'Tis the season for celebrating with friends!
And as many of us have been made aware as of late, if we have the opportunity to do so in peace, we are among a lucky few.
Peace feels increasingly rare- sacred, almost, and not to be taken for granted. Which is unfortunate, because we all deserve to live in, and contribute to, a gentle, caring world.
We see mass atrocities, and many of us are outraged- and while we may not be able to fix the whole world, we are able to start with what we can do.
This isn't easy, as we are almost exclusively raised in a world that has a lack of compassion baked into our every day.
The good news is- it does not have to stay this way. Speaking from experience, I find that it is even easier to take tangible actions in ever day life than it is to adjust my heart and mindset. And these very tangible actions can contribute to nurturing an end goal- being peaceful.
Prime example? Let's look at something fun, delicious, and a way to celebrate with compassion. A compassionate charcuterie board- here are 5 ways to do it.
Ok, so the wine doesn't show up on the charcuterie board itself, but it is the board's bestie.
But, did you know that a lot of wine is actually filtered through either egg albumin, fish bladder and a number of other animal products or by products? Not so with Okanagan Crush Pad! This incredible BC winery focus on using organic grapes for their wine, and minimally employ sulphites. A much better option for our environment and wildlife.
The talented OCP team was kind enough to send us many generous gifts of their amazing Haywire wines. They also included our Chocolate Nib'd bars in their subscription boxes! Way to share the love.
In the world of wine, a lot can go wrong- but Okanagan Crush Pad makes sure to do things right.
If you've made it this down far the rabbit hole of Zimt, you're likely familiar with some of the major flaws with animal based cheese. Namely... it does not grow on sustainably managed trees! Traditional, animal based cheese is made through the lactation process of mammals, typically cows and other ruminants.
Animals, including humans, lactate when they have young to feed. This process can be prolonged after the offspring actually needs the milk to survive through various methods- including repeated pregnation, which is often what happens in the dairy industry.
This process is extremely taxing on cows and when they are 'spent' (ie no longer 'efficiently' producing milk) they are almost always sent to slaughter.
If a cow conceives a male calf, this calf is more often than not used for veal or otherwise killed for what people consider to be food. This is beause he will not grow up to be milk producing- he could grow up to have semen harvested from him, but only select calves are chosen for this. The rest are slaughtered.
So, cheese is not very benign.
Fortunately, there are some incredible vegan alternatives!
We enjoyed our Compassionate Charcuterie Board at Zimt with Avafina- an absolutely delicious assortment of organic, cashew based soft cheeses. The owner of the company is also a passionate vegan on a mission to inspire others to lead a more compassionate lifestyle.
One bite of her Onion and Chives cream cheese will have you forgetting you ever thought you were lactation cheese addicted!
Moving on to the sweeter side of things- a compassionate charcuterie board recognizes the value of fruit. It isn't a garnish- it is an essential experience. Lightens up what can otherwise feel rather heavy!
We got a lovely assortment from Eternal Abundance. They even have their own organic farm one city over!
We always go for organic, because we don't want to release synthetic pesticides into the environment, nor impose potential health risks on farmers and processors.
Quick but important side note- their Curry Walnuts are amazing- add them to your Charcuterie Board, please!
Meet the New Meat
Ok how can you tell that an old school vegan put together this charcuterie board? She totally forgot the meat!
Well, when everything else is so good, who can blame?
If you do want to go that extra mile- here's an amazing recipe that is far better than any slices of anybody. It is incredible Crispy Sesame Crusted Tofu! It even looks pretty, which is half the battle of the charcuterie board game ;)
And no weird ingredients- what a win! Thanks to Sarah's Vegan Kitchen for this winner. She's got quite a few recipes for vegan meats, too.
End of story.
When it comes to bread, we are beyond fortunate to have a plethora of talented, local bakeries from which to choose- but The Bench Bakehouse has my heart (and my wallet!). Their sesame baguette is something I actually cannot get out of my mind more days than I would like to admit.
For a little crunch, we had Mary's Crackers available- widely distributed and reliable! To mix things up, here's a recipe for Rosemary Crackers by Sarah's Vegan Kitchen.
The Seed and Onion Crispbread by Truffela and crackers by Nud Fud are also fantastic options.
And just like that... you're set!
Have a wonderful season with loved ones and now that you know how, you can spread the compassion in a very tasty way.
Emma of Zimt