Nothing makes me more excited than discovering new products and creating magic from them. That’s what I felt when creating The Ultimate Vegan Cheese Board with Eat Happyist Plant-Based Cheeses – get ready to create one yourself! This post is not sponsored, but cheeses were gifted to me by the company.
Spring is finally here and the weather is warming up, so last week I got together with a new company on Martha’s Vineyard, MV Cheesery, and we put together some plant-based cheese boards featuring these new vegan cheeses by Happyist.
Eat Happyist is a new company, from my long-time friends at Not Your Sugar Mamas. They were quite literally the first food company I covered for local news on the island, in 2021 for the Vineyard Gazette. Our relationship developed and we became friends over the last decade, so it was great to hear that Ky had a new company! Crafted with ingredients like organic raw cashews, coconut oil, and Himalayan sea salt, Happyist Cheese is prepared using artisanal, traditional European cheese-making practices, creating a creamy and rich flavor experience.
Today, I’m sharing, my top five tips for making a plant-based cheese board, so here we go!
Tip #1: Have a variety of cheese flavors and textures.
Making sure to have a variety of cheeses is KEY! A soft cheese + a hard cheese + an herbaceous cheese is the bare minimum I believe a cheese board should have, so for these boards, we used the Rosemary and Thyme Almond Feta, Cashew Truffle, and the Cashew Creme cheeses.
Having a variety of cheeses makes the entire experience much more pleasant because it’s like taking a small ride, tasting a bite of this and a bite of that. It allows people to taste cheeses, combine them, and discover new favorites.
Tip #2: Include something pickled – whether it’s fruits or vegetables.
Pickled, pickled, pickled – and I’m not just talking about pickles! Make sure your board has something pickled, briny, something that makes you pucker up a bit. The combination of those acids will pair extremely well with cheeses that might be on the lighter flavor spectrum.
My Twitter friend Allison Robicelli just wrote a recipe for Balsamic Pickled Grapes and I think that is my next project, because how amazing does that sound?! She states, “Quick-pickling fruit gives it an electric sweet-and-sour punch that cuts through the richness of full-fat cheese.” Mmmhm, YES, please!
Tip #3: Add a side of sea salt for finishing bites and added texture.
Again with the textures – because texture is the key to every good bite of food! For added texture, I like to add a small container of finishing sea salt on the board, like the travelers by Martha’s Vineyard Sea Salt. Pictured here is their Naughty Sea Salt blend, which has a hint of activated charcoal, which adds an earthy minerality to each bite.
Including a finishing sea salt is like having a jam on a cheese board – it allows people to tailor each bite to their liking – whether they want more sweetness or a hint of saltiness.
Tip #4: Bread and Crackers are your best friends.
Carbs, carbs, and more carbs! Crackers and bread are essential to a good cheese board. For a plant based board, make sure the crackers and bread are both vegan, so we made a simple loaf of bread (no honey or eggs in the dough) and used vegan crackers.
Tip #5: Fresh fruit provides a sweetness that balances it all.
Fresh fruit, like mandarins and figs seen here not only elevates the flavors of the board but also makes a cheese board more appealing to the eye. The colors and brightness fruit brings are unlike any other, plus fruit pairs exceptionally well with cheese.
Grapes are an obvious choice on a plant-based board, and having them in a variety of colors brings even more color to the board. As you can see on the board below, I’ve also included dried dates and marcona almonds.
Bring in dried fruits and nuts into the mix, again for texture, and you’ll have a cheese board that is perfect!
Bonus Tip: Fresh flowers!
I know this isn’t a common tip but it makes the board that much more beautiful. You can see below that even just a bit off baby’s breath creates an overall aesthetic that elevates the board. Make sure your flowers are organic if possible – you don’t want pesticides sneaking on to your board!
Here’s to hoping you recreate this Ultimate Vegan Cheese Board at home, to share with friends and family. Make sure to check out the Happyist Cheese Bundles sold online and support this woman-owned, plant-based company.
DID YOU TRY THIS? I want to see it! Follow Cooking with Books on Instagram, take a photo, and tag me in it. I love to know what you are making and how you made this recipe your own!