Hosting a vegan this Christmas?

Due to the ongoing rise in plant-based diets, it is very likely that more people than ever will be eating vegan during the festive period.

That means more people than ever hosting a vegan. If that thought fills you with dread, Elena Orde from The Vegan Society has a few tips to ensure your Christmas dining is all plain sailing.

The food

The trick to a good Christmas is to make things as easy for yourself as is possible. With this in mind, it is a good idea to come up with a starter which everyone can enjoy, rather than adding an extra dish. Some tasty ideas include roast butternut squash soup (add coconut milk for extra creaminess ), artichoke bruschetta or beetroot and pear salad with walnuts.

For the main, think tarts, roasts, pies and wellingtons. These can all be made in advance, which will save you time on the big day. For anything pastry-based, remember that you can buy vegan ready-made pastry in most supermarkets.

Do yourself a favour time wise by buying a ready-made roast from the supermarket frozen section, or a Tofurky roast from Holland and Barrett.

Anyone who knows their Christmas is also aware that it is all about the sides. Think carrots and parsnips baked in maple syrup; crispy potatoes roast in olive oil, salt and rosemary; think leaving the Brussels sprouts in the supermarket, because tradition just is not worth it. You will make life a lot easier for yourself if you leave out the butter or goose fat and use vegetable oil to roast your veggies in.

Christmas is not Christmas without gravy. You can pick up a pot of vegan-friendly gravy granules pretty much anywhere.

For dessert, you can find vegan mince pies and vegan mince pudding in most supermarkets. Pair with some dairy free ice-cream.

The drink

It is easy to forget that some alcohol is not suitable for vegans. Creamy liqueurs are out, as well as any drinks involving honey. Some wines, beers and ciders are not suitable due to the unnecessary use of fish bladders in the refining process. If you are unsure what to buy, www.barnivore.com can help you out.

For more information visit www.vegansociety.com

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