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Rainbow Snack Platter

A divine riot of colour; creamy hummus paired perfectly with the crunchiest of crudités, skewered mushrooms and other delicious nibbles. This rainbow snack platter is perfect for parties, lunches, or just because!

christmas holiday snacks

Family is ever so important to me, especially at this time of year. However getting everyone together in Cape Town for a meal has some stressful points. These days someone is bound to have allergies, avoiding gluten, or going vegan. In my life as a private chef I often need to navigate large groups of people with varying dietary needs. To me the secret seems to be delivering something absolutely delicious that doesn’t feel restrictive, something everyone will eat, and love. Vegans and those with food intolerances often tell me how nice it is to be considered in the general meal and not be resigned to a side plate, hodgepodge, afterthought of things that fit their diet needs.

Some of you may remember from previous posts, my vision for this season was to showcase a Christmas spread that would appeal to everyone. It’s the time of year for family and togetherness after all. So get ready for a seasonal, earth friendly, sometimes vegan, feast of simple, time savvy recipes for the whole family to gather around.

The hero of this recipe is undoubtedly the hummus. If you find yourself a bit swamped and unable to make your own just buy a large tub, halve it, add the roasted carrot and beet to each half and blend until smooth. If you are going to go all out and make your own (go you!) it can be made 2-3 days in advance. Just leave the veg separate to blend on the day as I find the pickled beets can make the dish turn faster than usual. I am a huge fan of hummus and could probably fill a paddle pool with it if I add up the number of times I have made it. Traditionally hummus starts with dried chickpeas which you soak overnight, and you need to INDIVIDUALLY peel off the outer skins after cooking them. I feel no sane person has time for this usually, and my go to recipe has become a riff on Bon Appetit’s mind blowing hummus recipe by Michael Solomonov. The trick- canned chickpeas and bicarbonate soda. The cooking of the chickpeas until mush, plus the addition of the bicarb (which helps break them down) lends itself to super creamy hummus. The other trick is allowing the garlic to mellow in the acidic lemon juice, which like in ceviche, “cooks” out the harsh taste.

Todays recipe is effortlessly adaptable to certain dietary restrictions as it’s vegan and gluten free. For those with nut allergies, the hummus is made with tahini, a rich and delicious sesame paste, and the nuts can be swapped out for more root veggie crisps. If no one in your family is vegan go all out and baste those mushroom skewers in garlic butter instead.

This snack platter is part of our Inclusive Christmas Feast range of recipes. Pair it with our Ultimate Crispy Risotto Balls for an informal and relaxed starter with drinks. This platter would pair particularly well with any of our Christmas cocktails, but the Pineapple Chili Margarita is a personal fave here.

If you try this recipe, let us know how it goes! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag your photo #theculinarycartel on Instagram so we can see what you come up with. Happy cooking!

Frequently Asked Questions

What else can I add to my snack platter?

Dairy-free cheese and pickles are lovely additions!


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christmas holiday snacks

Rainbow Snack Platter

  • Author: Jess Bunn
  • Total Time: 30 Minutes
  • Yield: 4 - 6 Servings
  • Diet: Vegan


A divine riot of colour; creamy hummus paired perfectly with the crunchiest of crudités, skewered mushrooms and other delicious nibbles. This rainbow snack platter is perfect for parties, lunches, or just because!




  • 1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large pinch bicarbonate of soda
  • 12 lemons juiced (about 1/4 cup, reserve extra for later)
  • 1 tsp sliced garlic
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup of tahini
  • ice cold water
  • pinch of cumin
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
  • 100g cooked beetroot in vinaigrette (you can buy this or simply boil peeled beets cut into wedges until soft)
  • smoked chili flakes (optional)
  • rainbow sprouts (optional)

Mushroom Skewers

  • 250g portobellini mushrooms, halved
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

Snacks and Dippers

  • crudités (carrots, celery, snap peas, tomatoes…whatever you fancy)
  • crispy things (nuts, crackers, veg crisps)


  1. Start by adding your peeled carrots, chopped into 2cm chunks, into a pot of cold water. Salt the water to taste, and cook on high until the carrots are soft. If you are making this on Christmas day, you can just throw the carrot chunks in with your roast potatoes to cook until soft.
  2. In another pot, cover your chickpeas in boiling water and add the pinch of bicarb. Boil for 10 minutes, before straining and running under cold water to cool down.
  3. While the chickpeas cook, prepare your crudités. Cut your tomatoes into bite-sized pieces, peel and halve your carrots and snap peas etc.
  4. Next, skewer your halved mushrooms onto cocktail skewers, and set them aside.
  5. Next make your basic hummus. Blend your garlic and your lemon juice together until fine, using a food processor, nutribullet or stick blender.
  6. Add the tahini and 3Tbsp iced water to the mixture and blend until combined, light and fluffy. If your tahini was quite thick, you may need to add a tablespoon or 2 of extra iced water until you reach the consistency of pouring cream.
  7. Add the chickpeas and blend until very smooth, about 1-2 minutes, adding more water as needed to help the blending process (try to add as little as possible). Season the hummus with salt to taste.
  8. Spoon out half the hummus, and to the remaining half add the soft, drained carrots. Blend until smooth and add more salt and extra lemon juice as required. Spoon the carrot hummus into a serving bowl, sprinkle with smoked chili flakes and rainbow cress and set aside.
  9. Add the remaining hummus to the blending jug, and add the precooked beets. Blend until smooth and add more salt and extra lemon juice as required. Spoon the beet hummus into a serving bowl and set aside.
  10. Heat a frying pan over high heat. While the pan heats, finely grate the garlic into the olive oil and add a pinch of salt and pepper.
  11. Brush the mushrooms with the garlic oil and fry on all sides, basting as needed, until golden and cooked through. Have a taste (best part of being the chef) and add more salt and pepper if need be.
  12. Assemble your platter, swirling the veg and crisps to make everything look extra yum and festive.

Happy cooking!


Chefs tip: The platter can be assembled in the morning and covered until needed in the fridge. Crisps and crackers should be added right before serving, and the mushroom skewers can be popped in a warm oven to reheat.

  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Category: Dips & Sauces
  • Method: Blender
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 258.48kcal
  • Sugar: 4.77g
  • Sodium: 220.78mg
  • Fat: 18.88g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.61g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 15.24g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 17.96g
  • Fiber: 4.14g
  • Protein: 8.31g
  • Cholesterol: 0g

Keywords: Rainbow Snack Platter

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One Response

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