Vegan Irish Soda Bread

Tender, buttery, and slightly sweet this vegan Irish soda bread is way better than any store-bought version you’ve tried. It’s so simple, you need never buy it again. Made with only 8 simple ingredients (and yeast it’s one of them).

Close up photo of sugar crystals on golden Irish soda bread.

Why you’ll love it

Yes, it’s a bread. And yes, you will knead it. But there’s no yeast and if you’re scared of making bread that’s something to celebrate. Here are a few other reasons why you should make this veganized Irish soda bread.

  • Simple
  • Quick
  • Buttery
  • Tender
  • Sweet
A loaf of golden Irish soda bread on a black background.

Irish Soda Bread

Before we begin I just want to say that this is one of my FAVORITE recipes and I am so very excited to be sharing it with you all. I make this Irish soda bread every year on St. Patrick’s Day for my family. And every year it’s a hit. I know that you and your family will love it just as much as we do.

Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

To begin, make the vegan buttermilk. In a small bowl, combine the almond milk and apple cider vinegar. Stir and set it aside to curdle. This should take about 10 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, combine the flour, ⅓ cup of sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Use a pastry cutter (or two butter knives) and cut in the cold, cubed vegan butter until the mixture resembles wet sand.

When the vegan buttermilk is curdled, add it as well as the optional raisins/currants (they’re really not optional, add them!) and mix everything together with a wooden spoon until it’s moistened. 

On a well-floured surface, turn out the dough and knead it 10 times. Shape the dough into a round loaf and place on the prepared baking sheet. Using a butter knife, cut a deep ½ inch “X” in the bread and sprinkle with 1 tsp-1 tbsp of sugar. 

Bake the loaf for 1 hour or until the top of the loaf is golden brown. If you’re really concerned about the loaf being finished, go ahead and tap on the bottom. If the loaf is finished, it will sound hollow. Transfer the loaf to a wire rack and cool it completely before cutting into wedges and serving. Top it with more vegan butter if desired and serve alongside your favorite St. Patrick’s Day entree.

A slice of golden Irish soda bread sprinkled with organic cane sugar.
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Vegan Irish Soda Bread

Tender, buttery, and slightly sweet this vegan Irish soda bread is way better than any store-bought version you've tried.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Bread
Cuisine: Irish, Vegan
Keyword: bread, currants, dried fruit, easy, holiday baking, quick, raisins, simple, vegan buttermilk
Servings: 8 slices
Author: Erin

Ingredients

  • 1⅓ cups almond milk
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • cup cane sugar plus 1 tsp for topping
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup vegan butter, cold and cubed
  • ½ cup fresh, soft raisins or currants optional

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  • Begin by making the vegan buttermilk. In a small bowl, combine almond milk and apple cider vinegar. Stir and set aside to curdle. About 10 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, ⅓ cup of sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  • Using a pastry cutter (or two butter knives), cut in the cold, cubed vegan butter until the mixture resembles wet sand.
  • Add the vegan buttermilk and optional raisins/currants and mix with a wooden spoon until moistened.
  • On a well-floured surface, turn out the dough and knead 10 times. Shape into a round loaf and place on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Using a butter knife, cut a deep ½ inch "X" in the bread and sprinkle with 1 tsp-1 tbsp of remaining sugar.
  • Bake for 1 hour or until the top of the loaf is golden brown. If tapped on the bottom, the loaf will sound hollow.
  • Transfer the loaf to a wire rack and cool completely before cutting into wedges and serving.
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Vegan Spinach Muffins

Get ready for St. Patrick’s Day with these vegan blender spinach muffins. These fluffy and festive muffins are made with whole-grain flour and naturally sweetened with maple syrup and bananas.

Close up of a vegan spinach muffin on a white plate.

Why you’ll love them

As much as you will love these, I can guarantee that your kiddos will love them even more. Here are just a few reasons why they’re perfect for everyone in the family.

  • Simple- Talk about easy. Just throw everything into a blender and let it go. Clean up is a breeze and these muffins are out of the oven in less than 30 minutes. Can’t get much better than that.
  • Naturally-sweetened- These muffins are made with maple syrup and bananas. That’s all you need to give these muffins a subtle sweetness.
  • Kid-friendly- My kiddos love these! And I love that they are loaded with good stuff like whole-wheat flour, spinach, and flax.
A cut open vegan spinach muffin on a white plate.

