Vegan Holiday Snack Spread
At the very least a good snack spread should consist of some salties, some sours, some crunchies, and some sweets. The snacks should be enough to tide you over while you sip cocktails and strategically placed in your house so you can dodge relatives who invade your personal space.
For this spread, I chose a few fun, insanely easy snack ideas that you can build on. The only recipe that takes extra time is the cranberries because you need to soak them overnight.
Olive Mushroom Pâté
This is a recipe that honestly could have gone either way when I was improvising with vegetable pâtés but it ended up being pretty delicious (if I may say so myself), so I thought I'd share. It's an umami monster of a spread so you don't need much on a cracker. Here's what you'll need:
- 1 cup of those Whole Foods green olives with the garlic and lemon (other green olives will work but you may need to add garlic and extra lemon)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 3 tablespoons dried shiitake mushroom powder
- 1.5 teaspoons lemon juice (or more to taste)
DIRECTIONS - In a food processor or blender, combine the olives and the olive oil until they're really smooth. Put that into a bowl and mix in the nutritional yeast, mushroom powder, and the lemon juice until everything is well incorporated. Seriously, that's it.
Note: If you can't find dried shiitake mushroom powder, you can just put dried shiitake mushrooms in a dry blender and make the powder yourself. For this particular spread I used homemade bread and made little crouton crackers by brushing them with olive oil and sticking them in a 275 oven until they were crispy, but really you can use any cracker you like with this spread - just make sure the crackers are on the simple-side flavor-wise so that they allow the pâté to be the star of the show.
Maple Glazed Walnuts
Glazed nuts are really easy to make and most folks love them. As a New Englander, maple is a flavor I grew up with, so there's a nostalgia factor for me with anything maple. Here's what you need:
- 2 cups raw walnuts
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- Salt to taste
- Coconut sugar for dusting
DIRECTIONS - Preheat your oven to 275. Mix the walnuts and the maple syrup together in a bowl. Make sure all the nuts are well-coated. Pour the nuts onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. There will be a little extra maple syrup at the bottom of your bowl which you can drizzle over the nuts. Stick them in the oven for about 25-35 minutes (they should be toasty but not burnt). Sprinkle them with salt when they come out of the oven. You can also add additional spices. For these I added some Kandy Spice from Curio Spice Co. After they cool, toss them in some coconut sugar. That will take care of any sticky maple spots on any of the nuts.
These are a holiday favorite of mine. They're tangy little snacks with the right amount of sweet. They have a nice texture between the dry sugar and the cranberry itself, and they make a little pop when you bite down on them. All you need is:
- 1 bag of cranberries
- 2 cups water
- 3 cups of sugar
DIRECTIONS - Wash the cranberries and put them in a bowl. Bring 2 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar to a simmer and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved into the water. Pour the hot sugar water over the cranberries in the bowl. When it's mostly cool, cover it and put the bowl in the fridge to soak overnight. When you're ready to make the cranberries the next day, strain the water out of the bowl and pour the cranberries out onto a piece of parchment paper. Let them sit until they feel tacky to the touch (probably 15 minutes or less). Sprinkle sugar over the cranberries or put them into a bowl with sugar and shake them around in small batches.
That's the spread! I hope you enjoy! Let me know what you think of the olive mushroom pâté! I've only made it for a few people and I'd love to know if you have thoughts, ideas, or improvements!