Kale pesto is a refrigerator staple in my house. It's a condiment with so many uses and it's also good for you! There is nothing better than adding a spoonful of pesto goodness to dress up a meal or snack. We all know kale has attained super hero status over the years. Why? Because research study after research study continues to come out showing how kale benefits our health.
Kale has been found to support cardiovascular (heart) health and also to lower blood cholesterol levels. A recent study found that steaming kale improves its ability to bind onto cholesterol and bile acids in your gut. If your cholesterol levels look anything like my family's then this is a WIN! Don't worry, you don't have to steam all of your kale. Eating it raw still lowers cholesterol but just not as well as the steamed.
Another benefit of kale is it's ability to help the bodies detoxification processes. Raise your hand if you're doing or planning to do a New Year's Detox... Detox protocol or not, kale and it's cruciferous siblings are important stimulators of many of the bodies detox enzymes.
Okay. You've got a wee glimpse at why to eat this kale pesto, now how about some ideas for what to do with it! First, this pesto is super easy to make. It's as easy as throwing everything into the food processor, hitting the on/pulse button and whizzing it until its relatively smooth. Steam the kale if you want extra cholesterol lowering benefits but if time is not on your side then throw it into the food processor raw.
Your heart will still thank you.
*Tip: always taste and adjust seasonings before you put it in the fridge. Everyone's taste buds are different and you may want less lemon juice or more salt than I used. Maybe you like a super garlicy pesto - go ahead and throw an extra clover or two in. The recipe is a template and your taste buds are the guide.
Once it's done you can cook your favorite pasta, then mix the pesto with a cup of reserved pasta water to create a sauce, use it to make a kale pesto & "meatball" sandwich (YUM!), use it in place of red sauce for a pesto pizza, add it to a veggie sandwich, toss roasted veggies in it like we did here, use it as a dip for crackers and veggie pieces...
You are only limited by your imagination! Enjoy!
Kale Pesto (V, GF)
2-3 cloves garlic
1 bunch kale (optionally steamed)
3/4 cup toasted pine nuts
juice and zest of a small lemon
3/4 tsp salt
lots of fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup olive oil
Place everything but the oil into a food processor fitted with an "S" blade. Process until everything begins to break down and then slowly drizzle in the olive oil and mix until smooth. Stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.