JULY 2013 - GET NUTRITIOUS
Seeds and Weeds: Making Pesto with a Variety of Nuts and Greens
Pesto is an easy and nutritious summer dinner, especially when served over whole grain pasta. Like the garlic in pesto, the olive oil is beneficial in
reducing cholesterol. Olive oil is also rich in Vitamin E and antioxidants which help protect our cells from the damage of unstable molecules called free
radicals. While we are most familiar with basil and pine nut pesto, mixing up a batch of the basic recipe using various combinations of nuts and greens
will keep everyone guessing and add superfoods like kale and chard to your diet. Basil, the typical herb used in pesto offers beta-carotene, Vitamins K, A,
and iron to the diet. Kale, chard, spinach, arugula, and herbs like parsley, cilantro, and mint will add the same nutrients. Vitamin K helps blood clot,
keeps bones strong, and prevents hardening of the arteries. Beta carotene protects against cancer and aging. As a fat soluble nutrient, the olive oil and
nuts in pesto will help the body absorb the beta carotene from the greens.
Because of the high calorie and fat content of pesto, a little bit can go a long way in flavoring pasta, veggies, potatoes, and sandwiches. Pesto can also
be blended with a can of white or garbanzo beans for a flavorful green hummus.
Choose from these greens/herbs:
Mix in greens for superfood nutrition. Mix in herbs for nutrition and flavor.
Kale, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Arugula
Basil, Parsley, Cilantro, Mint
Choose from these seeds/nuts:
Walnuts, Almonds, Pecans, Pistachios, Pine Nuts, Cashews, Pepitas
Choose from these grated hard cheeses:
Parmesan, Romano, Asiago, Pecorino
Choose from these juices:
Lemon juice (try with parsley), Lime juice (try with cilantro), Orange juice (try with mint)
BASIC PESTO RECIPE
3 cups greens or herbs
1/3 – ½ cup seeds or nuts
1-2 cloves garlic
½ cup olive oil
1-2 tablespoons juice
½ cup grated hard cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Add greens, seeds, and garlic to food processor and pulse until you have a paste.
Slowly add olive oil and juice until well blended.
Add cheese, salt, and pepper and process until blended.
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