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Spread-Style Dining with Libby’s®

By Dylan Bailey, MS



As the summer months hit, formal entertaining may begin to take a back seat to more impromptu meetings among friends and family. What do you do when a few early morning texts in your group chat with friends about “getting together” suddenly become a 6:00 p.m. reality, and you’re hosting? 

Luckily, there’s a new way to dine and entertain that takes almost no time to prepare and can even serve as the main course in some settings: Food boards! This more casual and communal way of dining is all the rage this year.

Known by some as spread-style dining, this movement offers you and your guests the opportunity to mix and match flavors from pre-arranged but thoughtfully curated goodies. Food boards look and taste the part too, combining various textures, colors and food groups for unique pairings that are sure to please any guest.

When designing your board, think about savory, sweet, salty and tangy flavor profiles. A wide array of food categories can be used, like spreads (e.g. hummus), pre-made topped toasts (e.g. crostini) and cured goods, including vegetables, meats and artisanal cheeses. It also helps to pick a theme to center your board around before you build it. For example, you could go Mediterranean with hummus [read on for a Carrot and Turmeric Hummus recipe!], olives, toasted pita bread, raw almonds, fig jam and 2-3 goat’s milk cheeses.

Let’s explore these food board flavor profiles a bit more. For stress-free food board additions that are perfect family and friends, look for inspiration from Libby’s® Recipe Box

Here’s how to get started:

  • Select some of our favorites and brainstorm which flavors and textures may play well together.
  • If you want to design with health in mind, here are some food board hacks:
    • Savory – Items Included: Cheese, bread, dips and spreads, crostini
      • To keep serving sizes of cheeses in check, think dominoes and dice. Visualize 2 domino pieces for about 100 calories of soft cheese, and 4 dice for a little over 100 calories of hard cheese. Include cheese labels that let guests know what cheese is which, and put serving size recommendations there, too.
    • Sweet – Items Included: Fruits, jams, jellies
      • Go with whole fruits when possible, canned included! Apricots, peaches and pears are common cheese pairings and using canned versions can help cut down on prep time.
    • Salty & Tangy – Items Included: Nuts, olives, pickled vegetables, cured meats, crackers
      • Pick lower-sodium roasted nuts and swap cured meats for “hint of salt” whole-grain crackers with a savory dip if you’re watching sodium. You can also try making your own pickled vegetables (see below for recipe)! 

Consider adding a little extra flavor and vegetables to your board with these delicious recipes: 

Carrot and Turmeric Hummus using Libby’s® Sliced Carrots

Carrot and Turmeric Hummus

Did you know: The biggest carrot statue in the world is 30 feet high? And, it’s located in New Zealand.

Peas and Ricotta Crostini using Libby’s® Sweet Peas Pouch

Peas & Ricotta Crostini

Did you know: The Father of Modern Genetics, Gregor Mendel, conducted his experiments and research studies using peas.

Easy Pickled Beets using Libby’s® Sliced Beets

Easy Pickled Beets

Did you know: Thanks to betalain, a compound naturally found in beets, beets have been shown to support your body’s natural detoxification process.

Gobble Up: Last Minute Dishes for the Big Day

Ready or not – Thanksgiving is here! You’ve been preparing for the holidays and getting everything in line, but sometimes things can slip through the cracks and you’re all of a sudden in a time crunch. Here at Libby’s®, we know the importance of getting back to the table and enjoying Thanksgiving dinner together. To help put your mind at ease, we have a few last minute dishes that will keep the whole family happy and full – and they won’t even realize these were last minute!

Stir Up Some Greens

Southern Style Green Beans

Green beans are a classic tradition to the Thanksgiving meal alongside the main course. Try these simple Southern Styled Green Beans made with Libby’s® Cut Green Beans. Simply add onion, potatoes, pancetta, and spices for an easy and tasty side dish. 

Sweeten Your Day

Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots

Brown sugar is a staple ingredient for several holiday dishes – so it’s a must that you have one at the table this Thanksgiving. If you’re in a rush, try this Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots recipe made with Libby’s® Sliced Carrots and just four other ingredients. This delicious recipe only takes five minutes and is easily a crowd favorite.    

Bring Something New to the Table

Easy Pickled Beets

While having the traditional meal is yummy for everyone, why not bring something new to the family gathering? A simple side dish or snack while watching football on the couch are these Easy Pickled Beets, perfect for pairing with a cheese plate and crackers.

Don’t Forget Dietary Restrictions

Vegan Creamed Corn

You may have some family members with dietary restrictions such as gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan. Bring this easy-to-make Vegan Creamed Corn made with Libby’s® Whole Kernel Sweet Corn and vegan ingredients. They will appreciate you remembering their special dietary needs! 

Five Reasons You Should Probably Eat More Beets

Beets are more than just pink, earthy-tasting vegetables. They’re nutrition powerhouses packed with essential vitamins and minerals that keep your body humming and your heart happy. What’s more, their unique flavor and colorful hue bring an exciting pop to your palate AND your plate. Here are five reasons you should eat more of these produce gems, along with three Libby’s recipes that celebrate the absolute best beets have to offer.

1)     Beets may combat cancer.

Scientific studies have demonstrated that the high levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents found in beets may help lower the risk of many types of cancers.

2)     Beets are loaded with six different important nutrients. They’re an excellent source of folate, vitamin A and K, and a very good source of manganese, copper, and potassium. Give a “toast” to good health with these adorable and tasty Beet & Bean Salad Crostini.


