Veganism, the practice of excluding all animal products from one’s diet, is on the rise. According to a report by GlobalData, there's been a 600% increase in people identifying as vegan in the United States alone over the past three years. In 2014, only 1% of US consumers said they were vegan. Today that number stands at 6%.
The rise in veganism means it’s likely you know someone who is one, and if you're hosting a large event, you'll have to accommodate vegan dietary needs. While it seems like a hassle to have to ensure there are dishes for people with all the different dietary restrictions out there - kosher, gluten-free, sugar-free, paleo, dairy-free, vegetarian, vegan, and so forth - it doesn’t have to be. Let’s look at some easy ways you can make the vegans attending your event happy, even down to the coffee!
If your appetizers generally revolve around a large cheese platter, don't worry. Just pick up some vegan cheeses and create a second platter (properly labeled of course) for your vegan guests! Many of the appetizers you would serve to non-vegan guests, such as fresh fruit or vegetable trays, are naturally vegan as well. You also can't go wrong with hummus, guacamole, and pita chips, or a cool and creamy vegan Tzatziki. Most bread (except eggy ones) are vegan as well. Offer fresh baguettes that guests can tear chunks from and dip in olive oil for a dish everyone will love.
For main courses, in many instances, the same courses you'd serve a vegetarian (as long as they are dairy and egg free) can be served to vegan guests as well. If you're looking for something the whole crowd can enjoy, how about a build your pizza bar? You can provide all the traditional toppings for the regular folks and vegan cheeses and meats for your vegan guests. Other good choices are vegan burgers, black beans, and brown rice, roasted or steamed veggies with couscous, lentil soup, and zucchini stuffed with chickpeas and mushrooms.
Fortunately, many sweet treats, like dark chocolate and fresh fruit, are naturally vegan. You can also find vegan pastries and cakes at most bakeries these days. There’s vegan ice cream as well and even vegan whipped cream, so you can offer vegan sundaes if you like! You’ll find there are a wide array of vegan desserts that taste just as delicious as their non-vegan counterparts.
Hiring a Caterer
If you decide you rather hire a caterer rather than cater your event yourself, you’ll find that most are happy to provide vegan options. Like any caterer, make sure there is a tasting and that they are clear on what vegan means. If possible, go over acceptable and non-acceptable ingredients with them just to be sure.
Accommodating vegan diets is not at all difficult. You’ll be surprised at how many of the foods you already enjoy are vegan and how delicious many other vegan dishes can be. Don’t be afraid to try them, you may find some new favorites
If throwing a vegan event has sparked your interest don't forget it takes a lot of hard work and planning. But, hemp seeds can make it a lot easier to make everyone happy. I never met a person who doesn't enjoy eating and trying out new hemp foods. Make sure to check out all our hemp products, guaranteed to impress your family and friends.
Now go throw your first Vegan Event and don't forget to send us an invite!