For years, the only pesto I ever used was pesto from a jar until getting the bright idea to try making it myself. Shame on me! I have never known the pleasure of fresh pesto until last night. As always, I like to take recipes and tweak them to reduce calories or use healthier ingredients. Pesto already contains ingredients that pass my healthy ingredient scrutiny with flying colors, so I simply reduced the calories. No flavor whatsoever was sacrificed! You will still be receiving the fantastic heart-healthy fats in the olive oil and pine nuts.
Pine nuts are loaded with healthy fats and contain chemicals which help you feel full (so that’s what happened last night when I could barely finish dinner—which never happens!). Pine nuts are associated with weight management and may reduce bad cholesterol and lower blood pressure. They also contain magnesium, which lifts the mood and improves quality of sleep! Pine nuts were consumed by humans as far back as the Paleolithic era, and were popular among the Romans and Egyptians.
You can put this sauce on anything you want: pasta, vegetables, or meat; or all of the above! Last night, I wanted to try it on zoodles (noodles made from zucchini with a certain type of slicer), and I was not at all disappointed! If you would like a complete meal, simply add your protein of choice, your carb of choice, and your veggie of choice. Light colored meats work the best with the sauce. Some suggestions: chicken with pasta and spinach; shrimp with zoodles and rice; fermented organic non- GMO tofu with peas and quinoa; the combinations are almost endless.
- ½ cup filtered water
- 2 cups of fresh basil leaves
- 2 plump fresh cloves of garlic
- 1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
- 1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- ½ tsp. Himalayan pink salt
- ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Simply put the water, basil, garlic, the ¼ cup of olive oil (not the 2 tbsp.) and pine nuts in the blender and blend until it looks well blended. Add the cheese and salt, then blend until smooth (some minor lumps are ok). You can put it right on your food and toss it together or put it in the fridge for later. It keeps for a few days if you put it in a jar and add the 2 tbsp. olive oil to the top of it so no air hits it.
Fat: 10 g
Protein: 2 g
Carbs: .7 g
Fiber: 0 g