Add Fruits & Vegetables To Your Holiday Feast
And Impress All Your Guests, Even The Children
Food is usually a main focus of any holiday season, and Christmas is no exception. Everyone gathers around the dinner table to indulge in all their own unique family traditions and eats with complete and total abandon.
But…it’s not just the dinner table, is it? There is almost always pre-dinner appetizers and post dinner snacks and desserts.
Anyone who has been in charge of preparing all this food for a large number of people knows 3 things:
- It’s a LOT of work
- You can’t please everyone
- It’s harder to impress people than it should be!
Oh yeah, and it can be really tricky to accomplish all of those 3 things while still maintaining some semblance of health with your food.
Luckily, holiday food is often centered around home cooking, so at least you’re starting off on the right foot! You know exactly what you’re putting into the food.
Most families have their traditional recipes and “must haves” when it comes to stacking the buffet for dinner. But when you consider all the snacks, treats and appetizers, you may have some more leeway to plate some fresh fruits and vegetables without causing too much alarm.
In an effort to help you out there, I’ve put my thinking hat on, done some strategic internetting, and come up with a few Christmas-themed fruit and veggie snacks to try out!
Red & Green Accouterments
If you want to be super simple, but still festive, a great way to start is to use the right colours. Red and green and white are really very versatile, especially for creating tasty dips full of fresh veggie goodness!
A few great options you might want to consider:
- Baked Hummus Dip with Easy Tabouli Topping from Two Healthy Kitchens
- 5-Minute Avocado Ranch Dip from Two Healthy Kitchens
Christmas Themed Veggie Platters
Veggie trays make an appearance in nearly every home, and there is a really simple way to make sure yours gets a round of applause: theme it up!
Using broccoli as your base, you can simply decorate your largest platter as if building a Christmas tree or Wreath! Bright and colourful veggies like bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, carrots make great “trimmings” and you can even build a base of “snow” out of cauliflower florets!
If you’re a bit more patient, you can build your tree vertically using toothpicks and adding fruits to the mix!
Here are some great examples to inspire you:
- Festive Holiday Appetizer: Vegetable Wreath by This Mama Loves
- Christmas Wreath Shaped Veggie Platter Appetizer Recipe by Melanie Cooks
- Christmas Tree Shaped Veggie Platter Appetizer Tray by Melanie Cooks
Candy Cane Fruit & Vegetable Skewers
This one is all sorts of simple and will be a favourite with the children. They get their sweets, but in a whole foods kind of way. So, it will also be a favourite with the parents when the “sugar high” doesn’t turn into a crash and burn in an hour!
All you have to do is cut up some bananas and strawberries so they are angled nicely, and then slide them onto little wooden skewers so they look like a candy cane. You can get creative with your fruit, of course. Watermelon works well, as do apple slices. Even more impressive is creating characters – like the Grinch! – to set all your guests’ tongues wagging!
You can do this with veggies as well! You can even play up the colours if you want to. Stack mushrooms, avocados and radishes together, for example! It’s really easy to make a variety of options, and it’s finger food that will go over well in a living room gathering.
If you’ve got a little more time on your hands (“yeah right”, I know, I know!), how about adding some real fruit (dried, instead of candied!) to the traditional fruitcake?
Here are a few recipes that stood out to me as crowd-pleasers:
Happy Holiday Feasting!
I’m going to update this roundup of recipe ideas as I find them. I can’t seem to stop myself from spending way too much time researching beautiful food, so expect your options to grow!
If you have a favourite way to add fresh fruits & vegetables to your holiday feast, share your ideas and recipes with the rest of us in the comments section!