My Kale Pesto Recipe + Weekend Sale August 21 2015 by Simone Denny 2 Comments
Well I have to say that I've had a bit of bloggers block this week - I really couldn't think what I wanted to write about. In a moment of procrastination I made my kale pesto for the 100th time this winter and thought - there's my blog post staring me in the face. So this week I'm delighted to share the old faithful recipe with you. I am such a throw-it-all-together kind of cook, so writing out this recipe by weight and measures was incredibly challenging for me. I definitely encourage a bit of 'taste and adjust' with this one.
Also, I wanted to let you know am doing a 48 Hour 15% Off Weekend Sale just for my beautiful subscribers. You just need to enter the code SUBSCRIBE and you can enjoy 15% off everything. Sale ends midnight Sunday.
I feel slightly sheepish posting about the attributes of the holy kale when this veggie's health benefits have been well and truly done to death in the wellness space. However, there is no denying this beautiful green brassica does deserve its accolades, so I will continue. Bursting with vitamins A, C and K (well above the RDA in just one cup). Kale is low in calories but incredibly rich in nutrients. Like other green leafy vegetables, Kale is an excellent antioxidant. It contains flavonoids, vitamin C and beta-carotene, which help to fight off free radicals.
Being high in vitamin K, Kale is good for your bone health and blood clotting. Its high levels of vitamin A can help aid vision and is good for the skin. If that's not enough, Kale is beneficial for cardiovascular health and is an excellent antiflammatory food. I think I will have to stop there!
Like everything, Kale should be eaten in moderation. There have been some findings that kale can have negative impact on the thyroid (causing an insufficient thyroid hormone) if eaten in excessive amounts. Kale is unlikely to impact those with a normal thyroid and those who eat it in moderation.
Choosing the Right Olive Oil
If you want to know the secret to a good pesto it really comes down to a good quality olive oil. I truly believe this is the key ingredient to a tasty pesto and is also important for your health as I will explain. Choosing the right kind of olive oil can be tricky and there are lots of marketing terms that easily confuse the consumer. The best olive oil to choose is extra virgin olive oil. Terms such as Pure Olive Oil can actually mean a lower grade olive oil and 'Refined Olive Oil' can mean that solvents are used to mask odours and flavours.
For those in Australia and New Zealand I would recommend buying your olive oil locally. The majority of imported olive oil have some off flavours or can already be rancid. In tests done in Australia most of the imported Italian and Spanish olive oils did not pass the extra virgin olive oil tests. Rancid oil can be detrimental to your health, it can form free radicals in the body and can also deplete you of vitamin B. This rancidity can also counteract the olive oil's antioxidant properties and the benefits of the omega-3 fatty acids.
Unlike wine olive oil does not age well and is best consumed young. Olive oil is usually only good for 2 years at most, if kept in optimal conditions. The experts recommend looking for a harvest date or best before date on the oil - if it doesn't have one you may consider another option. My personal favourite high quality olive oil is the award winning Rangihou olive oil from my home town Waiheke Island (this is more of treat rather than an everyday olive oil). Here in Australia for an everyday extra virgin olive oil I like Red Island olive oil. The Coles and Woolworths supermarket brands of Extra Olive Oil have rated very well in testing, as have Cobram Estate.
Kale Pesto Recipe
You can use either curly kale or cavolo nero (also called Tuscan kale) which has longer, flatter leaves - both work well.
Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Paleo
1 medium bunch of Kale (about 400 - 500g)
1 cup of raw cashew nuts
1/2 - 3/4 cup of good quality extra virgin olive oil
2 - 3 tablespoons of lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
1 teaspoon of salt
Optional - if you are not dairy free you have the option to add 1/2 cup of finely grated parmesan cheese but it is not required.
Remove large stems from the kale and add the remaining leaves to the food processor (the kale should fill most of the bowl).
Add the remaining ingredients (start with 1/2 cup of olive oil) and blend until your desired consistency. You may need to add a bit more olive oil and salt, do a few taste tests.
Store in an airtight container and serve at room temperature. You can always add more olive oil to serve.
In case you missed our blog last week I share 8 things I am Loving this August.
Don't forget to make the most of our weekend sale :)