Pesto is a classic Italian sauce dish traditionally prepared by grounding and pounding the ingredients in a marble mortar with a wooden pestle. It is usually made of crushed garlic, basil, and pine nuts blended with olive oil and cheese. Because of its perfect palatability, pesto is often paired with pasta and bread, or served with slices of beef and boiled potatoes.
Did You Know?
- Pesto is a classic Italian sauce dish traditionally prepared by grounding and pounding the ingredients in a marble mortar with a wooden pestle
- Beware of low-quality olive oil, which usually smells like crayons or nail polish, leaves a greasy mouth feel, and tastes like rancid nuts, wine, or vinegar
- Compared to other leafy green vegetables, kale's anti-inflammatory capabilities are unbeatable, especially with regards to the treatment and prevention of chronic conditions, such as arthritis, heart disease, and autoimmune diseases
- Basil, one of the healthiest herbs you can consume, is a rich source of vitamin K, antioxidants, and flavonoids
To put a twist to this all-time favorite, try this healthy pesto recipe with kale as its main ingredient from my reader, Cynthia Machado, a health and fitness coach based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She also has her own health and fitness blog, MetabolicHealingPower.com, where she shares informative articles on health and wellness. Here's Cynthia's Super Kale Pesto recipe:
- One bunch of kale
- 2 cups of fresh basil
- 1/2 cup of pre-soaked walnuts
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Put all ingredients inside the food processor, and mix until you reach a creamy and smooth consistency.
Super Kale Pesto Preparation Tips
To maximize the benefits of this super kale pesto recipe, I advise you to buy only fresh, wholesome, and locally grown ingredients so that you only get nutrient-dense produce free of pesticides and genetically modified organisms. Remember these practical tips as well:
- Choose firm, deep-colored kale that looks fresh. Avoid wilting bunches, which usually has yellow, browning leaves with holes.
- Steer clear of ripe or close to becoming ripe limes, as indicated by pale, spongy, shriveled, and yellowing skin. Fully ripe limes lose their acidity and are bland in flavor.
- Beware of low-quality olive oil, which usually smell like crayons or nail polish, leave a greasy mouth feel, or taste like rancid nuts, wine, or vinegar.
- To ensure the freshness of your olive oil, purchase smaller bottles from reputable sources, keep it in a cool, dark place (because light will most definitely oxidize the fats in olive oil), and immediately replace cap after each pour.
- Start your own organic herb garden. Herbs like basil are easy to grow and extremely useful, too, as they can be added to almost anything – from salads, sandwiches, wraps, soups, to lemon- or cucumber-infused drinks.
Why Is Super Kale Pesto Good for You?
This pesto recipe is indeed super when it comes to health value, because it boasts of kale as its main ingredient, which is a certified superfood. A cousin of cabbage and broccoli, kale contains impressive amounts of antioxidants, and is a rich source of:
- Phytonutrient indole-3-carbinol, which helps in DNA cell repair and slowing down the growth of cancer cells
- Sulforaphane, which protects against prostate and colon cancer
- Lutein and zeaxanthin, which guard your eyes from macular degeneration.
Compared to other leafy green vegetables, kale's anti-inflammatory capabilities are unbeatable, especially with regards to the treatment and prevention of chronic conditions, such as arthritis, heart disease, and autoimmune diseases.
Basil, on the other hand, is considered one of the healthiest herbs. These little green leaves, which often have a sweet, earthy, and pleasantly pungent flavor, offer a remarkable array of vitamins and minerals, including:
- Vitamin K, which is essential in preventing blood clotting
- Antioxidants, which fight against free radical damage
- Flavonoids, which protect important DNA
Other vitamins and minerals in basil include iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium, vitamin C, and potassium.