Healing Foods: Protein Power Pesto
If you've been here before, you know that we LOVE us some pesto, especially the kind packed with medicinal herbs like dandelion leaf and holy basil. As of late, we've been diving into the world of Ayurveda and nutrition, which has brought new light to old ideas, and ways of being in our kitchens. Protein is something a lot of people think about when creating a balanced meal, but we might not always see the whole picture. Our body needs protein for so many important functions: like building new cells, maintaining healthy tissues, skin, hair and nails, hormonal function and of course - energy. We need protein in every meal, and when we don't get it that's when the sugar craving starts. Let's be real. We've all had that 4PM craving for a latte and a chocolate croissant, even though we know we're gonna feel like crap on our way home from work. Don't. Do. It. Your body was probably just trying to inform you that it needed more protein.
Getting enough protein doesn't just sustain energy, it helps our body convert the fats into essential fatty acids, or EFA's. Think of EFA's as your 'juicy factor.' If your cells aren't juiced up with healthy fats, skin starts to get dry, you get inflamed, and your nerves are literally dried out! I've noticed a big difference in my energy levels and the way my hair and skin feels simply by making sure to get protein with every meal (mostly plant based) and adding in EFA's daily.
E F A 's D A I L Y
Dosage: 3-8 TBS depending on your constitution or how dry you tend to feel.
The easiest way to do this is by adding one tablespoon of olive oil on every meal. For breakfast I'll drizzle extra EVOO on my pesto + egg toast, make sure my salad for lunch has plenty of oil and for dinner, a little extra drizzle on my soup. Pretty simple to do and definitely delicious!
T R Y T H E S E
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Black Currant Oil
P R O T E I N P O W E R
With the help of Nutiva's raw hemp seeds, we revisited our Wild Pesto recipe to make it even easier to dollop protein and EFA's into our meals. This cilantro heavy version is great for someone that tends to run hot or has inflammation. If you find you run a little cooler, have cold hands or feet, spice it up with some fresh ginger or cayenne or add in chopped fresh leeks or scallions.
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, walnuts or sunflower seeds
1/4 cup raw hemp seeds
2 cloves garlic, smashed
3 'glugs' extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
1 bunch fresh cilantro
grey sea salt to taste
In a food processor, add your nuts of choice + hemp seeds, garlic and EVOO. Once everything is ground down together well, scrape the sides to make sure all the seeds get incorporated. Next, add your cilantro, lemon juice and salt and a little more olive oil if it's a little dry. Blend until everything is combined. Add more lemon, olive oil or salt if needed. Makes about 2 cups and keeps in the fridge for over a week.
*The recipe was done in collaboration with Nutiva. You can get more recipes on their blog, The Kitchen Table.