The summer season means lots of time spent outside, and plenty of time spent with friends and family at parties. The season calls for little dresses and tank tops, lots of outdoor activities, and of course your fair share of fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables. Figuring out what kind of dish to contribute to the summer parties you decide to attend can be overwhelming, especially when you’re not sure what everyone else might be bringing – or what everyone else even likes for that matter.
You can be sure that there will be bowls of salad, pasta, and other one-pot dishes to contend with, so why not go with finger foods? They are super easy to eat, they appeal to both small as well as big appetites, and they can certainly help to brighten up the food table no matter the atmosphere.
Here are eight delicious raw vegan finger food options that might just be the perfect option for your special occasion:
Cucumber Finger Sandwiches
Finger sandwiches don’t have to consist of bread. Serving open-faced cucumber finger sandwiches will keep everyone at your summer parties hydrated, refreshed, and energized until it’s time to go home. Make a batch of cucumber finger sandwiches by simply spreading some zucchini hummus on thinly sliced pieces of cucumber, and topping the hummus with sun-dried tomato pieces, sprouts and artichoke hearts. Voila!
Frozen Fruit Kabobs
When you freeze your fruit kabobs, you can kick them up a notch because all the goodies added to them will stay put until people at the summer parties you attend are able to start chowing down on them. Frozen fruit kabobs are the perfect way to cool a sunny afternoon down, and they’re guilt-free too.
Thread kabob sticks with chunks of banana, pineapple, and watermelon. Then, roll the kabobs in a little date paste (just blend one part dates to one part water to make your own) before rolling them in one or more toppings such as coconut flakes, cacao nibs, crushed macadamia nuts, and carob (or cacao) powder.
Raw vegan truffles are like little doughnut holes, with lots of fat and all. But unlike the fat found in most doughnuts, the fat in nutty truffles, while indulgent, is the good kind of fat that will keep your party guests full for the afternoon. To make nutty no-cook truffles, throw two cups of almonds, walnuts, pistachios or your favorite nut (try a mixture!) into a food processor with two tablespoons or carob or cacao powder.
Add a tablespoon of coconut oil if desired, as well as a pinch of salt before blending into the consistency of dough. Then roll the mixture into truffles about the size of golf balls before serving. You can serve them as-is or get really fancy and roll the truffles in coconut sugar or serve them some date syrup. You can also add dried fruit to the mix to really make each bite pop.
Cream Cheeze Cranberry Boats
Celery stuffed with cream cheese and olives, herbs, or meats are the norm at your average summer party – why not veganize a platter and stuffed celery and let plant-based eaters as well as omnivores rejoice in this traditional, creamy temptation? To make cream cheese cranberry boats: blend a cup of raw cashews with the juice of two lemons, three Medjool dates, and a teaspoon of Bragg’s liquid aminos or tamari. Transfer your cream cheese to a small bowl and fold in a half cup of dried cranberries as well as a small handful of freshly minced mint. Then stuff bite-sized celery pieces with the mixture and chill before serving.
Spiced Carrot and Apple Sticks
For a unique take on chips, try serving spiced carrot and apple sticks at your next summer party. They’re crunchy, flavorful, and full of vitamins and minerals that will put a glow on everyone’s face and make them want to get up and dance. Simply cut two pounds each of apples and carrots into matchsticks and place them in a medium-sized bowl.
In a separate small bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon of agave nectar or other liquid sweetener, a teaspoon of cinnamon, and half a teaspoon each of paprika and nutmeg. Then pour the sauce over your matchsticks and let them marinade for about an hour. Serve the sticks as-is or dehydrate them until they crisp up a little.
Savory Collard Rolls
Forget the hoagies and the ham wraps this summer and bust out a plate of savory collard rolls instead. They feature all the ingredients of a really good sandwich wrapped up into a petite green roll – they’re easy to eat, they are filling, and people of all ages tend to flock to them. Clean and de-stem your collard leaves and lay them out on a clean counter.
Spread each one with a little cashew or macadamia nut mayo (blend half a cup of nuts with a quarter cup of water, a clove of garlic, and a tablespoon of lemon juice) and then layer avocado slices, shredded carrots, chopped tomatoes, diced cucumbers, and some sprouts in the middle of them. Roll the collards up into wraps and then cut them into inch-thick pieces before serving.
Personal Veggie Pizzas
Who doesn’t love pizza? The problem with pizza at a summer party is that it tends to weight everyone down after they eat which can be uncomfortable at an upbeat party where naps are not typically an opportunity. The solution is to replace bake cheesy pizza with fresh raw pizza that’s every bit as enjoyable as its cooked counterpart.
You can make things easy on yourself and use pieces of cabbage as the crust, or go all out and blend together a cup of flax seeds, a cup of raw oats, 1 peeled zucchini, 2 cloves of garlic, and a little salt to taste. Spread the dough on your dehydrator sheets and let them dry overnight at about 90 degrees. Top the crusts with a sauce made of sun-dried tomatoes, herbs, dates, and a little apple cider vinegar, and then top the sauce with your favorite chopped herbs and veggies right before serving.
Cauliflower is extremely versatile and its light flavor never overpowers the others in a dish. You can create awesome summer party snacks out of cauliflower by turning it into “popcorn” and serving it in small paper bags like they did in the olden days at the movie theater. You can make traditionally flavored raw vegan popcorn by tossing bite-sized cauliflower pieces with just a little coconut oil then kick things up a notch by adding herbs, cinnamon, sugar, nutritional yeast, or even chili powder to the bowl and giving it another toss.
These flavorful raw vegan finger foods are sure to perk up the taste buds of everyone young and old at your next summer party, or at any get-together throughout the year.
Lead Image Source: Flickr