Fermented dairy foods are some of my fave dessert foods because they pair really well with sweet foods. Yogurt and farmer’s cheese are going to be the two fermented dairy foods for this charcuterie board.

This article and post was developed through a sponsored collaboration with National Dairy Council.

Benefits of fermented dairy for gut health

Fermented dairy foods benefit your gut microbiome and can be easier to digest making it a healthy addition to any dessert charcuterie board.

Fermented dairy foods have good bacteria

One of the major benefits of fermented dairy is that it can be a source of live microbes (bacteria) that can actually be good for your gut.

In fact, fermented dairy foods are one of the few foods that can also be probiotic. It’s a common misconception that all fermented foods are probiotic foods. 

Fermented foods can also be considered probiotic when they have a strain with documented health benefits. Look for yogurt (or other fermented dairy) that specifies on the ingredient list that it contains a specific probiotics strain (e.g., B. Bacterium 12); or yogurt containing the live and active cultures L. Bulgaricus and S. Thermophilus.

Fermented dairy pairs well with fiber foods

Pairing dairy with fiber foods, like fruit, adds a natural sweetness to your dessert board and can also give you complementary nutrients.

One of the biggest ways fiber and fermented foods can complement each other is for better blood sugar control. Fiber in fruits and vegetables helps to slow the absorption of naturally occurring sugar found in fruits, which means you don’t get as much of a blood sugar spike. Fermented dairy, specifically yogurt, has been associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and could help cardiovascular health (1).

Using tasty dips made with fermented dairy makes it easy to load up on fiber foods like the berries featured in this dessert board. You may notice you’re more likely to eat more fruit when you have something fun to dip it into.

Fermented dairy is lower in lactose than other dairy foods

Fermented foods have the bonus of improved digestibility and fermented dairy is no exception. 

Improved digestibility is a nice benefit for anyone concerned about lactose in dairy. The fermentation process produces live bacteria that helps break down the lactose. This means foods like yogurt, cottage cheese, and kefir could be a good option for those with lactose intolerance. 

I have a blog post with a guide on how to pick a yogurt for anyone with lactose intolerance.

from left to right: a yogurt cup, farmers cheese in a bowl, and a glass of kefir

Fermented dairy foods are perfect for a dessert charcuterie board

There are a variety of fermented dairy foods you could use for a dip or a sip with your dessert charcuterie board. Experiment with different textures and flavor combinations.

Yogurt

Yogurt will be a classic option for a charcuterie board. 

Flavor-wise there are typically a lot of different options already on your market’s shelves so you can get creative with your dip and other charcuterie board pairings.

You could pick up a key lime yogurt for something fun and tart or try a pumpkin yogurt for a fall-flavored dessert board.

Texture of your dip is another thing to think about. If you want something with a thicker texture so that it sticks onto your fruit more than go with a skyr or Greek yogurt.

Kefir

Kefir is similar to yogurt but is drinkable and there are two ways you can use it for your board.

Just like yogurt, you can use kefir as a dip. Although, since kefir does have a thinner texture, you can make a thicker dip by straining the kefir. Alternatively, you could add a splash of kefir to your yogurt dip.

Instead of dip, you can have small glasses of kefir next to your dessert board. You could even make a hot chocolate with your kefir or get a plain kefir and use it as a palette cleanser before their next round of goodies.

Cheese

Did you know that cheese is also a fermented dairy food? Here are a few to try.

Labneh 

Labneh is a cheese made from strained yogurt or you could also use kefir. You can buy it at the store or make it yourself! Labneh can go from sweet to savory depending on what seasonings you add. You could sprinkle pomegranate seeds on top and/or add a drizzle of honey.

Farmer’s cheese

Farmer’s cheese is underrated and one of my favorite cheeses. This cheese is traditionally made using live and active cultures so you get that good bacteria. It will have a mild taste that pairs well with a lot of flavors.

Cottage cheese

The most loved cheese of 2023 is also perfect for a dessert board. Cottage cheese can be stirred or whipped for a creamier texture that makes it spreadable for a graham cracker.

dairy dessert charcuterie board with orange chocolate dip & lemon lime yogurt dip in two bowls surrounded by apples, chocolate pretzels, plums, marshmallows, cherries and graham crackers

Foods that go well with fermented dairy

Let your gut be your guide when it comes to this dessert board. There are no right or wrong foods to add but here are some of my favorites.

Apples

Apples have a lot of soluble fiber and are good as a dipping fruit. Apples are also a prebiotic food, which means it helps feed the good bacteria in your gut.

Almonds

Adding almonds would be a great addition for a little crunch. Emerging research with almonds have found that they could influence the gut microbiome and in turn, have positive effects on blood sugar management(2).

Berries

Berries are a classic charcuterie staple and they go very well with fermented dairy. They are also a great fiber food to have.

Brownies

Brownies are amazing for a dessert board. If you want to keep the dairy theme you could also use sour cream, instead of oil, to make your brownies.

Citrus

Lime juice and orange juice go wonderfully in yogurt or cheese dips. For our recipe we’re using both juices for two different dips.

Graham crackers

Graham crackers are perfect for your dip but you can also stack berries or other sweet treats on top. You could also crumble graham crackers on top of your dip.

Vanilla wafers

Anyone else think of banana pudding when you see vanilla wafers? Make a banana pudding themed board by adding fresh banana slices and a yogurt vanilla dip.

dairy dessert charcuterie board with orange chocolate dip & lemon lime yogurt dip in two bowls surrounded by apples, chocolate pretzels, plums, marshmallows, cherries and graham crackers

Fermented Dairy Dessert Board

Prep Time 20 minutes

Ingredients
  

Orange Chocolate Dip

  • ½ cup farmer’s cheese
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp chocolate chips

Lemon Lime Dip

  • 3/4 cup lime yogurt or use a 5.3 oz container of yogurt
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice

Dessert Board

  • graham crackers
  • chocolate covered pretzels
  • apple slices
  • plums
  • marshmellows
  • cherries

Instructions
 

Orange Chocolate Dip

  • Add all the ingredients, except the chocolate chips, into a bowl & mix well.
  • Fold in the chocolate chips.

Lemon Lime Dip

  • Add all the ingredients & mix well.

Dessert Board

  • Arrange your dessert board items around your dips & enjoy!

Notes

You can use any of your favorite sweet treats as part of your dessert board.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!