Alicia Silverstone does not lack for celebration during the holidays—she dives right into Hanukkah and Christmas. Beyond the obvious joy and merriment each holiday presents, she also hopes to instill a sense of tradition and respect for her family’s mixed heritage in her young son, Bear. The vegan actress, entrepreneur, and supermom graciously set aside her hectic schedule to chat all things holiday—from travel essentials to challah recipes.
VegNews: Do you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah?
Alicia Silverstone: I have a connection and appreciation for my Jewish upbringing, and Bear is thrilled about this heritage. It’s so sweet and innocent! We’re still searching for a Temple that feels like home to us. Hanukkah usually entails making latkes together, playing dreidel, celebrating with loved ones, lighting the menorah, and giving some treats/gifts. Vegan gelt, rescued farm animal sponsorship, and an admit-one ticket to Crossroads Kitchen were Hanukkah gifts given to Bear last year.
VN: What is on your wish list this year?
AS: I want the world to change—for people to be kind to each other, for animals to stop suffering, and the planet to heal. My wish is that people will wake up to our climate crisis and the connection between the state of the planet and their diet.
VN: What makes a great vegan-friendly gift?
AS: I always aim to give something that’s needed or will be well-loved! There is way too much material stuff produced on this planet, and it all requires our earth’s precious resources. For this reason, I first remind myself less is more! I’m a fan of DIY, experiential, and donation gifts—this might look like a homemade batch of cookies, tickets to the theater, or sponsoring a farm animal in honor of my loved one. If I do want to purchase something new, I vote with my dollars and aim to support items that are vegan, cruelty-free, non-toxic, eco-friendly, and utilize earth-friendly packaging.
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VN: Do you ever try to convert a non-vegan friend by gifting them a vegan item?
AS: I love gifting my books, The Kind Diet and The Kind Mama, along with mykind Organics—the vitamin line I co-founded. It’s the perfect gift of health and the only vitamin line that is vegan, certified organic, non-GMO verified, all food-based, and contains no fillers or binders. Plus, the sprays and gummies taste darn delicious!
VN: What are some of your go-to blogs or cookbooks for holiday baking and cooking?
AS: Some of my go-to holiday dishes are featured in The Kind Die—like Warm Spicy Wine, Thanksgiving Tofu, and Candied Ginger Pears. For more holiday-inspired cooking I look to Vegan Holiday Cooking from Candle Café. I also enjoy Open-Eyed Heart-Wide Haggadah by Debra Jill Mazer.
VN: What is your favorite holiday beverage?
AS: I love glogg—mulled wine! It’s a wonderful winter treat and especially good for holiday parties.
VN: Lentil loaf or seitan roast?
AS: It really depends on the recipe! For Hanukkah last year, I made this amazing version of a seitan roast/brisket. It took about six hours and it was special, but I’m not sure I need to make it again! Same deal with lentil loaf—I’ve had both delicious and not so delicious.
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VN: Favorite holiday cookie?
AS: I have two! Chocolate Dipped Shortbread and Oatmeal, Walnut, and Dried Plum cookies from The Kind Diet.
VN: You seem to have a recipe for everything! Do you make your own challah?
AS: I have indeed made challah before, and the recipe is on my website!
VN: Do you ever travel for the holidays? What are your vegan essentials when you’re on the go?
AS: I have a few! I love CRYSTAL deodorant; myKind Organics Vitamin C Cherry Tangerine, B12 sprays, Women’s Multi Gummies, and Sleep Well spray; Giovanni’s 50:50 Balanced Shampoo & Conditioner; and David’s Natural Toothpaste. I also always take a small travel-friendly container of umeboshi plums, umeboshi plum vinegar, and flaxseed oil.
Tanya Flink is a Digital Editor at VegNews as well as a writer and fitness enthusiast living in Orange County, CA.
Photo credit: Alicia Silverstone