-part anti-inflammatory.

2- If youโ€™ve found that you need to be dairy-free to reduce inflammation as well, you can either skip the cheeses, or go for any of the same options I gave for meats.ย 

Per anti-inflammatory guidelines, choose organic cheese if at all possible, because the fats in the cheese will have better omega 3 to 6 ratios. 

If you want the FULL How to video on creating charcuterie boards, check that out by clicking here: ๐Ÿ‘‡

Summer Anti-Inflammatory Charcuterie Board

Ingredients for a summer anti-inflammatory charcuterie board

Ok, so let’s get to the summer board I made and what summer produce and ingredients I included to make it look like THISโ€“ย 

The summer veggies I used were:

  • Zucchini
  • Summer squash
  • Asparagus
  • Green onions
  • Bell peppers in all different colors

For the cheeses and dips:

  • I added 2 different types of cubed cheese
  • And I put our homemade ranch dip in the middle to dip veggies in

The summer fruits I used were:

  • Cherries
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Kiwi
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • And watermelon

And then for garnish I used sprigs of:

  • Mint and basil
summer anti inflammatory meal plan

Placing ingredients on the summer anti-inflammatory charcuterie board

So for this board I started out with putting my containers on the board, and I placed the dip right in the middle.

Then I added in the asparagus in a sort of ‘X’ pattern to create some delineation on the board.ย 

Sometimes just placing little groupings of stuff randomly all over the board can be really pretty, and sometimes creating a pattern or sections can also be really pretty.

So from there, I started with the vegetables and sort of spread them in different sections, trying to balance out the colors all over the board.ย 

Next, I just flanked the ranch dip with the containers of cheese cubes. You want to get containers on the board first and then work around them.

Next, I added grain-free crackers, and then zucchini, which I rolled from really thin slices, and added some summer squash sticks.ย 

Next, I put part of the topper of a pineapple in to beef up the decor factor,ย 

And then added in little watermelon triangles that I cut from three different colors of watermelon. (If you’ve never tried yellow or orange watermelon, I highly recommend it! We were leary because they weren’t the bright pink of traditional watermelon, but they were absolutely delicious!)

Then I added in all three colors of bell peppers,ย some strawberries, cherries, and tomatoes. These were carefully spread throughout the board to make sure the colors were dispersed enough to make the eye move around.ย 

I placed the kiwi and mango, which were cut into these cute patterns, then placed the green onions to give a bit more wow factor on the corners.

Next, I added a few little pineapple spears and then filled in all the blank spots with blueberries.ย 

You donโ€™t want the board showing anywhere if possible. 

And then the very last thing that really gives it a wow factor is to add in sprigs of herbs, so I added my mint on the fruit and the basil in the ranch dip. 

And lastly, I had a bouquet of summer flowers I got from the grocery store and I snipped off a few of the flowers to give the final perfect touches.ย 

What’s so great about this board is that it’s perfect whether you’re entertaining or just want an easy summer dinner.

summer anti inflammatory meal plan
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Summer Anti-Inflammatory Charcuterie Board

  • Author: Laura Brigance, MS, CHC
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale

Vegetables

  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 summer squash
  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • a few springs of green onion
  • cherry tomatoes (in assorted colors)
  • bell peppers (in assorted colors)

Fruit

  • cherries
  • blueberries
  • pineapple (whole fruit)
  • kiwi (1 or 2)
  • strawberries
  • mango
  • watermelon (get in assorted colors if available)

Cheese

  • cubed organic Colby jack
  • cubed organic white cheddar

Dip

  • Homemade Ranch Dip

Garnish

  • Sprigs of mint
  • Sprigs of basil

Instructions

  1. Start out placing any containers on your board: dips and anything that would be messy if put straight on the boardย 
  2. Use the asparagus to create an ‘X’ to delineate some spaces
  3. Start placing vegetables, keeping in mind to spread colors throughout the board
  4. Place fruit, also dispursing color and texture throughout the board
  5. Save small fruits like blueberries for very last to fill in all the dead spaces (you don’t want to see ANY of the board underneath if possible!)
  6. Take sprigs of herbs to garnish the dip and other areas that contrasting colors would look pretty.
  7. Finish it off with snips of edible flowers for that final wow factor.

