Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Living Christmas Tree

Here we are at the beginning of December, which is the biggest celebratory month of the entire year! In today's episode of Foodie Friday, I am sharing with you one of my most favorite and impressive holiday party appetizers, The Living Christmas Tree, which is a perfect centerpiece and healthy conversation starter for any festive occasion. Putting this tree together is also a fun way to get kids involved in helping with your party preparations!

To put together your Living Christmas Tree (page 63 of Raw For The Holidays), you'll need:

One Styrofoam Cone (they come in several sizes, so choose a larger size if you have a larger number of guests) and Toothpicks:

Holiday Themed Mini-Cookie Cutters, if desired:

Lots of Leafy Greens to cover the cone:

Use toothpicks to secure your leafy greens to the cone to create the Christmas Tree Base layer:

Clean, cut and prepare a variety of veggies with which to decorate your tree:

Decorate the Living Christmas Tree as you would a real holiday tree, using toothpicks to secure the veggies in place:

Use the Living Tree as a table decoration or centerpiece at your holiday event:

You can serve a variety of dips as an accompaniment to this veggie tree. I made a variation of the Cashew Cheddar Spread from Falling Into Raw (page 32):

For the Cheddar Spread:
1 cup raw cashews, soaked one hour & drained
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded
1 small jalapeƱo pepper, seeded
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon cashew or tahini butter
1 generous tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon raw honey
1 scant teaspoon sea salt
water, only as needed to blend

In a food processor or blender combine all ingredients until completely smooth.

I also suggest these dips to serve alongside the tree:

Pumpkin Seed Cheese Dip (Falling Into Raw - page 34)

Chipotle Hummus (Falling Into Raw - page 34)

Smokey Guacamole (Falling Into Raw - page 31)

And be sure to check out the other offerings in our Dips & Nut Pate section in the Raw Food Rehab Kitchen! There is a Live Ranch dip & an amazing walnut pate in that section that are DELISH!

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