Kale Pesto Recipe
Story by Beth Mincher
“Raw” king fresh greens in summer will give your body a boost of energy and keep you in tune with the season, which in turn helps your body function at a more optimal level. Eating raw or uncooked foods in summer coincides with beating the summer heat. Just as your body wants to cool down amidst the scorching summer sun, eating raw gives you the opportunity to absorb more nutrients from your uncooked, non-heat-processed foods. When you decrease the amount of processed foods in your diet and increase the amount of fresh, raw fruits and vegetables, your body composition can change. You may notice a more vibrant complexion and glow. In addition, you keep your oven off and keep your house cool.
Kale is high in vitamins A, C, K and E and also has a high mineral content for manganese, iron, calcium and potassium. It even has a significant protein value and is packed with phytochemicals that have been linked to cancer prevention. The true start of kale season is mid-summer, and the good news is that it continues to thrive all the way through December. So keep this recipe handy for summer and fall dishes.
The perks of this recipe are the incorporation of almonds, olive oil and garlic. Adding olive oil, which has heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, to your greens actually helps your body absorb the nutrients from the greens even more. Almonds are the healthiest of tree nuts, adding an extra source of good fat and protein.
There has been some concern or caution about eating raw, cruciferous vegetables in extreme quantities (such as an all raw food diet), as it can affect your thyroid function and the body’s use of iodine. However, as long as you add these foods to your diet wisely (one cup a day) and eat supportive foods with iodine (like iodized sea salt, seaweed, saltwater fish and shellfish) this should not be an issue.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Prep notes: Food processor required
Yields: 2 servings
2 cups of kale (about 2 handfuls)
2-3 Tbsp. olive oil
½ cup raw almonds (about a handful; if a creamier texture is preferred, soak almonds in water for 1 to 2 hours, then drain)
1-2 cloves garlic
Sea salt (I prefer Himilayan sea salt)
In a food processor, combine almonds, rinsed kale and garlic. Drizzle with olive oil. Blend until all ingredients are chopped and combined and to desired consistency. Season with Himalayan sea salt and pepper if desired.
Serving Suggestions: Serve as a spread on sliced apples, tomatoes or crackers, as a dip for carrot sticks or healthy chips, or as a dressing on salads, vegetables or starches.
*I make this recipe fairly dry/coarse. You can increase the amount of olive oil or add some grated Parmesan to make the pesto creamier. I am a big fan of playing around with recipes and adjusting them to your liking. Food is meant to be fun, creative and enjoyed!
Beth Mincher is a Holistic Wellness Coach at Body Edge Fitness. This recipe and more can be found at www.bethmincher.com/recipes