Blender Spinach Muffins

FLAX EGGS

Flax eggs are my favorite alternative to eggs when baking. Some people use chia seeds, but I prefer flax. It blends more easily with the rest of the ingredients. I love chia seeds, but I don’t really want them floating around in my baked goods. Just a personal preference.

Blend it up

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a muffin tin with cooking spray or muffin liners.

In the bowl of your blender, combine the water and flaxseed meal. Stir to combine and allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes until gelled. 

Once the flaxegg is set, add the almond milk, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract, peeled banana, and baby spinach Blend the liquids until all the spinach is thoroughly chopped and incorporated.

Next, add the dry ingredients: whole-wheat flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Turn on the blender and blend until just combined stopping periodically to scrape down the sides. 

Lastly, fill each muffin tin up ¾ of the way to the top. Bake the muffins for 20-25 minutes or until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow them to cool in the muffin tin.

Serve these vegan spinach muffins warm with vegan butter or freeze them for up to 3 months.

A lose up of a vegan spinach muffin in a metal tin with shamrocks in the foreground.

Ingredient Health Benefits

Bananas- vitamin C, B6, fiber, potassium

Cinnamon- manganese, iron, calcium, and fiber

Flaxseed- Omega-3 fats, soluble and insoluble fiber

Spinach- fiber, vitamin K, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, folate, vitamin B, vitamin A, glycolipids (cancer cell growth suppressors)

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Vegan Spinach Muffins

These fluffy and festive muffins are made with whole-grain flour and naturally sweetened with maple syrup and bananas.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Refined Sugar-free, Vegan
Keyword: 30-minutes, baking, banana, blender, easy, flaxegg, holiday baking, plant-based, quick, simple, spinach
Servings: 12 muffins
Author: Erin

Equipment

  • High-Speed Blender

Ingredients

  • 1 flaxegg (1 tbsp flaxseed meal + 2½ tbsp water)
  • ¾ cup almond milk
  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted
  • cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large very ripe banana
  • 6 oz baby spinach
  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a muffin tin with cooking spray or muffin liners.
  • In the bowl of your blender, combine the water and flaxseed meal. Stir to combine and allow to sit for 10 minutes until jelled.
  • Once the flaxegg is set, add the almond milk, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract, peeled banana, and baby spinach. Blend until well combined and spinach is incorporated.
  • Next add the whole-wheat flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Blend until just combined stopping periodically to scrape down the sides.
  • Fill each muffin tin up ¾ of the way to the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
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Garlic Herb Swirl Bread

A vegan garlic herb swirl bread. Moist, tender, buttery and savory. A delicious yeast bread that is simple and fun to make.

Close up of garlic herb twist bread.

Why you’ll love it

Is there anything as satisfying as the smell of freshly baked bread? No. There isn’t. If you feel the same way, I am sure you are going to love this garlic herb swirl bread just as much as my family and I do. Here’s why…

  • Simple- Don’t let the complicated twists and turns of this bread fool you. The dough is easy to make, and twisting the bread in on itself is fun and relaxing.
  • Fun- Yes! Making a yeast bread can be intimidating. But with practice, creating these beautiful loads is so fun and rewarding.
  • Herbaceous- I love lightening up bread with loads of fresh herbs. Definitely no shortage of those here.
  • Delicious- I mean, come on! It’s bread! How could it be anything but delectable?!?
Close up of sliced garlic herb twist bread.

Garlic Herb Dough

Ingredients

Just a few tips about our ingredients before we get to mixing, shaping, and baking the garlic herb twist bread.

  • warm plant-based milk- The milk should be warm but not hot. If you have a thermometer it should read about 110*F when placed in the warmed plant-milk. If you don’t, you want the water to just feel warm to the touch. Liquid that is too hot will kill the yeast so be sure that it’s the correct temperature before moving on.
  • applesauce- If you don’t have applesauce on-hand you could try mashing a ripe banana. I know that people have success using it in place of applesauce in baked goods. But in my personal opinion, applesauce is better. I can taste the banana in bread if it’s used. Applesauce on the other hand, has no added apple-y flavor.
Stand Mixer

In the bowl of your stand mixer fixed with a dough hook, add the warm plant-based milk, yeast, maple syrup, applesauce, all-purpose flour, and salt in that order. Turn the mixer onto slow and allow the dough to knead for about 5 minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic, not sticky. If the dough is still lumpy or too sticky, continue adding flour a few tablespoons at a time until the desired consistency is reached.

You can also turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for 1-2 minutes. Adding flour as needed.

