A lot of people ask me, “Why do you like pesto so much?” It’s simple:
1. Pestos are easy to make – you just throw ingredients in the food processor.
2. They add a ton of flavor to any clean eating meal you put them on – I spread it over fish and bake it, toss it into shrimp, spread it on gluten-free toast or mix it in a salad.
3. They’re made with fresh, raw ingredients that have a ton of benefits to your health.
The ingredients are amazing for your health
Parsley is a rich source of flavenoids, plant pigments that function as antioxidants in our bodies, helping to fight off free radicals that cause damage to our cells. You may remember the post I recently did about Dr. Terry Wahls, who cured her MS with her diet: she recommends foods that contain flavenoids. Flavenoids also have antiviral properties, help boost our immune system and enhance the benefits of Vitamin C. Conveniently, parsley is a great source of Vitamin C, one of the primary water-soluble antioxidants (neutralizes free radicals in water soluble areas of the body).
Spinach has an extremely high phytonutrient content that function as anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory agents. It’s rich in antioxidants, and packed with Vitamin K – a vitamin that is extremely important for bone health.
Garlic, especially raw, is rich in sulfer compounds. Sulfur compounds are important in our diet as they help regulate our blood pressure. Garlic can help improve your iron metabolism, and may help regulate fat cell production.
Thyme contains a volatile oil, called thymol. This compound increases the healthy fats in cell membranes, and in other cellular structures. Thyme is a great source of flavenoids, an important compound I mentioned earlier that has antioxidant properties.
Parsley-Thyme Spinach Pesto
Yield: 1 cup Prep time: 10 minutes
You will need: food processor, spatula, measuring cups and spoons
1 cup spinach (packed)
1 cup parsley, de-stemmed
1 T thyme, de-stemmed
1/4 cup walnuts
4 garlic cloves
1/2 lemon, juice and zest
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
fresh black pepper to taste
1. Remove the parsley from its stems. Measure it by packing it tightly into a cup. Pack the spinach tightly to measure as well and add both to the food processor. Pluck the leaves of thyme from its stems and add them along with the greens.
2. Pulse the greens together until they’ve formed a fine, even consistency. I like to use pulse to help the leaves settle, and occasionally open the top to scrape down the sides with a spatula.
3. Peel the garlic and add it, along with the walnuts. Blend until sticky.
4. Remove the lid of the food processor and grate or zest half a lemon.
5. Squeeze its juice in. Run the processor again, and slowly add the olive oil. You may add a little more or a little less, depending on how you like your consistency.
6. Scrape the pesto into a bowl or container and add the salt and pepper.
If you need a great food processor, check this one out on Amazon.