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Our favourite summer platter staples can sometimes contain more than you bargain for. Sausages are delicious but supermarket varieties tend to only be about 60% meat (if you’re lucky); Sweet Chilli Philly from the pot contains more than 20 ingredients, including sugar, thickeners and preservatives; and last but certainly not least (often expensive) flavoured cheeses have similarly suspicious ingredient lists. So here are a few of my festive platter favourites that you can make at home. The best part? They all have three ingredients or fewer.

DATES IN BLANKETS

Ingredients

medjool dates

blue cheese

streaky bacon

Method

Remove the stone from the date and stuff with a small slice of blue cheese. Wrap each date in half a rasher of bacon. Bake in the oven or fry in a pan.

SWEET CHILLI CREAM CHEESE DIP

Ingredients

cream cheese

chopped chilli (from a jar is easiest)

local honey

Method

Put the cream cheese in a dip bowl. Mix a heaped tablespoon of chopped chilli with a teaspoon of runny honey and pour the mix over the top. If you like, mix it all together for a sweet, creamy mix.

FUN FLAVOURED CHEESE

Ingredients

Large block of Colby, Edam, Gouda or cheddar

Pick your flavour

cumin seeds

cranberries & orange zest

chopped garlic & chives

Method

Melt the cheese in a double boiler above a pan of boiling water. Mix in your herbs, spices or flavours. Pour into a butter dish, Tupperware container or even a rubber ice-cube tray or mini muffin tin and put in the fridge to set.

See here for some healthy tips for surviving the holidays.