SUPERFOOD VEGAN PESTO

So one is the things I miss the most about being dairy free is pesto sauce and dip (apart from missing chocolate too!)
I found a few different recipes for pestos, so I played around with ingredients and made my own! Packed with broccoli and spinach for lots of magnesium, protein, vitamins, zinc and calcium plus yummy parsley and basil. To read more about the healthy facts and benefits these ingredients have on your body, scroll down to the bottom (I don’t want to take too much of your time if you just want to get straight to the recipe!)

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 head broccoli chopped (uncooked)
  • 1 bunch parsley (no stems)
  • 1 bunch basil (no stems)
  • Half a handful of raw cashews (you can use pine nuts or walnuts too)
  • A handful or 2 of your favourite spinach
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  •  Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil depending on the consistency you like
  • If you aren’t vegan and want to add in some Parmesan cheese, you can grate in 30-60g and mix through

METHOD

  1. Roughly chop broccoli and blend in Thermomix for 10 seconds, speed 6. Scrape sides down and repeat 2 or 3 times until broccoli is puréed (I use aThermomix  but you can use a normal blender if you don’t have a Thermo!)
  2. Add basil, parsley, spinach, juice from lemon, garlic and oil to the bowl and blitz for 5 seconds, speed 6-7. Scrape down and repeat 5-19 times until mixture is puréed
  3. Add cashews, salt and pepper and blitz for 10 seconds, speed 7
  4. Done! This made enough for me to pop some in a container and use as a dip and also cook up some zoodles and toss the sauce through with some cherry tomatoes. Yum!!

Benefits of these superfoods…

Parsley is very highly regarded in Ayuveic medecine due to it’s effect on the digestive system. It is a natural diuretic, but it allows for the excretion of water to flush out toxins but does this without losing electrolytes. It also increases the body’s ability to absorb magnese and is high in Eugenol, an oil that naturally decreases unwanted bacteria in the gut and we all know a healthy gut bacteria is the key to a healthy body and mind!

Basil is also regularly used in Ayuveic medecine and helps to cleanse the respiratory tract, in turn reducing bloating and gasses. It is also a strong antiseptic and fights agains bacteria and parasites. Basil is very high in antioxidants which help to reduce the effects of stress on the body, which will in turn help to lower cortisol levels and inflammation – perfect to help with skin conditions such as ezhema, psoriasis, irritable bowel etc.

We all know that broccoli is a superfood, but why?! Broccoli can lower your cholesterol – it binds with the bile in your stomach and makes it easier for acids to be excreted, which results in lower cholesterol levels.

Broccoli is also high in vitamins K, A and D. Many people are deficient in vitamin D, and eating your vitamins is much more beneficial for the body than taking supplements. It is also high in flavonoids that help to reduce inflammation. This combined with the Euganol in the parsley makes this pesto recipe one that is truely GOOD for your body!

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