I can vividly remember the first time I encountered pesto. It was Christmas season, 2003. My mom had received a jar of Classico Pesto and a package of penne as a gift. For those of you who are familiar with pesto, you know that it’s not the most appetizing looking substance out there. It’s basically green goop. I had never seen such and thing and my immediate thought was, “this looks disgusting”, along with a classic Mandy-grossed-out facial expression.
Little did I know that this green goop would be life-changing.
My best friend came over while this jar of green goop was sitting out on the counter. When she saw the pesto, so became super excited. I’m talking an abnormal amount of excitement about green goop in a jar. I think her exact words were, “Oh my God, PESTO!!!!!” (five exclamation marks to help quantify the excitement level).
After trying pesto for the first time, her excessive excitement immediately made perfect sense to me. This stuff is freaking delicious!
I could eat pesto straight from the jar with a spoon. And the best part about it is, it’s so good for you! Seriously, this stuff is like liquid gold. Don’t get me wrong, it is high in calories, so you do have to hold yourself back from consuming an entire jar in one sitting, but a little goes a long way with this magical green substance.
So why is pesto so good for us? Because it contains so many super foods! Olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, fresh herbs, and a small amount of nuts (or seeds, as you’ll see in my video).
In the video I use cilantro as my herb. Cilantro is a common culinary herb, and coincidentally (or not, because nature is super intelligent) is also a carminative. A carminative is something that promotes digestion as well as relieves gas and bloating. BONUS!
There are many different types of pesto, so feel free to get creative! You can even mix two herbs together :). One of my favourite combinations is chives and parsley. Another option is to make pesto using some sort of dark leafy green vegetable instead of herbs (for example, kale pesto).
Recipe make about sixteen, 2 tbsp sized (30g) servings
- 2 bunches of fresh cilantro (stems chopped off)
- 4-6 garlic cloves
- juice of 1 lemon
- 30 grams of raw sunflower seeds (or nut of your choice, walnuts, pine nuts and almonds all work great)
- 1 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Place all ingredients in food processor or blender in order listed
- Blend on low speed until all ingredients are combined (try not to “over blend”)
- Store in glass jar in fridge for up to 10 days
- Use on meat, fish, salad, vegetables – anything you want really!