Pesto is a great summer-time food, since it requires zero stove time. It's been warm lately, so I'm finding ways around using the stove as much as possible! This pesto batch is wonderful on pasta OR on just bread, if you REALLY want to avoid all things stove top.
You can opt for a more traditional nut in your pesto, but I love all things almonds. Why?
-Give you more than half your daily needs of magnesium,an important mineral for athletes, regulating blood pressure, strong bones, and hearth rhythm.
-High in Calcium, plant-based calcium is the best and most absorb-able form of the mineral by our bodies.
-Give you more than half your daily needs vitamin E, necessary for skeletal and cardiac muscle, as well as the formation of red blood cells. Additionally, E helps our bodies store other vitamins and minerals like Vitamin K and Iron.
-High in Iron, important for athletes as they increase their training loads to maintain energy levels and recovery.
Basil is also a rock star for athletes or households hosting people over the summer. It's a natural anti-microbial which means it'll help fend of viruses and infections. (In other words, it helps keep you from getting sick with all the germs of hosting and beach time that accumulate.) It also works at an anti-inflammatory for the body, great post workout!
Let's make some summer pesto!
Easy Pesto Pasta
Pasta of choice, cooked according to directions, or bread if using as a spread
Toppings of choice. I prefer cherry tomatoes, halved
2 c packed fresh basil (fresh is imperative)
½ c almonds (you can use any nut, really. Experiment!)
3-4 cloves garlic, peeled
½ c EVOO
½ c nutritional yeast
1-2T lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook pasta of choice according to directions on the box.
Place the basil, almonds, and garlic in a food processor. Pulse to combine, until the mixture is coarsely ground.
Add EVOO, nutritional yeast, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and salt/pepper. Pulse until desired consistency. Taste, add more juice, oil, or nutritional yeast to taste. Some people like their pesto more oily/runny than others. Adjust for you and your family.
Scoop ½ cup of mixture into readied pasta, tossing to coat. Add more until pasta is coated with pesto to your liking. Top with additions of choice. I love to add Beyond Meats chicken-free strips for added protein!