Return the dough to the bowl and cover with a towel. Place the dough in a warm spot, preferably in the oven with the light on, for 1 hour until the dough has doubled in size. After the dough has risen, continue reading below for how to roll out, cut, and twist the loaf.

By hand

In a large bowl, combine the warm plant-based milk, yeast, maple syrup, applesauce, all-purpose flour, and salt in that order. Using a wooden spoon, combine the ingredients until they are no longer sticky.

Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes. Continue adding flour and kneading the dough until it’s smooth and no longer sticky. Return the dough to the bowl and cover with a towel.

Place the dough in a warm spot, preferably in the oven with the light on, for 1 hour until the dough has doubled in size. After the dough has risen, continue reading below for how to roll out, cut, and twist the loaf.

Close up of garlic herb twist bread on parchment paper.

Cutting and Twisting the Loaf

This might be the most challenging part of this bread. But with a little help from the photos below, it’s really rather simple. And when you see the bread all curled up, it’s so satisfying.

So, now that you have the perfect little ball of dough, let’s roll it out into a flat 18×12 inch rectangle. Think of a rectangle pizza. That’s what we’re going for. Spread the garlic herb butter on the dough. Again, like you would marinara sauce on a pizza dough. If you can, try to spread the butter all the way to the edge of the dough so that it’s completely covered (Step 1 below).

Next, roll the dough into a tight log. Roll up the log from the 18 inch side of the dough. Meaning, when you are finished rolling the log, it will be 18 inches long. Not 12. Once the log is rolled up, pinch the seams together. Gently and carefully, flip the log over so that the log is seam-side down. Beginning about 2 inches from the top of the log, slice the log in half so that you have 2 strips connected at the top. Gently, turn the halves so that the cut sides are up exposing the garlic herb filling (Step 2 below).

This is where the dough is really going to take on it’s twisty shape. Twist the dough, cut side up, one half over the other continuing to the end. Gently pinch the ends together. Your log should now look like Step 3.

Taking the top of the twisted loaf, roll it in on itself until you’ve reached the half way point of the log. Shown in Step 4. Then, take the other end of the log and roll it in on itself in the opposite direction until it too reaches the midpoint. Your bread should now look like a beautiful twisted loaf of garlic herbed goodness (Step 5).

Rectangle of dough spread with garlic herb butter on a wooden cutting board.
Step 1: Roll the dough out into an 18×12 inch rectangle and spread herb butter evenly over the surface.
Twisted garlic herb bread dough on a wooden cutting board with a large knife on the side.
Step 3: Turn the cut-side of each strip up and twist one over the other all the way down the length of the log. Pinch together the end.
Step 5: Curl the bottom of the log in on itself in the other direction.
A log of garlic herb bread dough sliced lengthwise down the middle on a wooden cutting board with a large knife on the side.
Step 2: Roll the 18 inch side up tightly and pinch off together the seam. Turn the log seam-side down and slice lengthwise leaving a 2 inch connection at the top.
Twisted and curled garlic herb bread dough on a wooden cutting board with a large knife on the side.
Step 4: Curl the top of the log in on itself stopping at the halfway point.

Baking

Now that the bread is twisted, gently place the dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover the loaf with a towel and place it in the oven with the oven light on ONLY. DO NOT HEAT UP THE OVEN! Allow the dough to rest and rise for 45 minutes. 

When the dough has rested, remove it from the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Once heated, bake the loaf for 40 minutes until the top is golden brown and the bread is cooked through. While the bread is still warm, brush it with melted vegan butter and sprinkle with more fresh herbs if desired. Let the garlic herb swirl bread cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing.

Close up of garlic herb twist bread on parchment paper.

Ingredient Health Benefits

Apples- vitamin C, soluble and insoluble fiber

Basil- phytochemicals, volatile oils (antibacterial properties)

Garlic- photochemicals

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Garlic Herb Swirl Bread

A vegan garlic herb swirl bread. Moist, tender, buttery and savory. A delicious yeast bread that is simple and fun to make.
Cook Time40 mins
Rising Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Bread
Cuisine: Nut-Free, Vegan
Keyword: 1 bowl, applesauce, basil, easy, flaxseed milk, fresh herbs, plant-based milk, sage, simple, thyme, yeast bread
Author: Erin

Equipment

  • Stand Mixer with a Dough Hook

Ingredients

Bread Dough

  • ¾ cup warm unsweetened, plain flaxseed milk plus protein
  • tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • ¾ cup applesauce
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
  • 1 tsp iodized salt
  • 2 tsp vegan butter, room-temperature or olive oil

Garlic Herb Filling

  • 4 tbsp vegan butter, room-temperature or olive oil
  • 2 tbsp vegan parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced

Instructions

Bread Dough (using a Stand Mixer)

  • In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine warm unsweetened plain flaxmilk with added protein, yeast, maple syrup, applesauce, all-purpose flour, and salt. Turn the mixer on slow and knead for 5 minutes until the dough is combined.
  • Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead by hand for 1-2 minutes. Add more flour a tbsp at a time until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky.
  • Return the dough to the bowl and cover with a towel. Let it rise for 1 hour.

