A vegan Swedish Christmas feast

December 11, 2018 6:23 am Published by 1 Comment

Are you ready for a slightly unusual take on Christmas – one that will introduce you to some amazing new foods and flavours, using absolutely no animal products at all? Here’s Naturally Good Food’s guide to hosting a vegan Swedish Christmas feast!

We've got recipes and ideas for a vegan Swedish Christmas smorgasbord!

Why Swedish? Well, our previous general manager, Maria, was half-Swedish (and also vegan). Before she left NGF, she bombarded us with recipes for Swedish dishes. She told us all about Swedish Christmases – the Christmas Eve smorgasbord, the goblets of glogg, the magic almonds hidden in rice puddings, the terrifying Tomte gnome. We begged her to send just a few of her Swedish Christmas recipes to us.

Here they are. They’re the very spirit of a Swedish Christmas, to be eaten, perhaps, in a little red cottage in a snowy pine forest, alight with candles, with your family gathered around a freshly cut and decorated tree.

The feast (smorgasbord) takes place on Christmas Eve. There are no half-measures to it either: the Tomte gnome will plague your cattle if you don’t put on a good show (though luckily, he can be bought off with a saffron bun – see below). And while you may not actually have any cattle, it’s as well to be careful. Or as they say in Swedish: Alla känner apan, men apan känner ingen.

And why vegan? We have hundreds of customers who eat a vegan diet and we try to cater for all their needs. It’s a diet that needs careful attention to ensure you obtain all the vitamins and minerals, protein and fibre your body requires. With our great range of wholefoods, and speciality vegan products, Naturally Good Food is well-placed to help you out. And like anyone following a special diet, this is a time of year when you don’t want to be left out of any of the festivities.

Now – off to the smorgasbord!

Our smorgasbord

As is traditional, we’re putting all the dishes on the table together. Choose whichever one you fancy most!

Janssons Frestelse: ‘I can’t wait to taste the Janssons!’ shriek the Swedes, as they head for the main event – Janssons Frestelse (Janssons Temptation), a dish described as ‘pure comfort food bliss’ and ‘the most beloved’ of all traditional Swedish dishes. Traditionally made with anchovies layered in a potato gratin, baked with lots of cream, this vegan version uses potatoes, onions, mushrooms and vegan cream. Maria says she adds mixed chopped peppers to it and recommends Oatly for the cream element.

Christmas Eve rice pudding: cook 2 cups of pudding rice in 3 cups of water for 10 minutes. Add 1 tsp salt and 6 cups of dairy-free milk, then simmer on a low heat until the mixture has a soft, thick consistency. Stir in 1 dessertspoon of sugar and 1 cup of dairy-free cream. Add a sprinkle of sugar and a touch of cinnamon – and then hide a whole almond somewhere in it. Whoever finds the almond will marry the next year (absolutely guaranteed).

Swedish potato balls: mashed potato mixed with Orgran egg replacer and flour, served with a sauce made from lingonberries (or, in the UK, more likely cranberries).

Roasted brussel sprouts and sweet potato medley: a colourful side-dish.

Vegan chocolate balls: these balls are incredibly more-ish.

Swedish coffee bread: a Christmas tradition, this bread is shaped like a wreath and filled with sugar and spice. Replace the dairy butter with non-dairy fat.

Gronsaksbullar: vegan meatballs, made with chickpeas and served in a mustardy sauce.

Kroppkakor: dumplings with a mushroom filling, served with lingonberries or lingonberry jam (or cranberries). Maria uses this recipe, with non-dairy margarine and egg replacer powder. A bowl of baby potatoes cooked with dill, served with oatly cream with chopped fresh dill.

And to drink, some steaming goblets of….

Glogg: rich with cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, orange, sugar, raisins, almonds, Muscatel, port and brandy, a glass of this should be enough to see off any gnomes.

(But if they’re still troublesome, try some of these bad boys as well – saffron buns.)

Vegan or not, Swedish or not, we wish God Jul to all our customers!

Naturally Good Reads v2

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This post was written by Yzanne

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