3)     Beets can fend off hunger. Beets are high in fiber, which helps with satiety and regularity. For a refreshing, healthy and delicious lunch that will keep mid-afternoon stomach rumblings at bay, try this Grilled Beet & Peach Spinach Salad featuring Libby’s® Sliced Beets alongside grilled Libby’s® Peach Slices, candied walnuts and blue cheese.

4)     Beets can help your body cleanse itself.

Beets have also been shown to support your body’s natural detoxification process. That’s thanks to betalin, a compound naturally found in beets (which, fun fact, gives them their red color!), as it captures toxins and pushes them out via the urinary tract.

5)     Beets can lift your spirits. They contain betaine, a substance that calms the brain and is used in other forms to treat depression. Beets are also a source of tryptophan (found in chocolate as well), which contributes to a sense of well-being. Reach your nirvana with this Pastry Wrapped Roasted Beets & Brie. It makes a warm and flaky appetizer, side dish or even dessert.   

Heart Beet-Worthy Recipes

This Valentine’s Day, give your sweetheart the gift of good health with an alternative red treat: beets. These earthy-flavored vegetables are nutritional powerhouses, packed with immune-boosting vitamin C, gut-friendly fiber and essential minerals like potassium and manganese. What’s more, regular consumption of beets has been linked to lowered blood pressure and even decreased risk of heart disease and some cancers. Check out the below beet-centric recipes as you prep for a romantic feast on February 14—these super-veggies are the ultimate key to a happy, healthy heart.

Beet ‘n Greet

Baby toast + beet salad + creamy cheese = bite-sized culinary bliss. Begin your Valentine’s meal with these Beet & Bean Salad Crostini. They’re light yet flavorful, quick to pull together and pair exceptionally well with a bottle of bubbly.

Lettuce Feast on Beets

Continue your beet-tastic evening with this Carrot & Beet Salad. It stars Libby’s® Sliced Beets and Sliced Carrots alongside crunchy nuts and tangy goat cheese.

The Beet Goes On


Done with dinner and craving a sweet-yet-salty treat? We thought so. Pair this Roasted Beet Salsa with your favorite crackers and for a satisfying conclusion to your heart beet-worthy day.

Healthy Thanksgiving Hacks

By Kristin Kessler, Registered Dietitian

The holiday season is upon us, which means it’s time for fun, family, and food indulgence. Traditional Thanksgiving comfort foods like mashed potatoes and pie may be great for sentimental effect, but they aren’t great for the waistline. Try these healthy hacks to lighten up Turkey Day while still ensuring a happy, memorable meal for all.

Lighten Up Favorites

Thanksgiving comes just once a year, so this is not the time to forgo your favorite casserole or dessert! Instead, make just a few recipe modifications to cut down on the calories, fat, and/or sugar and create a “healthified” version. Swap butter with yogurt or cottage cheese, refined grains with whole grains (think: white rice versus brown rice or white bread versus whole wheat bread), and bake those previously fried recipes. Experiment with this Green Bean & Wild Rice Casserole, featuring Libby’s® French Style Green Beans. Cream of celery soup stands in for traditional cheese and butter, keeping the dish light, yet flavorful.

BYOHD (Bring Your Own Healthy Dish)

Curb overindulgence at Thanksgiving potlucks by contributing your finest go-to veggie or fruit-filled dish. That way, you know there will be at least one guilt-free option to lean on. This Carrot and Beet Salad (made with Libby’s® Sliced Carrots and Sliced Beets) makes a colorful, nutrient-rich addition alongside your favorite indulgences.

Make Like A Turkey and Trot


Let this Thanksgiving be about more than just food! Start the day with a brisk walk around the block to get your blood flowing and appetite revved. Then, remain mobile throughout the feast by pausing for mini stretch breaks in between courses. After you’ve filled up on food, ditch the usual turkey-induced nap and instead rally the group for a friendly game of flag football (once you’ve fully digested, of course.) 🙂

See Who Is Talking about Libby’s

Whether spending time with friends and family, honoring decades-old holiday traditions or making new ones, Libby’s® Fruits and Vegetables help celebrate family, food and feeling thankful during the holiday season. Here are some recent blog posts that spread the Libby’s holiday spirit!




Some the Wiser 

Allison from Some the Wiser loves delicious, kid-friendly dishes that help dinner time run smoothly in her home. Her original recipe for Carrot Ginger Rice packs the flavor and ease that complete any successful family meal. 


Hot Wheels to High Heels

Amanda from Hot Wheels to High Heels put a new spin on a classic dessert. Her Chocolate Beet Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Cream Cheese Frosting uses pureed Libby’s® Beets to liven up the dessert table. 


This Week For Dinner


This Week for Dinner blogger Jane loves the crunch and sweet flavor of Libby’s® Organic Whole Kernel Sweet Corn. She shared an original recipe for her new favorite appetizer Southwestern Corn Succotash Flatbreads. The recipe’s cumin and cilantro combination offer a fresh and unique flavor that’s sure to please any hungry stomach.

Centsable Momma, A Frugal Friend  and Midwestern Moms also got in on the fun, blogging about the high demand for vegetables during the holidays and sharing their appreciation for Libby’s® Fruits & Vegetables. Centasable Momma and Midwestern Moms even posted recipes for their own holiday side dishes using Libby’s® Cut Green Beans.