Bread Dough (by hand)

  • In a large bowl using a wooden spoon, combine warm unsweetened plain flaxmilk with added protein, yeast, maple syrup, applesauce, all-purpose flour, and salt. Mix until the ingredients are incorporated.
  • Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead by hand for 8-10 minutes. Add more flour a tbsp at a time until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky.
  • Return the dough to the bowl and cover with a towel. Let it rise for 1 hour.

Garlic Herb Filling

  • In a small bowl, mash the room-temperature vegan butter. Add the vegan parmesan cheese, herbs, and garlic. Stir until combined.

Braiding and Baking the Bread

  • After the dough has risen, beat the dough down with your fist and place the dough onto a lightly floured surface, preferably a cutting board.
  • Roll the dough out into a rectangle roughly 18 by 12 inches. Spread the garlic herb butter evenly over the dough, right up the edges.
  • With the 18 inch side in front of you, and the 12 inch sides on running up the left and right, tightly roll the dough into a log. Pinch the seams together and place them face down on a cutting board.
  • Leaving 1-2 inches at the top, run a sharp knife down the center of the dough log. Rotate the two sections so that the garlic herb filling is facing up.
  • Keeping the filling sides up, place the left strip over the right. Keep repeating until completely twisted. Take the top part of the twisted log and curl it in on itself unti it reaches the half way point. Take the bottom part of the twisted log and curl it in on itself, in the opposite direction, until it reaches the half way point.
  • Gently place the dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with a towel and place in the oven with the oven light on ONLY. DO NOT HEAT UP THE OVEN. Allow the dough to rest and rise for 45 minutes.
  • Remove the dough from the oven and preheat to 350°F. Once heated, bake for 40 minutes until the top is golden brown and the bread is cooked through.
  • Brush the finished bread with melted vegan butter and more fresh herbs if desired. Let the bread cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing.
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Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bread

A decadent comfort food, this chocolate peanut butter banana bread is perfect for breakfast, snack, or even dessert. Made from simple ingredients, it’s vegan and oil-free with simple nut-free and gluten-free options.

A loaf of chocolate peanut butter banana bread with sliced banana on top.

Why you’ll love it

Who doesn’t love a good banana bread? And this banana bread, that just so happens to be loaded with chocolate and peanut butter, is sure to become a new favorite for adults and kids alike.

  • Moist- No one likes a dry bread, loaded with flaxseeds, applesauce, and maple syrup this bread is certainly on the moist (and delicious) side.
  • Chocolatey- Do I really even need to say any more? Chocolate.
  • Satisfying- Full of fiber and plant-based protein, this bread makes for a filling breakfast.
  • Simple- Using simple ingredients that you probably have on hand makes this bread super easy to prepare.
A sliced loaf of chocolate peanut butter banana bread with sliced banana on top.

Bananas

Before you make this bread it’s very important to make sure that you have the correct bananas on hand. You want very ripe, easily mashed bananas. Two medium to large bananas will be more than enough to give you the perfect amount of banana flavor and sweetness throughout your bread.

I’d also like to recommend the use of a third banana. If you happen have and additional ripe (but not too ripe) banana on-hand that you could stand to get rid of use it in this recipe for decoration. Peel it, slice it length-wise and place both halves cut-side up on the top of your banana bread once it’s safely transferred to your prepared loaf pan.

A stack of slices of chocolate peanut butter banana bread.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bread

I love quick breads. Anything the doesn’t require yeast is just pure joy to me. I’m pretty sure that most people have made banana bread before. But just incase you haven’t, or perhaps your new to vegan baking and don’t know some of the basics, don’t worry, I’ve got you.

Prepare your flaxegg by whisking together 1 tablespoon of flaxseed meal and 2 1/2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl. Set that aside for a good 10-15 minutes so that it can gel.

