Vegan almond pate is a smooth, creamy, rich pate kissed with silky olive oil, fresh thyme, ginger, and garlic. It’s a versatile pantry item that can be sliced or spread easily. Its real beauty though, is the sensational Chinese five-spice mix that sets it apart.
⭐ Why it works
- Quick recipe.
- Five-spice seasoning.
- Protein from almonds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds.
- Hearty, rich spread for appetizers, wraps, and party plates.
- Vegan alternative to animal-based pates.
This almond pate has a captivating flavor because it includes a seasoning I was introduced to when I worked at an award-winning French restaurant. There, our chef was fond of Chinese five-spice.
While I never knew the exact recipe for his pates and terrines, I could recognize some of the five Chinese spices in the appetizers we served. Back then, I thought the intriguing warm spices were the best part of the pate. Well, that and a good baguette.
It was easy to transition to a vegan pate with that seasoning as a start. Almonds provided a delicious base; all the pate needed was a touch of garlic, ginger, and olive oil to round out the deep, meaty flavor of the second key ingredient; plant-based liquid aminos.
- Almonds - untoasted and unseasoned.
- Sunflower seeds - plain and raw.
- Pumpkin seeds - also raw and unseasoned like the almonds and sunflower seeds.
- Five-spice - Make your own for intense aroma and fresh flavor.
- Ginger root - Crisp, raw ginger root.
- Thyme - fresh and not dried.
- Liquid aminos - Bragg's is loaded with umami. It's vegan, non-GMO, and gluten-free.
- Olive oil - Extra-virgin, mellow olive oil.
- Soak - almonds together with pumpkin and sunflower seeds overnight.
- Grind - Chinese five-spice powder.
- Process - almond pate ingredients until smooth.
- Stir in - fresh thyme leaves.
- Vitamix - I especially like the tall and narrow chamber of my Vitamix 5200 machine for this task.
- Tamper - One of the best features of the Vitamix 5200 is that it comes standard with a long tamper.
You might be wondering why you need a Vitamix to make this recipe and if you could use a blender or food processor instead. The answer is yes and no.
The high-powered motor and the tamping tool included with Vitamix are what handle the hard nuts and process the thick mixture into a fluffy, smooth spread.
Ordinary blenders or food processors will grind the soaked almonds and seeds but will leave a grainier texture. This is fine if you want the delicious seasonings in the almond pate and don't mind the coarser consistency.
In case it's handy, here are two machines on par with Vitamix:
There are many more high-powered blenders, but these two are good examples because they both come with a tamper or have one that can be purchased separately.
💭 What's in five-spice?
You can buy Chinese five-spice powder at the store. However, I am convinced purchasing fresh whole spices and grinding them at home will elevate your almond pate as well as any other recipes you use them in.
So, I have included instructions in the recipe on how to make your own five-spice powder. If you are like me, you will enjoy the reward of having a small fresh jar in the cupboard.
👩🏻🍳 DIY spice mix
You can easily make Chinese five-spice powder by grinding whole spices in an electric spice mill or coffee grinder. Break cinnamon sticks into smaller pieces and add the other spices whole to your machine.
Grind the whole spices for one minute or until you have a uniform powder. Sift your mixture and transfer it to a small container with a lid once it's cool.
🍽 Serving suggestion
Learning a little about the French pates that inspired this vegan recipe led me to an exciting discovery. Because French pate is one of the foods that has assimilated into Vietnamese cuisine, it is traditionally included in the iconic banh mi sandwich.
I had been searching for some time for a more flavorful ingredient than tofu to make a top-notch vegan banh mi. Once I created this scrumptious almond pate recipe, my wish was fulfilled.
For the ultimate experience, enjoy this meaty almond pate in my Banh Mi Sandwich complete with homemade quick-pickle and lemongrass spread.
👩🏻🍳 Expert tips
- Read - your manufactures manual before using any appliance to process thick pate or grind spices. That way, you won't run the risk of harming your equipment.
- Vitamix - machines should not be used to process thick mixtures at low speed. Turn the setting all the way to high as soon as the mixture begins to move in the blades.
- Shape - your pate by lightly greasing a dish with olive oil and fitting the bottom with a piece of parchment paper. Pack the pate in, chill for 3 hours, and release by running a butter knife around the inside edge of the dish.
- Garnish - molded pate or serving bowls of pate with fresh thyme sprigs and cracked pepper.
No. Use raw and unseasoned seeds and almonds for the pate. It will be better seasoned with the recipe ingredients and have a fresher taste.
Yes. They will soften enough to blend well in a Vitamix or equivalent machine. Ideally, select a device that has a tamping tool that can be used while blending.
🍲More Vitamix Recipes
I would be thrilled to know if you tried this recipe! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #poppyswildkitchenrecipes on Instagram. Aloha!
Vegan Five-Spice Almond Pate
- 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
- ⅓ cup raw almonds
- ⅓ cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1 clove garlic, sliced
- 1 TB peeled, finely chopped ginger
- 2 TB Braggs Liquid Aminos
- 2 TB extra virgin olive oil
- 1 ¼ tsp. Chinese five-spice
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, divided
Homemade Five Spice Powder
- 5 whole star anise pods
- 1 ¼ tsp. whole cloves
- 1 whole stick cinnamon
- 1 TB fennel seeds
- 1 TB whole Sichuan peppercorns
Homemade Chinese Five Spice Powder
- Place spice ingredients in a small spice mill or coffee grinder and blend to a uniform powder. The spices grind quickly, usually in under a minute. Once the powder is uniform, allow it to cool, and transfer the spice blend to a storage container with a lid.
Seed and Nut Pate
- Place seeds and nuts in a quart jar and fill it with water. Soak overnight in the refrigerator.
- Next day, rinse and drain well.
- Put drained seeds and nuts in a Vitamix or equivalent machine with all the remaining ingredients except thyme leaves.
- Start the Vitamix on low speed and grind briefly to begin moving the mixture. Turn Vitamix up to the highest speed and use the tamper to blend the pate until about two-thirds of the almond pate is smooth.
- Stop the machine and stir down the pate. Repeat blending on high and stirring down until the almond pate is smooth and fluffy.
- Transfer pate to a bowl and stir in freshly chopped thyme leaves. Reserve a few to decorate pate when serving.
- If you want to slice pate, lightly grease the sides of a mold and line the bottom with parchment paper. Pack the almond pate in firmly and press out any air bubbles. Chill for three hours and remove from the mold by running a butter knife around the inside edge of the dish.