Notes

Can be stored in the fridge for about a day.

Keywords: anti inflammatory charcuterie board, summer board, healthy charcuterie board

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us @truewell.co โ€” we can’t wait to see what you’ve made!

๐Ÿ“Œ PIN IT FOR LATER!

Anti Inflammatory Spring Charcuterie Board

When spring has sprung, we looove having friends over for weekend get-togethers! Admittedly, living in the Houston area has its benefits since we use our patio at least 8 months out of the year. But it does still get cold here!

anti inflammatory spring charcuterie board

One of my favorite things when we entertain is to make a charcuterie board, platter, or table because everyone seems so happy grazing while catching up.

But making it anti-inflammatory allows for everyone to enjoy the finger foods while not worrying about the ramifications later.

anti inflammatory spring charcuterie board

And this anti inflammatory spring charcuterie board seemed a fun addition to our weekends that signified the ending of winter.

anti inflammatory spring charcuterie board

Grab the recipe list below and let me know when you create your own spring board! Post it and tag me! ๐Ÿ‘‰ @truewell.co

**Also, if you’re a charcuterie beginner, check out the mega guide: How to Build an Anti-Inflammatory Charcuterie Board

AND

Build a super cute Anti Inflammatory Easter Charcuterie Board! ๐Ÿ‡

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Anti Inflammatory Spring Charcuterie Board

Since charcuterie boards have pretty random different quantities depending on size of the board and how much is needed for creative license, I don't include amounts in the ingredient list. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6
  • Category: Appetizer, Breakfast, Snack

Ingredients

  • deviled eggs
  • cauliflower
  • broccoli
  • celery
  • baby dill pickles
  • kalamata olives
  • green olives
  • cherry tomatoes
  • blueberries
  • strawberries
  • kiwi
  • raspberries
  • grapes
  • almonds
  • mozzerella pearls
  • chives (for garnish)
  • mint (for garnish)

Instructions

  1. Chop broccoli and cauliflower into tiny florets
  2. Peel and slice kiwi
  3. Slice strawberries
  4. Slice celery
  5. Arrange on board
  6. Add chive and mint garnish + additional spring flowers or other decor
  7. Serve!

Keywords: anti-inflammatory, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Low-Carb, nightshade-free, Sugar-Free, Vegan

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us @truewell.co โ€” we can’t wait to see what you’ve made!

Anti-Inflammatory Easter Charcuterie Board

Easter is, no doubt, one of the best times to get together with friends and family to have a brunch. After all, spring has sprung, the weather’s getting nice, and we’re all at our wit’s end with heavy winter recipes.

This Easter charcuterie board is made anti-inflammatory style to accommodate those of us who can’t have all the processed and cured meats.

easter charcuterie board anti inflammatory

If you’re new to charcuterie boards, check out the post on How to Build an Anti-Inflammatory Charcuterie Board for all the ins and outs, and then grab the recipe below to create your own Easter charcuterie board (or platter) anti-inflammatory style!

Here are ideas and tips for arranging your Easter anti-inflammatory board or platter:

easter charcuterie board anti inflammatory

Decide your pattern

For this platter, since it was oval-shaped like an egg, I wanted the design to resemble a decorated Easter egg. That meant lines across but with pattern interplayed.

easter charcuterie board anti inflammatory

Divide fruits and veggies

I decided that I had enough color to be able to divide the fruits to one side and the veggies to the other with the deviled eggs being the divider in the middle between the two.

I sometimes like to do this just to also make sure the savory flavored ingredients aren’t touching sweet ingredients. (You know what I mean if you’ve ever tasted a pickle-flavored strawberry. ๐Ÿ˜‚)

easter charcuterie board anti inflammatory

Disperse color throughout

Unless you’re going for an ombre effect or specific color groupings, try to spread the colors through the board so that the eye moves through the entire thing. Remember, these things are made to be pretty!

(I realize I could’ve done a better job with the darker colors, but if you’ll notice the dramatic contrast of the blueberries on the top half, this sort of makes my point that contrast attracts the eye. Now looking at these photos later it sort of makes the bottom half look a bit boring, lol!)

easter charcuterie board anti inflammatory

Garnish

The last step is to decorate. So the first think I love doing is using fresh herbs because they’re brightly colored and are great finishers.

