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Afternoon Tea is a tea ritual or meal that originated in the 1800s in Britain. Traditionally, the meal consists of savoury finger sandwiches, scones served with jam or cream, and finishes with a few sweet desserts like tea cake. It’s common to see tea served on a tiered stand so that you can work through the various “layers” of tea!
As the name would suggest, the food is enjoyed with lots of tea. Afternoon Tea was taken around 4PM with the intention of bridging the gap between lunch and dinner, which at the time could be served as late as 8PM.
Today, it is enjoyed more as a treat, or rather to celebrate special occasions versus a daily occurrence. The traditional Afternoon Tea menu is neither vegan nor gluten free friendly, so I’ve created a version that accommodates both while upping the goodness by adding California avocados.
California Avocado Afternoon Tea Ingredients
This California avocado lovers’ take on Afternoon Tea features cucumber, cream cheese and avocado finger sandwiches, a whipped avocado cream served on seed crackers with radish and chives, fresh cucumbers, a caprese stuffed avocado and some green-themed matcha bliss balls as a sweet treat to end.
We’re using California avocados for all of our avocado based dishes!!
We’re also using:
Lemons. For acidity and zing to accompany our avocado whip
Fresh cucumbers. Some raw, crunchy veg and palate cleanser
Vegan cream cheese. Use your favourite spread to substitute, if you’d like
Vegan mozzarella. A dairy-free substitute used to make our caprese stuffed avocado
Crunchy crackers. The perfect base for our avocado whip
Fresh basil. Some bright herbs for extra flavour
Olive oil. To top off our stuffed avocados
Cherry tomatoes. Mini tomatoes to fit inside our avocado!
Radish. Thinly sliced, for a nice bite
Chives. Herbs add such a nice touch to any dish
Salt and pepper. Be generous with your salt and pep, season as you see fit
You can add in any additional ingredients you’d like, I love to add some additional California avocado slices for garnish.
Why Use California Avocados?
California avocados are a perfect pairing of bountiful flavor and nutrition. I’m all about creating dishes where healthy meets nutritious and this Afternoon Tea board with California avocados is the perfect example. Heart-healthy California avocados provide “good” fats to one’s diet. I also find that incorporating healthy fats into my diet keep me feeling satiated and full longer. And, as a vegan, California avocados add creaminess and richness to dishes in lieu of dairy.
As you may know, I recently relocated to California and am taking full advantage of the abundance of the fresh produce grown here! From household backyard barbecues to grabbing a snack-on-the-go, it’s easy to incorporate foods like California avocados into your dishes for dynamic flavors and texture which result from using fruits and vegetables harvested at their peak.
P.S. California avocados are at the peak of their season from spring through summer!
3 Ways to Use California Avocados
California avocados make the perfect base for whip, or any blended recipe. We’re elevating the concept of avocado toast by whipping it with a touch of olive oil, lots of lemon juice, salt and pepper. The result is a buttery smooth texture and using a piping bag with a star tip really adds a little something extra! It’s important that your avocados are ripe when blending so that they break down easily and there are no chunks after blending.
In sandwiches or on skewers, it’s best to use California avocados that are ripe, but not *too* ripe. This way, the avocado still has a little structure and will remain intact in your sandwich, even after slicing! Or, if skewering, you’ll want to make sure the avocado chunks hold their shape nicely. They will still be delicious, creamy and rich in flavour, but will look a little nicer on your platter and be easier to eat.
Finally, for stuffed avocado dishes, use California avocados that are soft enough to be scooped with a spoon. Remove a little bit of the avocado (reserve that for your avocado whip) to make room for your fillings. You don’t want to remove too much because you’ll want to ensure there’s some avocado in every bite!
There are endless ways to use California avocados so get creative, and experiment.
Cucumber California Avocado Tea Sandwiches
These cucumber, cream cheese and avocado tea sandwiches are a refreshing and creamy finger sandwich that star as the savoury main. They are incredibly easy to put together. Simply smear some vegan cream cheese or your favourite spread on soft, sliced bread. Next, add thinly sliced cucumbers and layer on top of the cream cheese. Finally, slice your avocado into thin slices, crack some fresh black pepper and salt on top and arrange on top of the cucumbers. Finish off with your second slice of bread, trim off the crusts and then slice in half, diagonally.
