Christmas is only a week away and we are down to the last two Meatless Mondays of the year. Since Christmas is just days away I thought it would be the perfect time to share a quick and easy appetizer with you. This Cranberry Apple Vegan Cheese Appetizer is really quick and easy to make and is a great last minute appetizer to bring to any party. It only requires a couple of ingredients and if you don’t have time to cook there is even a quicker option with the dried cranberries. You can just pick up apples, dried cranberries, fresh rosemary, and vegan ricotta cheese. If you don’t have lemon juice, honey/bee free honey, and salt and pepper. Packed with flavor people will think it took hours but really they are a lot easier than you think to throw them together. Not to mention they’re vegan and gluten free friendly so pretty much everyone can enjoy them!
If you have a little more time you can cook cranberries with sugar to make the fresh cranberry version, you just need to have a few hours to cook them (only takes 10 minutes) let them cool. The bright red color of the cranberries makes them pop and look great on any holiday table. We get about 100 out of a batch but it’s anywhere from 75-100 bites depending on how much of the cheese mixture you add. If you don’t need as many you can do a half batch or even do half of a batch of these and half a batch of my Holli-Dates Appetizer with 1 tub of the dairy free vegan ricotta cheese (I use my fav Kite Hill I get at Whole Foods). I did that for a Thanksgiving get together last month to see which the family liked better, but they liked both. I was bummed my local Whole Foods was out of Kite Hill Ricotta when I went to grab some last weekend to make lasagna the family requested and grab a tub for Christmas appetizers. They ordered me some and couldn’t get it in and said they wouldn’t be able to until after Christmas as that is when their next shipment would be. Lucky me I stopped into another Whole Foods in town we were by yesterday on a whim and they had a whole bunch so I grabbed 3 tubs to get me through the holidays. Yes it’s that good, even the dairy eaters in the family like it.
With the holidays fast approaching I’m all about easy to make “fancy” dishes, especially this year as we have a very jam packed holiday hosting multiple get togethers, having people stay with us, and having back to back get togethers like this past weekend. My oldest and I whipped out a bunch of these in no time. I also like preparing dishes that everyone can eat regardless of dietary or allergy restrictions (we don’t have any nut allergies) and showing others that healthy whole foods can be delicious, fun, fancy and easy.
Thank you for joining my co-host Deborah and I for one of our last Meatless Mondays of the year. I will be here next week but not sure if I will be posting a round-up, best of, or a new recipe with all the holiday festivities and spending time with my family but there will be something up if you plan on linking up with us.
Cranberry Apple Vegan Cheese Appetizer
Makes about 75-100 appetizer bites
4-5 medium to large Honeycrisp apples
8oz dairy free ricotta cheese (Kite Hill Ricotta Cheese)
2 TBSP chopped fresh rosemary
pinch sea salt (Fleur de sal)
pinch fresh ground pepper
1/2c chopped dried cranberries or about 2c fresh (or frozen fresh) cranberries cooked with 1/2c sugar and water see below
1/4c lemon juice
1/4c local honey or bee free honey to drizzle, optional (Wildflower Bare Honey or Bee Free Honee)
To make with fresh cranberries you will need to cook the cranberries in sugar and water and chill before making, this will require making the cranberries 3-4 hours before assembling bites. To make the cranberries bring sugar and water to a boil. Once boiling add cranberries and simmer. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes stirring while maintaining a simmer. If the cranberries all start to pop turn the heat down a little. Remove from heat and let cool 20 minutes before pouring into a glass jar and placing in the refrigerator to cool completely.
Start by preparing your cheese. Mix ricotta cheese with rosemary, salt, and pepper. Add in the dried cranberries as well if using. Place mixture in the refrigerator while cutting the apples. Slice each apple into quarters and remove seeds, slice each quarter into 6 slices. Place slices in a large bowl of water and lemon juice to prevent apples from browning. Once all of your apples are sliced drain apples and top with about a teaspoon of the cheese mixture. We eyeballed this and is a rough estimate, the amount used will depend on how many slices you can make. We just used our hands to place mixture on apples. If adding cranberries place 2 cranberries on a toothpick and place into apples with cheese. This goes pretty quick and these can be made a couple of hours ahead of time you will just need to cover platters with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to put out. Drizzle with honey just before putting out to serve. Enjoy!This Cranberry Apple #Vegan Cheese Appetizer is a perfect last minute #holiday addition! @KiteHillCheese @MeatlessMonday #MeatlessMonday Click To Tweet
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