Dry Ingredients

In a large bowl combine the whole wheat flour (use a gluten-free flour if needed), baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. At this point, you will also mix in the chocolate chips and chopped walnuts. By coating these heavy, chunky foods in flour, you’ll prevent them from all sinking to the bottom of your bread while baking. Have you even gotten a slice of bread and all the add-ins are only at the bottom of the slice? Yeah, that’s because they were added last, instead of with the dry ingredients.

Wet Ingredients

Now, in a separate medium-sized bowl, mash the very ripe bananas. It’s ok if there are still a few little chunks, it doesn’t have to be completely smooth. Personally, I don’t mind a few small pieces of banana in my bread. But if you want it completely smooth, go for it! Mash them to your heart’s content. To the mashed bananas add the maple syrup, applesauce, peanut butter, flaxegg, and vanilla. Incorporate everything well and then pour into the dry ingredients.

Baking

Mix the wet and dry ingredients together until just incorporated. Beware of over-mixing. Prepare a loaf pan by spraying with cooking spray and dusting lightly with flour. Pour the batter into the pan and gently place halved bananas on top, cut side up. Bake your chocolate peanut butter banana bread at 350*F for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (minus and melted chocolate).

A loaf of chocolate peanut butter banana bread with sliced banana on top.

Ingredient Health Benefits

Apples- vitamin C, soluble and insoluble fiber

Bananas- vitamin C, B6, fiber, potassium

Chocolate- magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium, manganese; vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, E; pantothenic acid; phenolic phytochemicals; flavonoids; caffeine; theobromine (antioxidant)

Cinnamon- manganese, iron, calcium, and fiber

Flaxseed- Omega-3 fats, soluble and insoluble fiber

Peanuts- antioxidants

Walnuts- Omega 3s, thaimine, B6, folic acid, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, Vitamin E, polyphenols

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bread

A decadent comfort food, this vegan and oil-free chocolate peanut butter banana bread is perfect for breakfast, snack, or dessert. GF & nut-free options.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Cool Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Bread, Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Oil-free, Vegan
Keyword: applesauce, easy, kid-friendly, peanut butter, peanuts, quick, simple, walnuts
Author: Erin

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour use gluten-free flour if necessary
  • ¼ cup vegan chocolate chips ensure oil-free if necessary
  • ¼ cup walnuts, chopped optional
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • dash nutmeg
  • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • ¼ cup peanut butter use additional ¼ cup of applesauce if nut-free
  • 1 flaxegg (1 tbsp flaxseed meal + 2½ tbsp water)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 ripe banana, sliced lenght-wise optional

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a loaf pan and dust with flour. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl combine the whole wheat flour, vegan chocolate chips, walnuts, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  • In a medium bowl, mash the 2 very ripe bananas. Add the applesauce, maple syrup, vanilla and flaxegg. Mix well to combine. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix unti just combined.
  • Pour banana bread batter into the prepared loaf pan. Top with sliced bananas.
  • Bake for 45 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center (avoiding the banana slices) comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool on a cooling rack for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Serve warm with a dollup of plant-based yogurt, smeared with more peanut butter, or a drizzle of melted chocolate. Store leftovers in the refrigerator or freeze slices for up to 3 months.
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Vegan Charcuterie Board

How To

With the holidays just around the corner, let’s put together a vegan charcuterie board! They are extremely versatile, customizable, and easy to prepare. I’ll show you how you can create the perfect charcuterie board for your next gathering.

Charcuterie board with fresh vegetables, fresh & dried fruits, chips, hummus, and vegan cheese.

So what the heck is a charcuterie board anyway? Well, it’s a large platter filled with finger foods of varying flavors, textures, and colors. It’s a feast for the eyes as well as the senses. Charcuterie boards make a fantastic appetizer for parties, holidays, and other large social gatherings. They are also a fantastic way to serve many different foods as an appetizer or light meal. Everyone is able to select what they would like and create their own spread. In this post, I’ll give you tips about how to put together the perfect charcuterie board.

What to include on your Charcuterie Board

The trick to having the perfect charcuterie board is creating layers. You want to have layers of flavors as well as textures. Think sweet, spicy, salty, savory. As well as creamy, crunchy, and smooth. Fruits, vegetables, spreads, dips, crackers, breads, nuts, meats, cheezes…all of these can fit into any number of those categories. So let’s brainstorm a bit to give you some ideas that might be a little out of the box.

Fruits

Select fruits that are in season. In the spring and summer think berries, peaches, nectarines, grapes. In the fall and winter months focus on figs, apples, persimmons, grapes, pomegranate arils. And don’t be afraid to add dried fruits. Sprinkle raisins over your board for a finishing touch. Or place dried apple rounds out since freshly sliced apples will brown too quickly.

