If you have ever been a victim of boring vegan snacks or flavorless dips, then its time to make a change this Christmas. Good cooking is like good music. They are all based on the foundation of proper technique. Vegan Christmas appetizers, tapas, finger foods, canapés, or whatever you might call them, prepare your pallet for the main feast.
It is a diverse category of foods; just like the occasions, we serve them for. And the beauty is that almost all types of food ingredients can be adapted as appetizers. This makes it hard to narrow down on specific foods especially for major Holidays like Christmas. In this article, I will share with you my all-time favorites, variations, and serving tips. Read on!
Baked Apples with Vegan Cheese
These are the simplest vegan Christmas appetizers to make. The best apples for this recipe are the green Granny Smith varieties, and the best cheese is the vegan cream cheese. You can also add fruits, nuts, and spices. I love the combination of star anise, cinnamon, and black peppercorns with dried apricots.
For this recipe, feel free to adjust the measurements according to the number of guests you will be serving.
- 8 apples
- 4 tablespoons vegan cheese
- 1 tablespoon diced dried apricots
- 1 tablespoon diced raisins
- A pinch of ground cinnamon, star anise, and black pepper
In a bowl, mix the vegan cheese, the diced fruits, and spices well.
Remove the core of your apples and a little more flesh around it. This creates holes in the apples for stuffing.
Spoon the cheese mixture in the apples and bake them at 200 degrees Celsius for 20-30 minutes or until your apples are tender.
As a tip, add a little water in your baking tray to keep the apples from drying out while baking.
Remove from the oven, garnish with some whole spices.
Instead of apricots, you can use chopped pecans or dried cranberries. These are rich in anti-oxidants and other nutritional benefits.
You can also use other firm apple varieties such as Empire or Cortland.
Finally, you can add maple syrup if you have a sweet tooth but remember to balance the sweetness with a pinch of salt. This also depends on the apple variety you use. If your apple is naturally sweet, you don’t need to add more sugar.
Vegan Cheese Balls
Cheese balls are a delicious choice of vegan Christmas appetizers. You can prepare them in advance and cook them when your guests arrive. For this recipe, we shall use our favorite vegan cheese recipe.
Once you have the cheese ready, you will need the following to make the vegan Christmas appetizers.
- 4 potatoes
- 2 tablespoons vegan cream cheese
- ½-teaspoon ground coriander seeds
- 1-teaspoon chopped fresh coriander leaves
- ½-teaspoon dried oregano
- 1-teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)
- 1-tablespoon corn flour
- Salt and pepper to taste
Wash and boil your potatoes (skin on) until tender. Peel off the skin and mash them with a fork. Add salt, pepper, and all the above ingredients and mix well. You can use any spices of your choice.
Now scoop the potato mixture and using your hands, flatten them into small patties. Add some more vegan cheese. Fold the patties into small balls, and set aside. The idea is to have more cheese inside your balls. So once they are done, you take a bite, and the cheese at the center melts in your mouth.
Make some batter to coat them before cooking. This batter gives a crispy layer outside. And at this point, you can get more creative.
For my batter, I use:
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 tablespoons corn flour
Mix well to form a light batter.
Dip your vegan cheese balls and swirl around to coat well.
Roll the coated ball in breadcrumbs and set aside.
Repeat with the rest of the potato balls and roll in different coatings such as pistachio, chocolate shavings, chopped nuts, and cranberries to make several colorful vegan Christmas appetizers.
Freeze these coated balls for at least 1 hour before cooking. This ensures your cheese is firm enough to withstand the heat when cooking.
To cook, you can deep fry them in hot oil, or pan fry with just a little vegetable oil, or bake them at 250 Celsius for 15 minutes. However, deep-frying produces the best results.
Serve hot with a sweet and sour chili dip or this delicious vegan sour cream.
Baked Avocado Fries
Avocado is a key ingredient if you are on a Ketogenic diet. They are rich in monosaturated fats, vitamins, and minerals. For these fries, you need to preheat your oven to 220 degrees Celsius (425 F).
- 3 avocadoes – Slice them evenly (like French fries but not too thin)
For the flour mixture
- 2 tablespoons of arrowroot flour, or cassava flour, or coconut flour (you can also use all-purpose wheat flour)
- Spices – ½ teaspoon each
- Garlic powder
- Chili flakes
- A pinch of salt and black pepper to taste
Mix all the dry ingredients and set aside.
For the wet mixture
- 1½ tablespoon ground chia seeds (or you can use flax seeds)
- 4 tablespoons of water
- 1 lime juiced
Mix well and set aside.
For the final coating
You can use breadcrumbs, coconut flakes, cornflakes, or any similar ingredient that can create a crunchy effect.
Dredge the avocados in the flour mixture to coat well. Dip in the wet mixture and finally in the coconut flakes or breadcrumbs. Lay the slices on a lined baking tray and spray with olive oil (optional).
Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Vegan Christmas Appetizers for the kids
For the kids, this vegan snacks recipe has several treats that you can easily serve as appetizers. These include the energy balls, Tofu fingers, and of course the cashew cheese balls.
You can also make deep fried vegan chicken nuggets from our easy vegan chicken recipe.
So now you don’t have an excuse to serve sloppy vegan appetizers. The options are endless. You only need to be creative and think outside the box. Happy holidays!