Before we get to the most amazing pesto recipe ever, I wanted to chat a little bit about how to purchase food and why.
We always recommend to choose local food as much as possible, organic and non-gmo, and eating according to each season.
By choosing locally grown food: you are not only supporting the local economy, you are reducing waste by the food not having to travel far to get to your home. Another important reason to choose local is so you are getting the greatest sources of nutrients that are in season where you live. Getting the nutrients from local soil has been proven to enhance the nutrient content of the vegetables and fruits you consume (even meat!).
By choosing organic and non-gmo: you are choosing to provide your body with the highest quality of nutrients available. Study after study has proven that by choosing to consume organic food you are reducing your exposure to chemicals and pesticides, as well as, providing your body with more bioavailable nutrients which nourish each cell you have. By choosing non-gmo you are making sure that you are not consuming DNA altering food; which is always the best choice!
By choosing to eat according to each season: you are making sure that your body is able to enjoy the freshest foods, on top of, nourishing your body and keeping it in alignment with what is going on around you. Here is some helpful tips:
IN SPRING, FOCUS ON TENDER, LEAFY VEGETABLES THAT REPRESENT THE FRESH NEW GROWTH OF THIS SEASON. THE GREENING THAT OCCURS IN SPRINGTIME SHOULD BE REPRESENTED BY GREENS ON YOUR PLATE, INCLUDING SWISS CHARD, SPINACH, ROMAINE LETTUCE, FRESH PARSLEY, AND BASIL.
IN SUMMER, STICK WITH LIGHT, COOLING FOODS IN THE TRADITION OF TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE. THESE FOODS INCLUDE FRUITS LIKE STRAWBERRIES, APPLE, PEAR, AND PLUM; VEGETABLES LIKE SUMMER SQUASH, BROCCOLI, CAULIFLOWER, AND CORN; AND SPICES AND SEASONINGS LIKE PEPPERMINT AND CILANTRO.
IN FALL, TURN TOWARD THE MORE WARMING, AUTUMN HARVEST FOODS, INCLUDING CARROT, SWEET POTATO, ONIONS, AND GARLIC. ALSO EMPHASIZE THE MORE WARMING SPICES AND SEASONINGS INCLUDING GINGER, PEPPERCORNS, AND MUSTARD SEEDS.
IN WINTER, TURN EVEN MORE EXCLUSIVELY TOWARD WARMING FOODS. REMEMBER THE PRINCIPLE THAT FOODS TAKING LONGER TO GROW ARE GENERALLY MORE WARMING THAN FOODS THAT GROW QUICKLY. ALL OF THE ANIMAL FOODS FALL INTO THE WARMING CATEGORY INCLUDING FISH, CHICKEN, BEEF, AND LAMB. SO DO MOST OF THE ROOT VEGETABLES, INCLUDING CARROT, POTATO, ONIONS AND GARLIC. EGGS ALSO FIT IN HERE, AS DO CORN AND NUTS.
Now on to the pesto….
Since we try to not eat meat until dinner time, coming up with unique, healthy lunches that are full of fat, plant-based protein, and veggies can be tricky. But this vegan pesto is like FLAVOR HEAVEN in my mouth!
One thing that classic pesto has in it that makes it so palatable is parmasen cheese. While this doesn’t have any dairy in it, you won’t even miss it with the nutritional yeast added. Nutritional yeast is a powerhouse of B vitamins and adds the perfect amount of “cheese” flavor to any recipe.
What I love is to make this on Mondays for the week. It lasts almost all week in a tightly sealed glass jar. I boil up some red lentil and quinoa noodles and serve this on top and it fills me up until my afternoon snack!
My boys aren’t a fan of pesto, likely because it’s green; so make this for yourself and your girlfriends! Top with red pepper flakes, which makes EVERYTHING better always. This is also a raw recipe, which provides a healthy dose of phytochemical and fresh nutrition for your cells.
The Easiest Vegan Pesto Ever
(Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Vegan)
1/4 CUP RAW CASHEWS
1/4 CUP FROZEN PEAS
1 CUP RAW SPINACH
1 TABLESPOON NUTRITIONAL YEAST
6 CLOVES GARLIC
2 TBS OLIVE OIL
2 TBSP LEMON JUICE
SALT TO TASTE
Take your cashews and peas and boil in just enough water to cover for 3 minutes. Drain almost all of the liquid except about a tablespoon and add the peas, cashews, and water to your high powdered blender or a food processor. Blend until creamy, scraping down sides as you go. Add all of the rest of the ingredients and blend until creamy, scarping down sides again. THATS IT! Seriously, so easy and delicious and full of nutrients for yo bodyyy.
Spinach: Spinach is rich in water-soluble vitamins, fat-soluble vitamins, minerals, and a wide variety of phytonutrients. It’s high in folate and rich in chlorophyll which gives the spinach it’s beautiful green color. It’s also abundant in magnesium and iron making it a great source of plant protein. It can have anti-inflammatory properties for the whole body! A true superfood!
Peas: Peas are a great vegetable to add to your recipes in the spring since they are in their prime then. Eating seasonly is super important, read about it here. Peas have great phytonutrients which is beneficial for eye and vision health. They also have a special phytonutrient that helps against stomach cancer prevention.