Vegetables

Raw vegetables are definitely a must when making a charcuterie board. Think sweet bell peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, or cucumbers. If making a charcuterie board in the summer add grilled zucchini or summer squash. Even pickled or jarred vegetables will work. Think olives, asparagus, or artichokes.

Dips & Spreads

It’s easy to select fruits and vegetables when making a vegan charcuterie board. Obviously, those are vegan. But finding dips and spreads that are vegan can be a bit more challenging. If you don’t have access to a grocery store with a wide variety of vegan dips or spreads this may end up being the portion of the charcuterie board that you have to spend a little bit of time preparing. But don’t let that frighten you off. Most dips are very quick and easy to prepare. Allow me to give you some examples of both store-bought as well as homemade vegan dips and spreads.

Crackers

Choose crackers that have some personality. You should have some mild ones that will pair well with anything and some others that are for specific dips and cheeses. Think outside the box. I love the beet crackers and sweet potato crackers from Trader Joes. Off the Eaten Path has a fantastically salty and crunchy Veggie Crisp. There are also dried carrot, beet, and kale chips. All of which will add depth and interest to your charcuterie board.

Bread

Use your favorite artisan breads to enhance the texture of your board. Add breads with rosemary, hunks of garlic, or cranberries and walnuts to create even more flavor on your board. And don’t think you have to slice your bread either! Feel free to rip the loaves into large chunks to add texture and visual interest to your board.

Nuts

Including nuts in your charcuterie board will add visual interest and texture as well as flavor. Use raw, roasted, spiced, or candied nuts to further elevate the flavor profile of you board. Don’t underestimate the power that flavored and roasted seeds can have as well. I have three wonderful recipes for roasted squash seeds that would work perfectly in an autumnal charcuterie board.

Vegan Meats

A traditional charcuterie board will contain deli meats. Now, it is up to you to decide if you would like to include vegan meats in your own charcuterie board. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of vegan deli meat alternatives. I find them to be rubbery, extremely salty, and rather unappealing to look at. That however is just my opinion so please feel free to add whatever, if any, deli alternatives you find appetizing.

Vegan Cheezes

There are so many vegan cheeses available now! Check out your local grocery store or whip up your own nut-based cheeses at home. I love this feta recipe from Erin Ireland. It’s so simple and adds the saltiness to your board that definitely cannot be overlooked.

Extras

Now that you’ve determined what kinds of fruits, vegetables, dips, spreads, crackers, bread, nuts, “meats”, and cheezes you would like to include on your charcuterie board let’s take just a second to discuss the layout of the actual board. Some tips for creating a beautiful and inviting board are as follows:

  • Pick a board large enough to fit everything you want to include. But not a board that is so large that you will have lots of unfilled space. Empty space on the board will give it an unfinished, uninviting feel. You can, to some extent, fill empty space with herbs but you want to use fresh herbs sparingly as a garnish, not as a star feature.
  • Make sure that you provide utensils for spreading, cutting, spearing, and slicing the spreads, fruits, vegetables, meats, and cheeses. These can be fancy to add interest to the board. They can be your everyday serving utensils. Or you can use something as simple as toothpicks! There’s not need to go out and buy anything special.
Charcuterie board with fresh vegetables, fresh & dried fruits, walnuts, vegan deli meat, crackers, chips, hummus, and vegan cheese.

Charcuterie Board Steps

Once you have all the pieces of your charcuterie board puzzle figured out, it’s time to put them all together to create that visually appealing appetizer no one will be able to keep their hands off. Let’s go through the steps of laying out all your charcuterie board items.

  • Step 1: Gather your board, bowls, and food items. Place any dips or spreads into your selected bowls and place them on the board in the rough location that you would like them to be.
  • Step 2: Begin by placing your largest food items on the board first. Think large crackers, blocks of vegan cheese, fruits (such as this pomegranate half), and vegetables (the florets of broccoli). Ensure that the food is overlapping to prevent the board from showing through.
  • Step 3: Place medium food items around the larger ones. Think slices of vegan deli “meat”, smaller crackers, chips, and/or dried fruit.
  • Step 4: Place your smallest food items on the board last. If necessary, corral them onto the board by surrounding them with larger, sturdier foods and bowls to prevent them from rolling off the board. Think loose grapes, blueberries, or nuts.
  • Step 5: The final step is adding fresh herbs to your board. Top dips with parsley, dill or cilantro as appropriate. Stick sprigs of rosemary or sage out from under bowls. Don’t be afraid to re-arrange as you go. If something doesn’t look or feel right rearrange it or remove it from the board. Everything you intended on using might not fit and that’s ok. You can always have two charcuterie boards!

