Holiday season is probably the worst time (except maybe when travelling) to be vegan. Unless your whole family is vegan or really well informed and open minded, but that, unfortunately is not the case with most families, there will be questions asked and eyebrows raised. Vegetarian is odd enough, but when you say no to everything containing animal produce, that tends to turn you into an full on eccentric.
Your close family members may have already made peace with your choice (to make this world a better place), but there will always be an aunt, cousin, brothers girlfriend etc. confused as to why you don't 'just try a little bit of that cake' she worked hard to prepare.
So, what can you do? You could have a speech about the suffering of animals and the planet, but it may not be the best Xmas dinner subject;). Better way would be to bring your own food, and bring enough so you can share with everyone. Make something they won't believe is vegan and so tasty. Like chocolate! Everybody loves chocolate:).
Last few weeks I've been working on perfecting this vegan chocolate recipe. I made this batch with hazelnuts and cardamom, but if cardamom is not your thing you can skip it. You can also use other nuts instead of hazelnuts as well as raisins or other dry fruit. Use rice poppies if you are a fan of rice chocolate crunch. It's easy and fun, plus you know exactly what's in it.
Hazelnut cardamom chocolate
50g cacao butter
2 spoonfuls of raw cacao powder
1/2 spoonful of brown sugar*
cacao beans or nibs (for crunch)
* if you eat honey you can use it to sweeten instead, however note honey is not considered vegan
Melt cacao butter in a glass bowl over steam. Add sugar and let it melt, than add raw cacao powder. This will take a few minutes, leave on steam until everything melts and you get a nice even liquid.
I used this rubber ice cube tray with sea shell shapes to make chocolate candy. Place one roasted hazelnut in each shape and add your warm cacao liquid in each. Add some cacao nibs in each one and some green cardamom seeds (just one or two little seeds ones you open the green pod).
Leave it to cool to room temperature for a bit, than place in the fridge.
That's it! Enjoy:)