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3 Plant-Based Holiday Dishes That Will Please Everyone at the Table
Brittyn Coleman
By Brittyn Coleman
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The holiday season is known for meals that are filling, fattening, and full of calories. The average menus are are typically lined with condensed milk, processed sugar, and other animal-based products.

You can find many crowd-pleasing options for plant-based holiday dishes that are quick and easy to make. To give you an idea, I have used Brandless products to design a completely plant-based (and gluten-free!) 3-course holiday meal! Everything is completely dairy, egg, soy, and wheat-free — the perfect option for family members with allergies. Plus, both the appetizer and the dessert don’t require cooking.

By substituting foods that are plant-based and low in processed sugar for standard holiday fare, you may feel more energized, less bloated, and can possibly even prevent holiday weight gain.

Appetizer: Cranberry Cheese Ball

Ingredients:

Instructions
  1. Place cashews in a fine mesh strainer and rinse with cold water to remove salt. Once rinsed, place in a glass container with a lid and cover with cool water and soak overnight. For quick soaking, cover with boiling water and soak for 30 minutes.

 

2. Add the soaked cashews, garlic, coconut oil, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and salt to a food processor and blend until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, as needed, and continue to blend.

3. Add ½ cup cranberries and ¼ cup almonds to the mixture and process for about 30 seconds until cranberries and almonds are finely chopped and fully mixed.

 

4. Scrape the cashew mixture into a glass container and let sit for a few hours (4-5 hours preferred) in the refrigerator to firm up. You can use a cheesecloth to help form the ball.

 

5. Rinse out your food processor and pulse whole almonds and remaining ½ cup craisins and pulse until coarsely chopped and set aside.

 

6. After the cheese ball is firm enough to form, shape cashew mixture into a ball and roll in the cranberry-almond mixture.

 

7. Serve cheeseball immediately or place in a glass container (with lid) to chill until ready to serve.

 

8. Serve with hummus chips and other Brandless items like pita and crackers! Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Casserole

Ingredients:

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

 

2. Wash, peel and chop sweet potatoes into 1” cubes. Place potatoes in a medium pot and cover with about 2” of water. Bring water to a boil and boil for about 10-15 minutes, or until potatoes can be pierced easily with a fork.

 

3. While potatoes are cooking, pour two bags of glazed almonds into a food processor and process until coarsely chopped. Set aside for future use as the topping.

4. Drain the potatoes and let cool for 7-10 minutes. Use a potato masher to mash potatoes in a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients (excluding the Glazed Almond topping) blend together with a hand blender.

 

5. Transfer to a 2 quart casserole dish (shape does not matter) and top with the glazed almonds. Bake for 20-25 minutes golden brown.

 

6. Remove from oven and let cool 10-15 minutes before serving.

Mini Raw Cheesecakes

Crust:

Filling: 

Additional flavors:

  • Pumpkin Spice: Add ½ cup pureed pumpkin, 1 tsp pumpkin spice (or substitute cinnamon and nutmeg if you don’t have any). BONUS: Top with Brandless Glazed Almonds! (Cinnamon or Maple)
  • Eggnog: Add 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon nutmeg. Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg!
Instructions
  1. Place cashews in a fine mesh strainer and rinse with cold water to remove salt. Once rinsed, place in a glass container with a lid and cover with cool water and soak overnight. For quick soaking, cover with boiling water and soak for 30 minutes. Set aside.  

 

2. Add dates and almonds to a food processor and mix on high until finely ground. Pulse until a very loose dough forms, where you can press it together and it will stick. Add more dates (or pulse longer) if too dry and add more almonds if too sticky. Set aside.

3. Lightly spray a 12 slot muffin pan (or a 24 slot mini-muffin pan) with oil.

 

4. If using a regular-sized muffin pan, scoop out 2 tablespoons almond-date crust into each slot and press it down with your fingers until flat. If using a mini-muffin pan, scoop 1 teaspoon crust into each and press with fingers. Place in freezer to firm up until ready for filling.

 

5. Add the filling ingredients to a high-powered blender (minus the ‘Additional Flavors’) and mix on high for about one minute until smooth.

 

6. If needed, add more lemon juice, coconut milk, or maple syrup to taste or to help it liquify and blend better.

7. If you are wanting plain cheesecakes, you can stop here and begin pouring into muffin tins. If you would like to flavor, you have the option to blend in now! If you want to make both flavors (pumpkin spice & eggnog) divide your mix into two and set one aside. Blend each separately and pour onto crust.

 

8. Divide filling evenly among the muffin tins and tap the tin on the counter to pack down. Cover and freeze until hard (usually about 4-5 hours, best overnight!).

 

9. Once they are ready, run a butter knife around the edges to pop them out! You can eat them frozen (my personal favorite!) or set them out for 15 minutes to thaw. They keep in the freezer for 1-2 weeks.

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