I used mint and chives in mine because they feel so much like spring. (My daughter also wanted it to look like there was grass on the platter, lol!)

easter charcuterie board anti inflammatory

Final decor

And the final decor would be any other items you want to place to round out the theme or look of the board or platter. These would be things like number or letter cutouts, flowers, or other themed accessories.

I chose tree blooms to go on this one because the redbud trees and Bradford pears were bursting when we made this board.

So grab the recipe/ingredient list below and let me know if you made one! Post it and tag me: @truewell.co

๐Ÿ’–

Print

Anti-Inflammatory Easter Charcuterie Board (or Platter)

Since charcuterie board assembly has a bit of an 'unknown' factor when it comes to quantity (lest we dampen our creative process…) the quantities for ingredients are left out in this recipe.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6
  • Category: Appetizer, Breakfast, Snack

Ingredients

  • deviled eggs
  • olives
  • baby dill pickles
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • cherry tomatoes
  • celery
  • baby carrots
  • assortment of nuts (of choice)
  • grapes
  • blueberries
  • strawberries
  • raspberries
  • kiwi
  • any condiments, sauces, or dips of choice

Instructions

  1. Chop the broccoli and cauliflower into tiny florets.
  2. Slice celery.
  3. Peel and slice kiwi.
  4. Slice strawberries.
  5. Arrange on board or platter.
  6. Garnish with decor.
  7. Serve!

Keywords: anti-inflammatory, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Low-Carb, nightshade-free, Sugar-Free, Vegan

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us @truewell.co โ€” we can’t wait to see what you’ve made!

How to Build an Anti-Inflammatory Charcuterie Board

*As an affiliate, I may receive a small portion of proceeds of any items you buy through these links, at no extra cost to you. However, I only recommend products I know, use, and love.

The charcuterie board has become one of the biggest crazes on social media in the last couple years. I’d blame it on how gorgeous they can be… but I think after lockdowns and quarantine, the appeal may also have to do with the fact that they represent togetherness: If you’re building a board, you must be having a get-together.

And that’s what makes them so fun–having a way to entertain and feed guests at the same time! It also doesn’t hurt that there are literally a million ways to build a charcuterie board based on what season, holiday, or event is being celebrated.

anti inflammatory charcuterie board

That being said, most charcuterie boards have a few ingredients as staple items that are no good for those of us trying to live an anti-inflammatory lifestyle.

Especially since the definition of charcuterie revolves around cured meat products (even though nowadays we add on lots of other fun stuff, too!)

So here’s how to build a board that’s just as pretty and fun, while also keeping out the foods that send inflammation into overdrive.

What exactly makes this an anti-inflammatory charcuterie board?

Obviously the thing that will determine how anti-inflammatory your board is will be the ingredients that you add. These are normally the processed meats, breads, crackers, many of the dips or sauces (including honey), and some dairy additions.

anti inflammatory charcuterie board

The thing to remember about making a charcuterie board anti-inflammatory is that it’s made up of so many fresh ingredients that you can still make it gorgeous and fun without all the inflammatory no-go foods.

There are also (thankfully) enough substitutions for things like crackers and dairy-based dips to give us plenty of options that are A-OK on the anti-inflammatory diet.

So let’s get to it.

STEP 1: Choose your base

The very first step is choosing what your base will be. Since the word ‘board’ is in ‘charcuterie board’, you may automatically think you need a special board for this. Or even a cutting board (which is a good option).

But the truth is that you can expand this way beyond just a plain ole board.

Platters in various different shapes are great, cutting boards (wooden or stone are the prettiest for this), boards specifically designated for charcuterie, or even something more creative like a dough bowl. (I’ve even been seeing charcuterie boxes lately!) Honestly, the possibilities are endless.

Here are some great options:

You’ve surely even seen some of the spreads down the entire countertop. These are usually referred to as ‘spreads’, ‘tables’, or even ‘grazing tables’.

In that case, you may just need some butcher paper as your base. (Although even this larger cases I do still recommend having some boards and other platters to add visual interest.)

๐Ÿ‘‰How to choose between a board, platter, or table? First think about how many people you’re feeding or entertaining. If it’s just a few, a smaller board or platter is perfect. 5-10 would be better served with a board. 20-30 people may warrant several boards or a spread.

