Okay, so Mondays are most often dedicated to catching up on blog posts for this weekend’s meal prep recipes! I already got a couple of them up (& some of you have already attempted them, which makes me BEYOND happy!), but I’ve still got ways to go! Next up is this amazingly delicious, creamy, rich & flavourful & need I say, super easy to make, nutty cilantro balsamic pesto!
Not only is it super flavourful & delicious, but it’s also packed with naturally detoxifying herbs, antioxidants, fibre, healthy fats, plant protein & all the vitamins & minerals you need to add a little dose of energy to your meals!
It’s rich, creamy, thick & silky smooth! The flavours come together so nicely & it pairs well with anything from fish to grilled chicken to seafood to a good ‘ol steak! You can even use it as a spread in a burger, sandwich or wrap, spread it on rice cakes or crackers, use it as a veggie dip or as a more nutritious tortilla chip dip!
The balsamic vinegar adds a hint of natural sweetness to complement the nuttiness of the walnuts & pistachios & the freshness & crispness of the cilantro! OHMAHGAWD!!! I am salivating just thinking about it!
I’m sure you guys have noticed that I don’t use olive oil a lot & that’s because I cook a lot & olive oil doesn’t have a very high smoke point. The thing about good quality oils is that if they are heated beyond their smoke point, they actually lose a lot of their beneficial properties & nutrients. So, an oil that was originally packed with healthy fats, vitamins, minerals & nutrients essentially becomes EMPTY CALORIES, A.K.A. NOTHING. To read more about good & bad oils, hydrogenation & smoke points, click here: GROCERY TIP: The Nitty-Gritty on Chemically-Extracted, Expeller & Cold-Pressed Oils & What Oils I Use (& Don’t Use) In My KITCH!
All this to say, I tend to only use olive oil in marinades or salad dressings (sometimes) & IN PESTOS! That’s what brings us here today!
So what are some of the benefits of the foods in this pesto?
Olive oil is anti-aging, a natural anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory, good for bone health & may help fight osteoporosis, helps control blood pressure, facilitates digestion, fights diabetes, promotes hair growth & heart health, improves memory, lowers bad cholesterol, and may help treat arthritis. It contains tons of antioxidants, vitamins E & K, as well as healthy omega fatty acids.
Pistachios help repair skin & membranes, are a great source of potassium & beneficial for bone health. They contain tons of antioxidants, which helps the body fight free radicals, oxidative stress & boosts immunity. They are also full of B vitamins, which are a vital source of energy & improve cognitive function & mental clarity. They also help in blood formation & stabilize good & bad cholesterol levels in the body.
Walnuts are rich in protein & healthy fats & are considered brain food. They may help ease constipation & other digestive health issues, promote restful sound sleep, improve heart health & promote healthy weight maintenance. They are one of the most fibre-rich nuts. They may also help reduce stress levels, maintain healthy blood sugar & cholesterol levels & are very beneficial for those fighting diabetes or at risk for heart disease.
BTW, I know a lot of people just aren’t down with cilantro. IF YOU’RE ONE OF THEM CILANTRO HATERS, WE CAN’T BE FRIENDS. No, I’m kidding. But as a Moroccan Jew, I pretty much have cilantro running through my veins. Anywho, if you aren’t down with the cilantro, you can swap it for dill, mint or parsley!
- 1/2 cup raw organic pistachios
- 1/2 cup raw organic walnuts
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin organic olive oil
- 1/2 cup organic balsamic vinegar
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 heaping cups of cilantro, chopped (OR dill, mint or parsley, if you prefer)
- The juice of a large lemon OR 2 small ones
- Sea salt & black pepper to taste
- Add all the ingredients to the bowl of your food processor & pulse until smooth & desired texture is obtained.
- Store in an airtight container & refrigerate.
- ENJOY! 🙂