What goes on a vegan 'charcuterie' board? From dried fruits to plant-based cheese, get snacking ideas that will please any guest
Just about every TikTok For You Page is filled with funny videos, dance trends and ... over-the-top charcuterie boards. Frequently found at dinner parties and backyard happy hours, these boards often contain piles of meats and cheeses, alongside crackers, fruit and olives. But are vegan "charcuterie" boards also a thing?
The short answer is yes, a plant-based snack board can be created using items like dried fruit, cherry tomatoes, apple slices and vegan cheeses. In fact, these types of charcuterie boards are on the rise, as more people have started adding plant-based proteins to their diets.
The vegan lifestyle has been around for decades, but it's recently grown in popularity thanks to social media and creatives like Pinky Cole, founder of Atlanta-based vegan burger joint Slutty Vegan.
"In Los Angeles you can get vegan food on every corner, at any time of day," says Cole, adding that, at the time she started Slutty Vegan, there were few fast-and-easy vegan options in Atlanta. "I started brainstorming what I could quickly put together for a restaurant that would serve good vegan food late at night."
While Slutty Vegan doesn't have charcuterie boards on the menu, Cole does know a thing or two about what a delicious plant-based grazing board should look like.
What do you put on a vegan charcuterie board?
Cole is no stranger to vegan charcuterie boards and says vegan cheese is a game-changer. "I love vegan cheese," she says. "It tastes better than your everyday regular cheese: jalapeño, pepper jack, cheddar and sharp — but make it vegan."
Cole says to add fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, crackers and other hearty and satisfying foods to a vegan charcuterie board. There's no one-size-fits-all definition when it comes to creating your board — as long as it tastes delicious and satisfies your cravings, that's all that matters.
A simple vegan charcuterie board
Danielle Brown, founder of Healthy Girl Kitchen, has gained a massive following on TikTok. Nearly two million followers keep tabs on Brown, taking note of her healthy, plant-based recipes.
Brown says it's possible to make a satisfying vegan charcuterie board at home — without any meat or cheese.
"You can use crackers, bread, veggies, olives, salted nuts, fruit like grapes and dried apricots, spreads like hummus, vegan spinach artichoke dip, a variety of mustards and even fig jam," Brown says. "Plus, the selection of plant-based products [in stores] is growing every day, which means you can now find amazing vegan meats and cheese that you can add to your board."
Brown's ultimate vegan charcuterie board includes organic crackers, olives, hummus, vegan cheeses, grapes, carrots, almonds, cherry tomatoes, apple slices and pistachios.
A sweet, savory vegan charcuterie board
Adylia-Rhenee Gutierrez is a certified integrative nutrition health coach and creator of Build Yhorlife Coaching. Her favorite type of vegan charcuterie board is a sweet-and-savory version, perfect for snacking.
"As long as everything makes sense to you and your guests, you could honestly add all the finger foods," says Gutierrez. "The best part: It's easy to create a full vegan board without even realizing it's only vegan items."
Her vegan charcuterie board recipe? Combine dates, grapes, almonds, [vegan] honey, vegan-friendly chocolate and bars, sliced cucumbers, sliced apples, organic crackers, sliced organic sourdough bread and guacamole and enjoy.
A vegan charcuterie board ... that mimics meatier boards
Serena Poon, a chef and founder of wellness site Culinary Alchemy, shares her go-to recipe for a classic vegan charcuterie board.
"No vegan charcuterie board would be complete without a sprinkling of raw and organic nuts such as cashews, walnuts, almonds and macadamia nuts," says Poon. "Along the edges, I'll place whole grain or seeded crackers. A homemade vegan cashew spread and dehydrated portabella mushroom jerky are also delightful options for those looking for a cheese and salami substitute."
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