There’s really no formal calculation on this, but just know that these boards are traditionally the thing people see when they walk in the door to your get-together.

Although they can be used as the option for sides at a meal, they’re normally used as appetizers before the main meal.

Since people love to graze, especially when having drinks and mingling, it’s highly likely the whole thing will be cleaned off by the end of your get-together.

STEP 2: Layering and levels

Different levels could work for smaller boards, but is usually best when you have a larger board, need a little extra space, or are doing a spread.

The best types of varying levels would be things like raised cake platters, or even a bowl upside down as a pedestal for a smaller platter to sit on.

Using layers can give the board a really interesting add-on while helping to delineate or highlight certain ingredients.

For example, if you have some special ingredients for those with allergies or foods that contain alcohols that kids don’t need to partake in, special levels can designate those foods separately.

I’ve even used separate platters before to keep crackers away from the juices of the fruits and veggies.

STEP 3: Ingredients

Obviously the ingredients are the star of the show. Even though the goal here is an anti-inflammatory board, it should still be pointed out that probably most of your guests (if this is for a get-together) probably don’t eat by anti-inflammatory guidelines.

When this is the case, don’t be afraid to add in ingredients that you don’t eat yourself. Most people appreciate the variety, even if you’re not eating some of those foods.

Another important thing to consider is the season or theme of the get-together (or board). Winter themes probably shouldn’t include things like zucchini or summer squash while spring and summer themes wouldn’t include cranberries.

anti inflammatory charcuterie board

Fruit and Veggies

Unless the board is specifically for, say, pre-dinner vs dessert (meaning no fruit vs no veggies), I like to make sure I have a mix of half veggies and half fruit. I also add in lots of extra finger foods like nuts and sometimes seeds. These all work perfectly for an anti-inflammatory diet.

anti inflammatory charcuterie board

Cheese

Cheese can be ok if it’s organic, but it may be a good idea to keep it separate if you have anyone who can’t have dairy.

Cheeses that are great for charcuterie boards include mozzarella pearls and pre-sliced cheese that you can cut into different shapes if needed.

Triangular shapes are popular because you can layer pieces while shifting the directions, creating a super cool pattern. Soft cheeses like brie may be ok, but try to choose organic as well.

anti inflammatory charcuterie board

Nuts

Unless there’s a severe nut allergy, these can be a great way to add texture and variety. I recommend buying the kinds that are salted and roasted, and individual types, not mixed. (This allows easier flexibility in arranging them.)

Crackers and breads

Bread can be a tricky addition because slices can dry out quickly. It’s especially tricky when it’s gluten-free or grain-free because the slices are more crumbly and hard to manage.

If you include bread, I do recommend pre-slicing it so that the guest line can move along quicker and nobody has to handle a knife.

I personally don’t usually include breads just because they can be tough to deal with when I have so many other things going on as the hostess.

But if you really want to include it (or just try out some yummy grain-free bread!) I recommend the Simple Mills brand:

Crackers are usually a fun addition because you can use them to separate sections on a board, and they come in different shapes to add visual interest.

Gluten-free or grain-free are a little more limited in variety, but can be just as fun!

I’ve recently found these grain-free crackers that are yummy and have just enough crunch to satisfy:

Protein

As said before, processed meats are a definite no-no on an anti-inflammatory diet. So if you choose to leave them out, you can still always add chunked-up grilled or baked chicken, steak bites, or even tuna.

There are some brands now that are uncured, so this may even be an option. If you do opt to have processed meats, I still recommend choosing organic.

Eggs are also a really great protein option. Boiled, that is. (Unless you’re doing a breakfast or brunch board, in which scrambled can still work too.)

Deviled eggs are becoming a popular addition as well since they’re cooked, prepped, ready to go, and usually super yummy.

anti inflammatory charcuterie board

Sauces and spreads

Any anti-inflammatory sauces, spreads, or condiments will probably have to be homemade as most store-bought versions are full of inflammatory oils, preservatives, and non-organic dairy.

Some good options for these include hummus, bean dips, and homemade versions of yogurt dips or dressings for dipping veggies.

Honey has sugar, sure, but it can be a nice add-on for others. I always recommend raw and organic.

