Meet Jules Harris, the master of pesto!
(*And a vegan food ambassador.)
WHERE DID JULES START?
Jules had a small farm in the wilderness where she started growing shiitake mushrooms and standing every Saturday at the Wild Oats Farmers Market selling her shiitake mushrooms. One day a woman told her about how she heard that shiitake mushrooms had some health benefits in fighting cancer/leukemia and was wondering if there was any way she could make or change the shiitake mushroom’s taste to make it more sustainable flavour for her child. Jules experimented at home by blended her Shiitakes into a cheese-free pesto and bam the first pesto was born!
Later she moved to Cape Town, with some ups and downs, Real Food Factory now has their own manufacturing plant, along with the new Food Lover’s Vegan pesto range.
With all the amazing flavours that are in the different pestos from Hemp seeds, Coriander, Basil, Rocket, Shiitake Mushrooms, and Sundried Tomatoes. Each jar has just enough of the pesto magic you need to make some great dishes.
All the pestos are:
- 100% vegan
- Ingredients are from local farmers within a 600km radius (*excluding the Hemp seeds as this we need to import from other countries.):
- Coriander – a woman farmer in Hopefield
- Basil – 6 different growers around the Western Cape
- Shiitake – 12 growers all over the country
- Olive Oil – an organic farm in Stellenbosch
- 80% tree nuts (pecans, macadamias, but NO peanuts), so if you have nut-allergies please be aware.
- Currently Working towards their Halaal Certification
HEMP SEEDS AND THE FLAVOURS?
The Hemp seed & Coriander is one of Jule’s favourite out of the bunch, as the Hemp seed she uses in her pesto is crushed inside of the actually raw seed, that has the highest amino acid out of all the seeds and this is good when you need a little amino acid boost, especially for people who are living the Vegan-life.
The Hemp & Coriander pesto is always best to use for a baste as it has a unique flavour to it. Where as the Shiitake mushrooms and Sun-dried Tomatoes have more of a deeper taste that can bring a dish together.
QUICK, EASY MEALS WITH A BIT OF PESTO:
- “In just three minutes you can have a delicious vegan dish, by rubbing a bit of the shiitake mushrooms and sun-dried pesto through some cous-cous, a little of hemp cheese on the top and “bam” a three minute delicious dish.”
- Toss it through your pasta
- Mix it with coconut milk for a salad dressing drizzle
- Add it to your veg burger or toss it through your roast vegetables
- Add it to your sandwich or cracker snack
- Add it to your buddha bowl with quinoa and vegetables
Your dish does not have to be vegan or plant-based, the pestos are for anyone (including Vegans). There are so many different ways to incorporate the pesto, the possibilities are endless.
TIPS ALONG THE WAY FROM A GROWING (FEMALE) ARTISAN, SLOW-FOOD PRODUCER:
From selling your product at Saturday markets to deciding to go invest more in the future of your brand. Jule’s had some ups and downs in the last seven years but she never gave up on her dreams as she had confidence in her product and herself, with the motivation of her amazing team she had built over the past seven years. She knew one day everyone will be adding some pesto magic to their dishes. If you think you have what it takes to make you product a household name then here are a few tips Jule’s wants you to keep in mind.
- Tip 1: Find the right people to surround yourself with. People that will help you and your brand with the things you are not 100% sure how to do yourself.
- Tip 2: Make sure when going to meet companies you want to collaborate with, you know your stuff. If you are able to give them the facts and be passionate about then you can knock it out of the park.
- Tip 3: Stand your ground but also be willing to compromise when need be.
You can find four of Jule’s pesto in our Food Lover’s Market stores in our Food Lover’s brand:
- Basil Pesto
- Sun-dried Tomato & Shiitake Pesto
- Coriander & Hemp Seed Pesto
- Rocket & Hemp Seed Pesto
*Available in Western Cape & Inland regions. Launching in KZN & Eastern Cape from March 2020.
Go on and enjoy some pesto in your dishes, and for those trying out a plant-based meal once a week – these are new flavours you will crave again!