If you’re hosting drinks or having a party this Christmas period, you may be wondering what to have for nibbles. There’s lots of different snacks to buy, but when you have food sensitivities or are following a whole-food plant-based diet this can be a real minefield due to the additives and extra ingredients you want or need to avoid. This is particularly pertinent if you are dairy or gluten free, as either or both of these pop up everywhere in snack food.
So to help make catering a little easier, here’s a list of super tasty savoury and sweet recipes to serve over the Christmas party season. You don’t have to make all of them of course (unless you really want to!), just those you will enjoy the most.
- Dairy-free ‘boursin’. Not exactly like the real thing, but a very tasty creamy dip with cheese-like properties. Make it super thick and use it to top Welsh cakes or fill trimmed celery sticks.
- Savoury Welsh cakes Not just for St David’s day after all! Make up the dough, then use a smaller cookie cutter to create bite-sized Welsh cakes. Top with a little dairy-free boursin and a sprinkle of chives to jazz them up, and look pretty too.
- Almond cheese. A simple way to delight and impress your guests is to serve this super tasty and flavour ‘cheese’ alternative
- Baba ganoush I love rich, smoky baba ganoush made with creamy roasted aubergine. Serve alongside…..
- Chickpea dippers. These tasty little sticks made with chickpea flour make a fabulous gluten free whole-food plant-based alternative to cheese straws. But they’re moreish, so you have been warned!
- Creamy mashed beans Lunchbox filling gone posh! Grab some super crispy lettuce leaves and fill with a couple of spoonfuls of the creamy mashed beans. Top with finely chopped parsley and you have an interesting canapé in your hand.
- Lentil and walnut paté. Grab some mini oatcakes or rice cakes and top with this delicious savoury paté. Garnish with some chives to make them look pretty.
- Beetroot hummus. Why serve normal plain hummus when you can make it pink? Or maybe yellowy/orange is more your colour? Then…
- Roasted squash and harissa topped hummus might be more your thing.
- Pumpkin dip. If hummus is too mainstream, try this pumpkin dip instead. Infused with warming spices, it’s so delicious you might not want to share it with your guests
- Baked onion bhajis. Make mini bhajis and serve with mango chutney or a dairy-free yoghurt dip on the side. Not only do they taste delicious, there’s no greasy fingers afterwards as they’re baked not fried
- Farinata I always make this when I’m catering for a buffet, partly because it’s quick and easy, but you can use whatever mix of flavours you want. Leek and pea work well, as does red pepper and sun-dried tomatoes. Use a larger rectangle tin so it’s thinner, then cut into bite-sized pieces when cold. Alternatively you could try
- Mini crustless quiches are fabulous as a buffet option and super easy as no pastry to tackle!
- Savoury carrot flapjacks will surprise your guests. Why? Just because they’re savoury! Cut into slices or small squares, they’re easy to make and make good finger food. And now onto sweet options…….
- Gingerbread. Who doesn’t love to munch on these crunchy, mildly spiced seasonal biscuits? If you have different Christmas cutters, create a selection of shapes so your guests can pick their favourite
- Raw gingerbread balls. If you love gingerbread but can’t be doing with baking, then try these. Super tasty and marvellously easy to make, they’re fab finger food with no fuss.
Raw Christmas cake balls. Another tasty but easy option, giving you all the lovely Christmas spice flavour and texture without the baking. Perfect for gluten free guests too.
Raw chocolate brownie bites. These take a little longer to make than the raw balls, but are definitely worth the effort. They freeze well too, so you can make them well in advance (if planning ahead is your thing.
Chocolate cupcakes with sweet potato chocolate frosting. Perfect at any time of the year (of course), these yummy cupcakes are delicious on any buffet! Decorate with Christmas sprinkles if you’d like them to look a bit more seasonal.
Salted caramel ‘cheesecake’. Last on the list but definitely not least. This awesome vegan cheesecake will impress everyone, even those who claim to never enjoy plant-based food! Sadly the coconut makes it off the menu to anyone following programmes like Overcoming MS but I had to include it as it’s Christmas after all!