Real Food Rehab

No rigid rules, labels or dogmas.... just REAL food, for your body, mind & soul!


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 jalapeño pepper, seeded
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon cashew or tahini butter
1 generous tablespoon nutritional yeast
2 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!

Click Here for entire Food Friday Collection!

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Penni you brighten my day!!!
OMG that is soooooo cute!
I love these recipes. Will use it for our small group at church potluck on the 19th. thanks
Awesome idea! I am definately going to use this idea... thanks :)
Oh've sparked ideas for me. I've got a great collection of cookie cutters and now that I no longer bake cookies...I can use them for fun things. I've got the bakelite vintage cutters in awesome fun shapes. Happy Holidays everyone! Thanks for the reallyh nice post : )
O Christmas Tree, O christmas Tree
How lovely are your branches!! : )

Sing it LOUD with me! : )
Oh Penni ! You continue to AMAZE!!!! :)
Super Cool!
UR just 2 Koooool Penni, thank me lots od ideas. Hugs 4 the Holidays...geri
I just absolutely love this as a gift when visiting friends and family.
Everyone always takes wine and cheese, but imagine one of these?
Not only is it beautiful, but healthy and something I can eat!
Love you Penni :)
OMG! This is sooooooo beautiful! It's a wonderful idea....thanks Penni.
geeze, too cute!!!

love it!

and more inspiration for me to go raw.....ugh, still have not got my booty into gear to get going on it, but i am going more vegetarian and vegan now---so that's progress...

looking at your cheddar spread reminds me of the sauce i put on kale before i make them into yummy.....but would be an amazing dip as well.....

i tell ya, i just need to keep hopping on this site...

and ps, it's not a lack of willingness to go raw, it's just that my time is so limited to explore it right now with two small kiddos and their endless stream of activities!

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