the power of pesto

Let your food be your medicine, healing doesn’t need to be complicated

… or tasteless for that matter. 

Don’t just fulfill your hunger, nourish it, nourish the body, the soul, nourish it right down to the cellular level. We are already surrounded by powerful healing foods, we just need to learn to identify their properties and allow them to heal. 

In this post and the ones to follow, I will be sharing my everyday recipes that are nourishing and simple to recreate. With each recipe I will be sharing the energetic properties so you know when and how to incorporate it into your diet. 

I intend to be mindful of the present research,  but please do keep in mind that the information I share is based on my opinion and research. I highly encourage you to do your own research and see a licensed healthcare practitioner.


The pesto story

Basil Pesto isn't just a delicious sauce, it is an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, metabolism boosting powerhouse. The mixture of herbs and spices can be extremely beneficial for someone who struggles with chronic pain, digestive disturbances, anxiety, insomnia, and poor circulation. It has the ability to calm the mind, reduce fever, improve heart health, fight bad cholesterol, support the liver, and provide a gentle detox.

The beauty of this mixture is that you can create it any way you desire, so the power of its healing abilities are essentially endless.

This dish requires five main components, a herb (like basil), a nut, garlic, lemon, and any type of oil - the variations are truly endless. Then you throw everything into a blender in which ever amounts your heart desires. 


Below I have listed my version of this mixture and each of the ingredients healing properties.

I specifically tailored my recipe to be anti-inflammatory, to help fight those achy muscles, and at the same time follow the rules of yin and yang.



Ingredients:



I) Basil:

  • Inflammation 

  • Powerful antioxidant 

  • Anti-aging compounds 

  • Fights bacterial infections 

  • Muscular Pain 

  • Cooling herb, reduces fever

  • Calming

  • Improves digestion 

  • Supports liver function 

  • Supports diabetes and metabolic syndrome 

  • Supports heart health 

  • Acts as an aphrodisiac 

II) Cilantro:

  • Prevents cardiovascular damage 

  • Anti-diabetic activity 

  • Strong antioxidant 

  • Anti-anxiety 

  • Improves sleep quality 

  • Blood sugar lowering effect

  • Antibacterial and anti- fungal 

  • Internal deodorant 

  • Aid digestion 

  • Prevents conjunctivitis

  • Anti stress 

  • Toxic metal cleansing 

III) Pine Nuts: 

  • High protein and essential fat 

  • Assists metabolism and weight loss 

  • Fights free radicals

  • Prevents disease 

  • Heart friendly 

  • Contains vitamin E 

  • Healthy brain 

  • Alleviates PMS symptoms 

  • Supports diabetes management 

  • Decrease heart disease risk 

  • Inflammation 

  • Premature aging


IV) Almonds

  • Anti cancerous 

  • Improves skin health 

  • Improves heart health 

  • Controls blood sugar and blood pressure 

  • Supports bone and and teeth 

  • Boosts immune system 

  • Anti-inflammatory 

  • Lowers cholesterol 

V) Jalapeno pepper

  • Reduce risk of cancer

  • Lower blood pressure 

  • Heals inflammation 

  • Boosts metabolism 

  • Protects the heart 

  • Eases headaches/ migraine 

  • Clears congestion 

  • Contains VItamin A, C, and many flavonoids 

( Avoid this ingredient if you are experiencing heat like symptoms such as hot flushed face, hot body, sweating, irritability, insomnia, or anxiety.)

VI) Garlic 

  • Relieves stress and fatigue 

  • Supports heart health 

  • Painkiller

  • Assists in detox

  • Anti-inflammatory 

  • Lowers cholesterol 

  • Streghtens immune system 

  • Reduces and regulates blood sugar 

  • Nasal decongestant 

  • Improve bone health 



VII) Lemon

  • Supports heart health 

  • Reduces body weight 

  • Reduces bad cholesterol 

  • Aids in digestions 

  • Promotes healthy skin 

  • Purifies blood

  • Helps reduce blood pressure 

  • Balances pH level 

  • Reduces fever, clears heat 

  • Resolves phlegm 

  • Promotes qi circulation

VIII) Cayenne pepper

  • Improves circulation 

  • Detoxifying 

  • Weight loss

  • Arthritis 

  • Relieves pain 

  • Aids in digestion 

  • Supports heart health 

  • Reduces inflammation 

  • Warming 

( Avoid this ingredient if you are experiencing heat like symptoms such as hot flushed face, hot body, sweating, irritability, insomnia, or anxiety.)


IX) Parmesan cheese

  • Rich source of protein 

  • Gentle to digest, contains minimal amounts of lactose 

  • Omega 3

  • Contains calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, sulfur 

  • Healthy source of fat 


Recipe: 

If I am being really honest, all the ingredients were eyeballed into the blender. I love cooking by intuition, by smelling the aroma, by tasting it throughout and observing the colors of the dish. I absolutely love the taste and smell of cilantro and basil so I was really generous with that. Since I knew I was going to pair this with pasta I added extra spice and some Italian seasoning to give it a little bit more flavor. I highly suggest you let your intuition guide you for this recipe, as this will not only create something unique to what you’re craving but allow you to strengthen on your instinct.

For those who prefer a guideline, I've posted a simple one below.



Ingredients:

4 ounces pine nuts

4 ounces of almonds 

4 cups fresh basil

2 cups fresh cilantro 

4 garlic cloves

1 cup coarsely grated parmesan cheese

1 tbsp lemon zest

1 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ jalapeño pepper (or to taste)

kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. In the bowl of a food processor, add 1/2 the pine nuts and almonds, 3 cups basil, 1 cup of the cilantro, 3 garlic cloves, and lemon zest. Process the ingredients until the ingredients are finely chopped, approximately 30 seconds.

  2. Keep the food processor running on low speed, slowly pour in ½ -¾  cup of olive oil and continue processing until a smooth paste begins to form.  At this point stop the food processor and mix the contents with a spoon, scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure the mixture is well mixed. 

  3. Add the cheese, jalapeño pepper, the spices and  remaining nuts, basil, garlic to the blender. Pulse the ingredients until finely chopped.

  4. Using a rubber spatula, transfer the pesto sauce to a bowl and stir in the remaining olive oil. 

  5. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

  6. Store the basil pesto sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Optional: roast the pine nuts, and almonds for about 2-3 minutes over medium heat this.  I personally do not recommend doing this, it can potentially oxidize the nuts and damage their healing properties. The only real benefit to doing this is to enhance the flavor of the nuts however if you added in a sufficient amount of nuts it really shouldn’t make to much of a difference.


Cooking the pesto:


When cooking with basil, ensure that you do not expose it to heat for long periods. The idea is to keep this pesto as fresh and raw as possible to benefit from the healing properties, before heat denatures them or they are further oxidized.

I love serving my pesto on some brown rice pasta with a side of arugula or mixed in with Greek yogurt over a rice bowl. Another option is to use it as a pizza or flatbread sauce, on top of your poached eggs or an omelette, or even spread it alongside butter on a piece of toast. 



Remember the fun in making pesto is in the ingredients, so experiment with this recipe, and try different herbs and spices.

Do share your version with us on social media.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to contact me or share them below.

Happy Cooking!

xoxo



© 2019 JESSICA BUGRA

| Registered Acupuncturist | 

 Website Designed by @JDIGITAL

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