Bonus Tip

Make a dessert charcuterie board! Include your favorite cookies, cakes, chocolate hummus, fruits for dipping in chocolate, sugared nuts…let me know in the comments section what you include in your dessert charcuterie board.

I hope that you all have found this charcuterie board how-to informative and helpful. Know that any board you put together will be a hit with your party guest. I mean, who doesn’t love a bunch of fresh food sprawled out on a wooden board? Be sure to let me know in the comments if you make a charcuterie board.

Enjoy friends!

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Vegan Naan

If you’ve been searching for the perfect vegan naan, look no further than this recipe! All you need are 10 ingredients and a warm bowl of curry to complete your next vegan Indian-inspired dinner night.

Vegan naan wrapped in a blue towel on a rusted cookie sheet surrounded by basil and cherry tomatoes.

I’m going to be 100% honest with you right now: I’m afraid of yeast. Irrational fear? Perhaps. But it’s taken me YEARS to work up the courage to prepare breads that require yeast. I had a bad experience with cinnamon raisin dough and a bread maker back in my teens and I think I’m still trying to recover. Anyway, I digress…I still have difficulties with yeast dough at times. Thankfully, as with many other skills, practice makes perfect. And boy have I been practicing this fall!

The perfect vegan naan recipe has eluded me for almost a year. I struggled to find a recipe that didn’t require crazy flours which would leave the dough to stick to the pan and not rise properly. But I finally found the PERFECT naan recipe that I have veganized from the amazing Half Baked Harvest version. Let me take just a second to explain some important steps in this naan-making process.

Water & Yeast

Two things about working with yeast…First make sure that it hasn’t passed it’s expiration date. Expired yeast will prevent your bread from rising. Secondly, as with any recipe that requires yeast, you’re going to have to “activate” or “bloom” it with water and sugar. It’s very important to remember that your water should be about 110*F. If the water is too hot it will kill the yeast and your bread will fail to rise.

Pan & Oil

Once your dough has risen and is pillowy soft and ready for cooking you need to make sure that you use the proper pan to fry it. You will definitely need a heavy cast iron skillet as well as a large lid. Once your pan is screaming hot add about a tsp of avocado oil to the pan. You might be tempted to use olive oil. DON’T! Avocado oil has a smoke point of 520*F, which is 50-150*F hotter than olive oil. What does that mean? It means that avocado oil will not begin to burn until it reaches a temperature of 520*F. In turn, you can heat this oil much, much hotter without setting off your smoke detectors. Trust me, use the avocado oil.

So now that I’ve concurred naan, I’ll have to try my hands at Challah bread (but that’s going to have to wait for now…).

Enjoy friends!

Ingredient Health Benefits

Almonds: protein, fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, calcium, iron

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Vegan Naan

All you need are 10 ingredients and a warm bowl of curry to complete your next vegan Indian-inspired dinner night.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Rise Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 35 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Bread, Indian, Vegan
Keyword: Indian, naan, vegan
Servings: 8 naan
Author: Erin

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • ¾ tsp active dry yeast
  • ¾ cup plant-based milk
  • 1 cup almond yogurt I prefer Kite Hill's plain, unsweetened almondmilk yogurt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 4-8 tbsp melted butter depending on how buttery you want the naan

Instructions

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine warm (but not hot) water, yeast, and maple syrup. Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes, until bubbly.
  • Add plant-based milk, almond yogurt, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Using a dough hook, mix until the flour is evenly incorporated. The dough will be sticky.
  • Lightly flour you workspace and gently knead the dough into a large ball. Return to bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a dish towel. Place the bowl in a warm place to rise for 1 hour* until the dough has doubled in size.
  • When ready to cook, cut dough evenly into 8 and form each into a small ball. Using a rolling pin, roll out each dough ball into an oval/rectangle shape that's about ¼ inch thick.
  • Brush each side of the naan dough with melted vegan butter. Lightly brush a VERY HOT cast iron skillet with avocado oil** and place in one piece of naan dough cooking over medium-high heat. Immediately cover with a large lid cooking for 1-2 minutes as bubbles form. Flip and cook uncovered for 1-2 minutes more.
  • Keep cooked naan warm by placing in a clean kitchen towel while you work with the remaining dough.
  • Serve with more melted butter and a sprinkle of fresh herbs and a bowl of curry.

