Research by the market research people at Finder.co estimates that there are now almost three million vegans in the UK. That’s an increase of about 200 percent over the past two years. If you are among the million or more people who have made the transition in 2020, you are probably looking forward to your first vegan Christmas with a mixture of anticipation and trepidation. Follow our survival tips for a first vegan Christmas that you’ll remember for all the right reasons.
Let everyone know
This year’s celebrations will be a little more low-key than usual for obvious reasons. If you are having a few guests for Christmas dinner, make sure they know in advance that this is going to be a vegan feast. That way, they will arrive full of curiosity, as opposed to gaping in shock when they see the what’s on the menu!
Make a statement with your centrepiece
If past Christmases have been highly traditional, you’ll probably be worried that dinner might seem a little flat without the drama of that 18-pound turkey as a centrepiece. However, this is the moment to show what a vegan Christmas dinner is all about! Think big, with a whole roasted vegetable. Squash is a popular choice, or alternatively, try a salt-baked celeriac. Take a look online for a recipe. The great thing is, at less than a tenth of the price of a turkey, there’s nothing to stop you giving it a couple of trial runs before the big event.
Choose the right flavour combinations
Any meal can easily fall flat on its face if you don’t understand flavour combinations. Get it right, on the other hand, and none of your guests will ever think the vegan option means the boring option. It’s all about combining the right vegetable with the right spices. For example, blend sprouts with honey and balsamic vinegar, carrot with cumin and parsnip with coriander. Take a look online and you’ll find plenty more combos to explore.
Don’t stint on the snacks
Delicious, nutritious vegan snacks is a topic we know all about at Focused Nutrition. You might feel you are able to stay relatively traditional here, but be careful. For example, some of the big-brand salted and dry roasted peanuts actually contain animal products. We would be remiss not to recommend our vegan flapjacks and applejacks, which always go down well with vegans and meat-eaters alike. If you want to give it the personal touch with your own creations, the internet is your friend. Some really simple recipes you might want to Google include baba ganoush, vegan nachos, za’ater popcorn, and no-bake oatmeal bites.
It’s not all about the food
Most importantly, while your first vegan Christmas is, of course, an important landmark, remember there is more to the festive season than what’s on the table. If this year has taught us anything, it is to treasure spending time with loved ones. So whatever is on the menu, don’t lose sight of the really important things. Have an amazing Christmas, and after a tough year for all, let’s look forward to better things in 2021.