Pesto makes a great accompaniment to absolutely any pasta meal and can give the blandest of dishes a real kick. Many people assume that it’s difficult and time consuming to make but that couldn’t be further from the truth! Although traditionally prepared with a pestle and mortar you can get the same fantastic result from whizzing all the the ingredients together in a food processor! If you follow a plant-based diet then you may not have realised that you can enjoy pesto as much as everyone else due to the standard use of cheese in the recipe.
With the following selection of ingredients this isn’t something you’ll have to worry about:
2 large handfuls of basil (stems removed)
100g of macadamian nuts
1 tbsp of nutritional yeast
1/2 of one clove of garlic
100g of olive oil
1 large handful of parsley (stems removed)
So as mentioned before, all you have to do is combine all of these ingredients together in your food processor and whizz together until you achieve the consistency of pesto! You can then either store in the fridge for later use or include it immediately in your cooking.
Making your own pesto from home is the best way to really keep track of what you’re putting into your body. Many pesto sauces can be quite fattening so by making you’re own you know exactly what has gone into it! In this instance the high fat level comes from the olive oil however, this is mono-unsaturated fat which is much better for us then saturated or trans fats. Mono-unsaturated fats can actually help lower your blood cholesterol levels too.
Macadamia nuts are also high in fat but again, it’s the healthy monounsaturated kind. They are also a fantastic source of protein and contain all of the essential amino acids. As you may already know, protein is essential for muscle growth as well as for keeping your immune system healthy. Because of their high antioxidant content, it’s important to include nuts in your diet and the Macadamia variety are a tasty choice!
Including garlic in your pesto recipe will give it that extra little bit of flavour as well as boosting the nutritional profile. Garlic isn’t difficult to grow for yourself so you can easily have a fresh store at your fingertips. There is an abundance of vitamins and minerals in garlic, such as iron, potassium, magnesium, calcium, zinc and manganese. It also contains selenium which helps keep the heart in optimum condition.
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