Notes

*I have found that the perfect place to let any yeast-y dough rise is in my oven with the oven light on.  
**Avocado oil has a higher smoke-point that most oils, meaning it will withstand the heat of the pan better than an olive oil will.  Plus it has a neutral flavor which won’t deter from the naan.

Adapted from Half Baked Harvest’s Herbed Garlic Butter Naan.

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Pecan Pie Quick Bread

Have dessert for breakfast with this pecan pie quick bread recipe. Prepared with pecan butter, chopped pecans and topped with maple pecan halves there are some serious fall-vibes going on with this quick bread. Vegan, and easily made gluten-free, this breakfast bread will become a cozy new family favorite on crisp autumn mornings.

Close up of sliced pecan pie quick bread on a wood board.

I think pecan butter may be my new obsession. It’s amazing. And you know what? It’s even better when it’s homemade. Nut butters are so simple to make at home. They’re cheap, customizable and oddly gratifying to watch come together. But more on homemade pecan butter later, let’s get back to the recipe at hand.

So I made this pecan butter and though that a dessert-type quick bread would be amazing. So here it is: Pecan Pie Quick Bread. Yeah. It’s a dessert that you can eat at breakfast. You’re welcome.

Pecan Pie Quick Bread

There’s nothing complex about this pecan pie quick bread. No crazy ingredients, no special kitchen gadgets, and (thankfully) no yeast. Yeah, I’ve yet to master the yeast bread. But I’m working on it.

I decided to drastically cut down on the amount of sugar in this bread. There’s a full cup of applesauce to give it some sweetness and I don’t really like my breads to be overly sweet. That being said, if you’d like to make yours a bit more dessert-like, feel free to add more sugar. It’s customizable that way.

I also understand that not everyone has access to pecan butter. There are two options here: either make your own (see notes at end of recipe), of substitute in your favorite cashew or sunflower butter.

Slices of pecan pie quick bread on a wooden cutting board with wheat and pecan halves.

Maple Pecan Topping

To give this bread a little more of the pecan pie vibe I decided to decorate the top of this quick bread with some maple pecans. I picked out the prettiest pecan halves and simple tossed them in some maple syrup. Not too hard right? Then I layered them on top of the pecan pie bread right before going into the oven. Just make sure that you keep an eye on the pecans while they’re baking. You don’t want those glorious little beauties to burn.

Pecan pie quick bread on a wooden cutting board with wheat and pecan halves.

Ingredient Health Benefits

Apple- Vitamin C

Flax- Omega-3 fats; soluble and insoluble fiber

Pecans- Thiamine; Vitamin E; magnesium; protein; fiber; antioxidants; oleic acid; phytochemicals

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Pecan Pie Quick Bread

Have dessert for breakfast with this pecan pie quick bread recipe. Prepared with pecan butter, chopped pecans and topped with maple pecan halves there are some serious fall-vibes going on with this quick bread. Vegan, and easily made gluten-free, this breakfast bread will become a cozy new family favorite on crisp autumn mornings.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Resting Time15 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Vegan
Keyword: bread, pecan pie, pecans, quick bread, vegan

Ingredients

  • cup all-purpose flour
  • cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • cup pecans chopped
  • 2 flax eggs 2 tbsp flaxseed meal and 6 tbsp water
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • ½ cup vegan butter
  • cup pecan butter
  • 1 tbsp vanilla

Pecan Topping

  • pecan halves about 30
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

Instructions

  • Preheat oven for 350°F. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray.
  • Mix gound 2 tbsp flaxseeds with 6 tbsp of water. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  • In the mean time, melt vegan butter. Combine with applesauce, pecan butter, and vanilla.
  • In a seperate bowl combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and chopped pecans. Add flax egg and melted vegan butter mixture.
  • Mix until just combined and pour into prepared loaf pan.

Pecan Topping

  • In a small bowl, combine maple syrup and pecan halves stirring to coat evenly.
  • Line the top of the pecan pie batter with the maple pecans.
  • Place in the preheated oven for 1 hour, 15 minutes. Check loaf at 45-50 mintues to make sure that maple pecans aren't burning. Tent with aluminum foil and continue baking if pecans are browning too quickly. Loaf is done when toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in loaf pan before cutting.

Notes

To make your own pecan butter- Place 2 cups of raw pecans in a food processor and process for 20-30 minutes.  Pecans will go from chopped to ground.  They’ll form a ball then start to become creamy and buttery.  Stop food processor periodically to scrap down the sides and give the motor a break. 
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