Best selling author of Zen and Tonic: Savory and Fresh Cocktails for the Enlightened Drinker and the newly released Vegan Cheese, Simple, Delicious, Plant-Based Cheese Recipes, Jules Aron is a rising author in the fields of natural wellness, beauty, and nutrition.
She is a highly sought out wellness expert, certified yoga, qigong & traditional Chinese medicine practitioner, and a certified holistic nutrition coach that has been featured in The NY Post, The Today Show, NBC NEWS, Thrive Magazine, Well + Good NYC, Mind Body Green and is a regular contributor to Woman’s World Magazine among other national media outlets.
We’re giving away a copy of Vegan Cheese over on Instagram. Enter here!
JULES ARON | AUTHOR | HEALER | ADVENTURER
We’re big fans of your previous book, Zen & Tonic. You’ve now turned to food for your second book, specifically vegan cheese. Tell us about your interest in this and your motivation for writing a cookbook on such a specific topic.
Thank you so much!
In Zen and Tonic, my aim was to elevate the world of cocktails by swapping processed sugars and artificial flavors for elixirs infused with healthful fruits, veggies, herbs, botanicals and superfoods– making it fun and easy to truly drink to your health.
With Vegan Cheese, I wanted to tackle a topic that involved a food that just might be the hardest for people to give up when embarking on a healthy lifestyle: Cheese! Being a die hard cheese aficionado with lactose intolerance myself, I wanted to create a collection of recipes made with wholesome plant-based ingredients that would bring cheese indulgence to heightened levels.
What are some of the benefits of eating nut-milk and vegetable based cheeses versus eating dairy based cheeses?
Whether you suffer from dairy intolerance or not, enjoying dairy cheese often comes with a host of unpleasant digestive side-effects. Traditional milk-based cheese is simply hard to digest. It’s also riddled with unhealthy saturated fats.
Not only do you eliminate the digestive woes associated with dairy by choosing nut, seed and vegetables cheeses, you are also getting cheese with benefits, like good-for-you vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids like omega-3s, plus a dose of probiotics too!
But the best reason to enjoy plant-based cheeses? They totally pass the taste test! Gone are the days when casein-filled cheese-like shreds or, kinda cheese-ish slices were the only options for those who wanted dairy-free alternatives.
The 60 simple and delicious recipes in Vegan Cheese, include hard, soft, creamy, sliceable, shreddable, meltable selections that will keep you coming back for more. –And yes, I’ve taste tested on hard-core cheese lovers! (Try the Veggie Nacho Dip here.)
From cocktails to cheeses, you must throw a mean cocktail party. What are your favorite tips for entertaining?
With so many folks embracing different diets these days, its easy to get overwhelmed trying to accommodate everyone at your party. But it doesn’t have to be that way!
One thing everyone has in common in their diet, whether they realize it or not, is plant based foods. Throwing a vegan cocktail party is actually an easy way to bring people closer together.
For starters, no one needs to worry about whether they can eat something or not. It’s also more economical for the host. And if you’re worried you don’t know enough vegan recipes, think again.
Most of party snacks, dips, spreads and condiments are naturally vegetable based and those that include mayo and dairy are an easy sub.
As for DRAAANKS, keep things simple, by creating a cocktail list with no more than 3 drinks for the occasion. Otherwise, you will be stuck behind the bar all night.
To make things even easier, create a signature punch for the evening. Not only will you get to enjoy the party with your guests, you’ll also create a more communal vibe by sipping punch with each other rather than with everyone having a different cocktail.
You are also a holistic health wellness coach. How has that experience impacted how you approach food?
As a holistic health practitioner, I am a huge advocate for fresh, wholesome foods that come from the earth. I also believe that we all have the intuitive power to make the diet and lifestyle choices that serve us best.
Growing up with a French culinary chef for a mom and a creative restaurateur for a dad, my approach to food is as a passionate foodie, first and foremost. I care passionately about what goes into my body yet refuse to eat food that simply isn’t delicious.
Keeping this simple philosophy in mind, I aim to inspire others to take small, courageous steps towards their most vibrant lives, one delicious bite at a time.
You were once living a fast-paced life in NYC, but left it for a quieter and simpler life in the country. What was your motivation behind such a big change? What has that journey taught you about yourself?
I loved my city life. It was fast paced, energetic, full of adventures. I was a disciplined martial artist and a self proclaimed health junkie. Yet I lived on adrenal and fat-free yogurt. My understanding of nutrition was extreme and riddled with untruths. Years behind some of the most happening bars in New York also started to take their toll. As I crashed and burned, I took my adrenals and hormones for an intense roller coaster ride.
With much resistance, I stepped away from the hustle and bustle I called life, and rediscovered myself and my health on fifteen acres of wild bucolic land, in Upstate NY. Along the way, i learned to attune to nature and to my own body’s natural signals. By rediscovering my intuition and my senses, I began to deepen my holistic healing studies and found a sound, balanced approach to nutrition.
What do you enjoy doing on your time off, when you’re not cooking or helping to transform other people’s lives?
I like to spend time in nature. Hikes, walks, swims in the ocean, dining al fresco, all of these activities nurture my soul and replenish my well. I’m all about daily rituals that nurture well being. Herbal tea tonics, stream of consciousness writing, steamy bath soaks and sharing meals with dear friends.
What do you love most about your body as it is right now?
I love my body’s infinite wisdom.
Our bodies are always sensing and experiencing the energy of the environment in which it finds itself and translates that energy into perceptions, the strongest being physical and emotional feelings. I’m in complete awe of this intuitive connection we all have with our bodies, if we simply take the time to tune into our inner knowing.
What is one thing you haven’t done yet that you’d really like to do?
I love writing, and have two more books to look out for in 2018, yet, one thing I haven’t done that I would love the opportunity to, is create a line of herbal tonics and superfood cocktail mixers. It just might be something I need to explore!
Remember to enter our Vegan Cheese giveaway here and grab Jules’ recipe for Veggie Nacho Dip here.
To stay in the know on special events and for more delicious recipes visit her at www.julesaron.com. Connect with Jules: Instagram / Twitter / Facebook and order her books here: Vegan Cheese and Zen and Tonic.
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