The holiday season is upon us!
For many, this time of year represents peace, love and joy. But for animals confined on Canadian farms, there’s nothing kind or joyful about this time of year.
Tragically, holiday feasts often fuel the nightmare that is modern farming. Cows used for dairy are forcibly impregnated, have their babies stolen, and are sent to slaughter when their milk production declines. Animals killed for meat suffer from the day they are born until the day they are trucked to slaughter—often confined for their entire lives in dark barns, are denied everything that’s natural to them, and are killed at only a fraction of their natural lifespan.
But with so many plant-based holiday treat options available, it’s possible to have exciting seasonal eats without the cruelty!
We’ve teamed up with plant-based chef Amy Longard to bring you this incredible guide to building your own animal-free holiday cheese and charcuterie board!
Below are Amy’s top brand choices and products to make a compassionate spread of your own:
Cheeses – Daiya (Farmhouse Blocks), Culchered, Earth Island, Field Roast (CHAO Creamery), GUSTA, Happy Heart Vegan Gourmet, Miyoko’s Creamery, Nuts For Cheese, Truffula (available in Edmonton, Alberta), Vegan Stokes, VegCheese, VegNature, Violife, and Fauxmagerie Zengarry.
Meat Alternatives – Beyond Meat, Field Roast, GUSTA, Tofurky, Real Fake Meats (available in Halifax, Nova Scotia), The Very Good Butchers, and Yam Chops.
Fruits – Grapes, berries, cherries, ground cherries, pomegranate, clementines, and dried fruits like figs, raisins, cranberries or apricots.
Veggies – Olives, sliced raw vegetables, pickled or fermented vegetables (beets, onions, gherkin pickles are always popular), roasted red pepper, roasted garlic, black garlic, etc.
Dips & Spreads – Grainy mustard, hummus, bruschetta, salsa, chutney, jams, maple syrup, and compotes. Check out Amy’s fig & olive tapenade and zucchini almond dip.
Nuts & Seeds – I like walnuts, pumpkin seeds, candied pecans, tamari almonds, and pistachios.
Dark chocolate – Can’t go wrong here!
Bread & Crackers – French baguette and/or a mix of crackers including Mary’s Gone Crackers, Le Pain des fleurs Crispbread, and more.
Decor – We used pine cones, holly and ivy, pine branches and of course a few nice cutting boards and decorative bowls. Things like micro greens or delicate leafy greens look pretty. You can also use festive household items like mini-lights, ornaments, candles, or whatever you have on hand to jazz up your board.
Many of the above-mentioned cheeses and meat alternatives are available throughout Canada and the US at health food stores, Whole Foods Markets, and most major grocery stores. In Canada, you can also order plant-based cheeses online via Vegan Supply and Yam Chops.
If you’re stuck on what to make for your holiday dinner, be sure to download Amy Longard’s Healthy Holidays eBook. CLICK HERE to get your digital copy. Happy snacking!
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