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Well-prepared cheese boards are always a hit during the holiday season. You’ve probably seen pictures of these boards on social media, with all their mouth-watering flavours, textures and colours. Since they feature all of our favourite snacks, there’s something for everyone to enjoy!

If you’ve read any of my other articles, you know that I’m vegan. So, I thought it would be fun to share my tips with you on how to create the perfect vegan cheese board. I have to admit that cheese is not the easiest food to veganize. The products on the market are often highly processed and taste nothing like traditional cheese. That being said, I promise there are good vegan cheeses out there… just don’t expect to find a vegan version of OKA cheese! There are plenty of great products to discover that are made from healthy ingredients and have a cheesy taste. Many are artisanal products, and their delicious flavours are sure to delight the tastebuds of vegans and non-vegans alike! Take a look at the list of ingredients: generally, the shorter the list, the better the product. Most vegan cheeses are made from coconut, cashews, water, probiotics and spices.

By creating your own cheese board, you’ll be sure to wow your guests at your holiday dinner parties. You’ll also save time, since they’re a breeze to prepare! Here are my tips for putting together a simple but varied cheese board:

1. Choose 3 to 4 vegan cheeses

In store, you will find a vegan cheese and meat section. I like to start with a creamy cheese, like Zengarry’s Smokey Jalapeno. Next, I choose a product that is similar to goat cheese, such as the VegNature’s Three Peppers & Chives cheese log. Then I choose a firmer vegan cheese such as Daiya Cheddar. To finish, why not choose a feta-style cheese? These options offer a variety of textures and flavours.

2. Choose 2 to 3 types of crackers

Once you have arranged the vegan cheeses on your board or platter, it’s time to add crackers or slices of bread to accompany them. I personally prefer bread, especially from Arhoma bakery, since you can’t go wrong with the bread and cheese combo. For a gluten-free option, I always pick super seed crackers (Mary’s Gone Crackers), which add an interesting crunchy texture.

3. Choose 3 to 4 types of fruits and vegetables

To give my platter colour and texture, I like to add plenty of fruits and vegetables. I try to choose seasonal foods such as carrots, fresh or dried cranberries, grapes, pomegranate, celery, mandarin oranges and edamame.

4. Choose one or two dips

In addition to vegan cheeses, dips are an excellent addition to a cheese board and go great with raw vegetables. Traditional organic hummus and a baba ganoush are my favorite options.

5. Fill the rest of the board with your favourite sweet or savoury foods!

Garnish the rest of the board with fresh herbs, olives, pickles, sauerkraut and tamari almonds. These are just a few examples… don’t be afraid to use your imagination and add whatever strikes your fancy!

6. Have fun!

These overflowing cheese boards are often stunning explosions of colour. Don’t take yourself too seriously when putting one together. All you need is a board (it doesn’t matter what it looks like—the goal is to cover the entire surface), the foods mentioned above, a few minutes of prep time and a dash of creativity!

Enjoy! Audrey Sckoropad