California Avocado Toast Bites
For something a little more elevated than your average avocado toast, but also a little more finger-food friendly, we’re making these California Avocado Toast Bites! The base is a crunchy cracker, followed by a piping of whipped, creamy avocado cream and a garnish of crunchy radish and fresh herbs. You can really play around with your whip, adding in any ingredients you typically like in your avocado mash like chili flakes, cumin, garlic and onion. Similarly, you can play around with toppings and add nuts and seeds or other fresh veggies.
Caprese Stuffed California Avocados
A fun twist on caprese salad, these stuffed avocados are bursting with flavour. In addition to fresh, creamy California avocado, you’ll get bright flavours of cherry tomato, herbaceous basil, creamy vegan mozzarella and rich olive oil in each bite. It’s everything you love about caprese in a bite-sized, handheld bowl!
How to Assemble Afternoon Tea
To make this healthy afternoon tea, you’ll need about 15-20 minutes!
Here’s how to put it all together:
First, grab a serving board or a tiered stand if you have one.
Start with your cucumbers, slicing a few lengthwise and a handful into small circular slices for your sandwiches.
To make your finger sandwiches, spread vegan cream cheese on a slice of bread, add cucumbers, sliced avocados, salt and pepper and the other slice of bread. Slice off crusts and cut on the diagonal.
Next, in the blender, add your California Avocados, lemon juice, optional olive oil, salt, pepper and any other ingredients you’d like. Transfer into a piping bag, swirl onto crackers and garnish.
Finally, for your stuffed avocado, slice one in half, remove the pit and scoop out just a little bit of flesh to make room for the filling. Add in small vegan mozzarella balls, fresh basil, sliced cherry tomatoes and garnish with olive oil and salt and pepper.
Assemble all of your pieces on your board or tiered stand, and add your favourite green-themed dessert to finish!
Serve with lots of tea.
This afternoon tea is best served fresh and enjoyed immediately. While you can prepare some of your ingredients in advance to save some time, like the cucumbers, tomatoes, mozzarella balls, etc., you’ll want to prepping your avocado in advance to avoid oxidation.
This Avocado Lovers’ take on Afternoon Tea features avocado finger sandwiches, whipped avocado crackers and caprese stuffed avocados.
California Avocado Finger Sandwiches
4 slices of gluten free sandwich bread
1/4 cup vegan cream cheese
2 small Persian cucumbers, sliced
1 ripe, Fresh California Avocado, seeded and peeled
cracked black pepper
California Avocado Whip
1 1/2 ripe, Fresh California Avocado, seeded and peeled
1 lemon, juiced
pinch of salt
cracked black pepper
drizzle of olive oil (optional)
1–2 breakfast radishes, thinly sliced
Stuffed California Avocado
1/2 ripe, Fresh California Avocado, seeded and peeled
1/4 cup vegan mozzarella, rolled into small balls
3–4 fresh basil leaves
5–6 fresh cherry tomatoes, halved
pinch of salt
cracked black pepper
drizzle of olive oil (optional)
First, prepare sandwiches by spreading cream cheese on one slice of gluten free sandwich bread. Layer cucumber slices, followed by avocado slices and salt and pepper. Finish with your second slice of bread then cut off crusts and slice diagonally. Repeat with the remaining 2 slices of bread.
To make avocado whip, add avocado, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper to a high speed blender or food processor. Blend until completely smooth, making sure no clumps or chunks remain. Transfer into a piping bag with a star tip and pipe onto crackers. Garnish with radish and chives.
Finally, to make stuffed avocados, roll your mozarella into small balls. Scoop out some of your avocado, and add mozzarella balls, halved tomatoes and fresh basil leaves into the avocado half. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper and enjoy.
Assemble all of your elements on a board or tiered stand along with a few additional cucumber slices and dessert of choice and serve with lots of tea!
Hi there, I’m Remy! Welcome to Veggiekins Blog, home to nourishing vegan + gluten-free recipes and tips to live your best balanced and holistic life. I’m a human on a mission to empower you to be well and be kind to your mind, body and soul with the healing power of plants.
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