How to build a nourishing holiday spread

The ultimate holiday scenario: warm summery weather, a homely space filled with the people you love, surrounded by delicious, home-cooked food... Whether you're entertaining for 2 or 20, curating a festive holiday spread can elevate your get-together and make it feel extra special.

There's something truly magical about creating delicious, wholesome food to share. It's a love language that transcends words, connecting us through flavours, traditions and gathering together to enjoy a meal. With the holiday season well and truly upon us, now is the perfect time to start planning your holiday spread. We'll share our top tips and tricks on how to build a balanced, nourishing holiday spread that will leave your guests feeling satisfied and grateful.

Here is what the JSHealth team loves to include in our holiday spreads...

  • Fresh + vibrant salads: The festive season is the perfect time to take advantage of all the beautiful produce available. Incorporate a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables into your holiday spread to add a burst of flavour, nutrients and visual appeal. 

Try: Our Sweet Potato + Caramelised Onion Salad for a trusty crowd-pleaser full of root veggies, or our refreshing Watermelon, Cucumber + Feta Salad for the perfect addition to your festive table. 

  • Protein options: It's important to have some protein options available for your guests, especially if you have any vegetarians or vegans in the crowd. Some great holiday protein options include roasted turkey, glazed ham, grilled salmon or a hearty vegetarian option like a lentil and mushroom Wellington.

Try: Herb & Cashew-Crusted Side of Salmon for a sensational centrepiece striking the perfect balance between crunch and fresh herbs, or our Moroccan Lamb & Couscous Salad featuring a fragrant spice mix to add a mosaic of textures and tastes to dazzle your holiday table!

  • Satisfying sides: A holiday spread wouldn't be complete without some delicious and satisfying side dishes. Some crowd favourites include roasted root vegetables, herbed mashed potatoes or a creamy mac and cheese. 

Try: Our Middle Eastern inspired dish, Roasted Vegetable + Hummus Salad for plant-based goodness adorned with crunchy dukkah sprinkle. For a timeless and impressive twist on your classic spud, try our Hasselback Potatoes with Garlic Butter + Chives!

  • Tasty dips + spreads: Dips and spreads are a great way to add flavour and texture to your holiday spread. Some delicious options include hummus, spinach and artichoke dip or a festive cranberry and brie spread. These can be served with crackers, bread or raw vegetables for a healthy and satisfying snack. Be sure to include a selection of cheeses such as ricotta, parmesan and mozzarella for a well rounded ensemble!

Try: Spice up your plain old hummus with our Layered Hummus Dip, full of colour, crunch and flavour! Another vibrant entree option is our Roasted Carrot & Rosemary Dip, paired with wholegrain crackers for the perfect holiday nibble. 

  • Healthy desserts: No holiday spread is complete without a dish to tickle the sweet tooth. From classic options like apple pie or chocolate cake to more unique and festive treats like gingerbread cookies or Eggnog cheesecake, there are endless possibilities for creating a delicious end to your holiday meal.

Try: For a scrumptious and show-stopping finale, our make-ahead Lemon Curd Tart is perfect for (mindful) indulgence. Also try our Almond Lemon Cake with Ricotta Icing to really step into the holiday spirit, with luscious ricotta icing and a drizzle of honey plus fresh strawberry slices and pistachios. 

Some extra tips to consider when planning your festive spread… 

  • Incorporating dietary restrictions: It's important to be mindful of any dietary restrictions your guests may have when planning your holiday spread.
  • Remember to include the plant-based options: Plant-based dishes are not only for vegetarians or vegans. They add diversity and richness to the spread, and can be incredibly delicious!
  • Balance the sweet + savoury: A good holiday spread has a balance of sweet and savoury foods. It can prevent palate fatigue and keep your guests eager for more.
  • Hydrate: Offer a variety of drinks - water infused with fresh fruit, herbal teas and, if you prefer, a selection of wines or festive cocktails.

Feel free to get creative and adapt these tips to suit your style, your guests and the holiday you're celebrating. After all, it's your party!