Fruit spreads are also a favorite as they pair well with cheeses and crackers. It can be hard to find sugar-free versions that also don’t have artificial sweeteners. So if you’re going for anti-inflammatory just for yourself, you may need to whip this one up yourself.

Consider color

Since one goal of the charcuterie board is to sit and be gorgeous, an important thing to consider when choosing your ingredients is color.

Some boards vary color throughout the board, while others have distinct color groupings.

๐Ÿ’ก Think about how you want to arrange the board, or the colors you may need to emphasize before making final choices on ingredients to go on the board.

For example, I did a 4th of July board last year that distinctly moved from red to white to blue. This meant that I didn’t include ANYTHING that was green.

STEP 4: Design and place

The most fun part of a charcuterie board is designing it, then placing all the ingredients!

Designs can be literally anything, but the most eye-catching ones usually follow any of these patterns:

  • Linear separations
  • Symmetrical design
  • Color groupings
  • Balanced color through the board
  • Randomized texture

Basically, don’t just put stuff willy-nilly on the board. Have a visual plan in place and follow it, adjusting as needed.

And don’t forget to place your levels as you go as well (like the tiered cake platters.)

STEP 5: Containers

This step is needed for any sauces or condiments, but it’s also a neat visual add-on for things that are small and may need to be contained (like nuts or seeds.) I even use them sometimes for olives since they’re sometimes covered in oil or brine.

Using small containers like ramekins is perfect, but I’ve even seen other fun stuff like cupcake papers or silicone cupcake wrappers. Just make sure the spacing is random or proper spacing throughout the board or table.

An art professor in college once pointed out that the goal of any piece of art is to encourage the eye to move around the total piece, not just focus on one thing. This is the same concept with charcuterie boards. You may have a main focal ‘part’, but you want the entire thing to be visually appealing.

STEP 6: Decor and garnish

I think this is the most fun part, because it speaks to whatever season, holiday, or event you’re celebrating!

anti inflammatory charcuterie board

Decor and garnish can be as simple as letters or numbers cut out of cheeses, as easy and natural as flowers from your yard, or as themed as paper or plastic cutouts and do-dads you’ve purchased specifically for this get-together.

Garnish can also be as simple as fresh herbs.

anti inflammatory charcuterie board

The possibilities are endless.

These, too, should be spaced out so they make sense visually and continue to encourage eye movement around the board.

STEP 7: Plates and serving

Plates are necessary for charcuterie serving, but make sure that you pay attention to the types of foods you have as well.

  • Do you need spoons to scoop anything?
  • Are there soft cheeses or spreads that require a knife?
  • Would toothpicks be the obvious choice for some of the foods (like olives)?
  • Would little serving forks be best for spearing things?

Make sure you have appropriate serving pieces to make things easy. (And don’t forget the napkins! ๐Ÿ˜‰)

STEP 8: Timing

I’ll be the first to warn you that make a charcuterie board can take a while!

That being said, you want to try to time the finished masterpiece with when your guests arrive (unless you have a large enough fridge to accommodate until then.)

Just remember that the last thing you want is a food poisoning situation from foods that have been out too long because you made the thing first thing in the morning when guests didn’t arrive until late afternoon.

anti inflammatory charcuterie board

I will sometimes place the tiered platters and ramekins, then arrange the nuts and crackers earlier. Then when it’s closer to time for guests to arrive I’ll place the cold items and garnish with decor right as people arrive.

If it’s just a board I’m making for us at home, the kids will NOT let me do it alone! So it’s actually a kind of cool time to spend together creating something pretty we can eat when we’re finished. ๐Ÿฅฐ

Charcuterie boards can be a super fun way to add spark and interest to your food choices at any get-together! (I still have friends who talk about boards I’ve done on various holidays.)

But admittedly, it can be a challenge to create one that’s anti-inflammatory. Don’t despair, though–it CAN be done!

Check out my spring charcuterie boards and get the ingredients lists and charcuterie platter ideas of your own! ๐Ÿ‘‡

The ‘Easter’ anti-inflammatory charcuterie platter:

anti inflammatory charcuterie board

The ‘Spring Anti-Inflammatory Charcuterie Board’:

anti inflammatory charcuterie board

And hit me up on Insta! Post your charcuterie board and tag me! @truewell.co

๐Ÿ’–

anti inflammatory charcuterie board