Plant Based Grazing Boards Are The Hottest Trend For The Vegan Crowd

A grazing or charcuterie board is a selection of finger foods curated onto one board for beautiful presentation. But contrary to what the term “plant based” might imply, this is not your mama’s chopped broccoli and cucumber party platter. No not at all. Once you get away from the meat offering, the rules go out the window as well.

Pinterest’s annual trend report forecasted that creative presentations would be the highlight for 2021, in addition to incorporating novel types of food into food board assembly. The New York Times NYT -1.5% called grazing boards “2021’s most gorgeous food trend” while delish magazine rated grazing boards “one of the hottest trends for 2021.” Even L’officiel magazine refers to food boards as the newest trend in cuisine and social media… I think I’ve made my point.

Kate Kasbee’s new book entitled, “Vegan Boards: 50 Gorgeous Plant-Based Snack, Meal, and Dessert Boards for All Occasions” to be released on March 2 is the first book to provide grazing board ideas without the typical meats, cheeses, and animal products at the fore. Some of the boards included in the volume include the Sweet & Savory Toast Board, Coconut Chickpea Curry Board, Date Night Vegan Cheese Board and Mini Bundt Cakes Board.

“Creating a plant based board is alchemy at it’s best,” says Plant based chef, Manuela Scalini. “If we let go of the limitations of what a traditional charcuterie is by definition and start playing with the infinite possibilities from the plant world, every board becomes an unique expression of colors, textures, flavors and flairs.”

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Here are some trends in plant based charcuterie boards.

Plant based cheese and crackers board

Plant based cheese and crackers board

“We play with a lot more than just the traditional jams and dried fruit,” says Manuela Scalini of this plant based cheese and crackers board that includes a vegan mozarella caprese made with the meat of young green coconuts and cashews, fermented overnight with probiotics, and then processed with sea moss to firm it, an aged vegan cheddar cheese, fermented as well, and aged in the fridge to dry and create a crust, a coconut “Swiss” cheese and crackers made with the leftover pulp from almond milk and a Spirulina/noni “blue cheese.” Radish sprouts, cacao nibs, herb jams, bitter edible weeds, flowers, are the perfect accompaniment.

Hot chocolate charcuterie board

Vegan hot chocolate board with variety of topppings.

A vegan hot chocolate board provides a healthy and fun twist to a classic recipe and can be made with melted vegan hot chocolate, warm almond milk, a pinch of raw sugar and vegan creamer. For the toppings, be aware that some grocery brand marshmallows are not vegan since they contain gelatin, an animal protein. Dandies is a popular and delicious brand of vegan marshmallows that you can purchase on Amazon.

Falafel board

Falafel board

A do-it-yourself traditional falafel board makes for an impressive table setting and a balanced meal, with oven-baked falafel made of chickpea and oat flour, hummus, warm pita bread, olives and lots of fresh veggies. If using a classic hummus, pair your board with a medium-bodied dry rosé wine or an aromatic, fresh white.

Vegan tofu and vegetable skewers board

Grilled vegan tofu and vegetable skewers charcuterie board with vegetables.

Do-it-yourself tofu skewers accompanied by an assortment of vegetables make for the perfect appetizer or party food. Add bread and olive oil for a starchy side.

Chia pudding breakfast board

Chia pudding breakfast board

A chia pudding breakfast board is the perfect morning pick-me-up or can even work as a decadent desert. Cookbook author, Kate Kasbee, enjoys her chia pudding “when topped with nut butter, fresh fruit, maple syrup and crunchy granola” but you can get creative with nuts, coconut, dark chocolate and even sweet potatoes.

“Because we are not following the expected typical charcuterie “guidelines”, there is so much freedom to play and create,” says Scalini of the delicious and highly aesthetic trend.

I’m an environmental writer with a focus on food and agriculture, and commute between the Southern Caribbean (Barbados) and the Northern Caribbean (Cayman Islands). I

 

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