Kale + Walnut Pesto

I made this one night on a whim because the only fresh veg in the fridge was kale and the only nut variety left in the cupboard were walnuts. Kale is an anti-inflammatory vegetable, packed with potent antioxidants that counteract damage caused by free radicals, aids in detoxification, improves heart health and has anti-carcinogenic effects (anti cancer)!

Walnuts are a super food that contain 65% fat and 15% protein. The are packed with vitamins and essential nutrients but my favourite things about them is that they provide antioxidants that help prevent liver damage caused by chemicals, reduce inflammation, regulate sleep (produces melatonin) AND boosts immunity and your mood! That is pretty super. Oh, and great for brain health as they contain omega 3- fatty acids. I added that in because I love how walnuts look like a brain – coincidence? I think not!

I love that foods can provide us with everything our mind and body needs. Ahhh, ily food.

Anyway, pesto mixed in through pasta was a favourite of mine during my teen years and into my early 20’s. Naive ol’ ames here used to use packet gnocchi, dollop of cream and pesto in a jar.  Sounds pretty scrumptious but most packaged supermarket pesto and gnocchi contain preservative 202, canola oil, thickeners and often other nasties! (more about those ‘nasties’ on another post).

So, after I had learned this, I gave up on packaged “foods” and my diet became super bland. Soon my cravings got the better of me and I decided to see how hard it was to actually make pesto. Turns out – it’s pretty darn simple. Things that make creating pesto easier are a blender or food processor although the trusty pestle and mortar will work, it will just take alot (alot, alot) more time.

Let’s get started!  You will need:

  • 2 packed cup of organic Kale
  • 1 cup of walnuts
  • Juice from ½ lemon
  • 2 smashed garlic bulbs
  • Generous Pinch of salt flakes
  • ⅓ cup Olive oil

Let’s get cookin’:

  1. Peel and crush the garlic.
  2. Place half the olive oil into the bender with remaining ingredients.
  3. Blend on low and then pulse , adding remaining oil to reach desired consistency. You want it a little nutty and not completely blended until smooth.
  4. Mix in with your favourite cooked pasta and serve.

Pesto can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator.

Tips:

If you have a sensitive gut, massage the raw kale for a minute or two before it’s thrown into the blender.

This is delicious without cheese, but if you’re after a more traditional flavour, add ¼ cup of pecorino parmesan or for it to remain vegan, add in some nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavour.

If you did try this recipe, leave me a comment and let me know how you found it.

Ames.

Xx

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