One of the greatest misconceptions about plant based oil free eating is that you “can’t eat anything!” This is a load of bologna, and I’m here to show you that you can still indulge in your delicious comfort foods while still keeping your promise of better health to yourself.
Now is the time of New Years resolutions, but how can you keep this promise if you don’t know what to eat, or how to eat?
This recipe is super inexpensive and abundantly healthy to make. Time & money is what it comes down to most of the time. And really, this recipe is almost effortless & super inexpensive to make 🙂 It takes about 15 minutes max to make, and is well worth the appliance use 🙂
You’ll need a high speed blender or a food processor to make your pesto. But before we get into the instructions, let’s get into WHY we are using specific ingredients!
We’re not using olive oil.
WHY no oil? How can you make pesto without using oil?
It’s highly recommended to refrain from using oil for many reasons.
We know that there are a lot of myths around oil, and there has been a lot of misinformation about consuming oil. In short oil is a highly processed food that comes from a whole food, kind of like sugar comes from a sugar cane plant. (just a note, did you know you need about 3 feet of sugar cane to make a tbs of sugar? It takes 1375 olives to make a litre of oil!)
Back to oil, it is pure fat, and many of the great nutrients and properties of the whole food are extracted in the process of making a whole food an oil.
It goes back to the concept, “There is no I in team.”
All team members are needed in order to achieve success. Success, being the nutritional breakdown and absorption required to be fully utilized by the body… Not just stored for waste purposes.
Dr. Esselstyn: “NO OIL! Not even olive oil, which goes against a lot of other advice out there about so-called good fats. The reality is that oils are extremely low in terms of nutritive value. They contain no fiber, no minerals and are 100% fat calories. And above all they contain saturated fat which immediately injures the endothelial lining of the arteries when eaten. It doesn’t matter whether it’s olive oil, corn oil, or any other kind of oil. This is so important I have detailed oil in Chapter 10 (of Prevent And Reverse Heart Disease).”
So with that being said, lets use avocado as a replacement for the fat needed in order to make a nice creamy pesto 🙂
Who doesn’t love avocado, anyways??
The essential herb needed to make pesto sauce is basil. I LOVE basil. Not just for its flavor, but for how it supports the body. Basil is an incredibly aromatic herb that is known for its anti-bacterial, cardiovascular, & anti-inflammatory effects.
DNA Protection Plus Anti-Bacterial Properties
The unique array of active constituents called flavonoids found in basil provide protection at the cellular level. Orientin and vicenin are two water-soluble flavonoids that have been of particular interest in basil, and in studies on human white blood cells; these components of basil protect cell structures as well as chromosomes from radiation and oxygen-based damage.
In addition, basil has been shown to provide protection against unwanted bacterial growth. These anti-bacterial properties of basil are not associated with its unique flavonoids, but instead with its volatile oils, which contain estragole, linalool, cineole, eugenol, sabinene, myrcene, and limonene. Lab studies show the effectiveness of basil in restricting growth of numerous bacteria, including : Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli O:157:H7, Yersinia enterocolitica, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.Essential oil of basil, obtained from its leaves, has demonstrated the ability to inhibit several species of pathogenic bacteria that have become resistant to commonly used antibiotic drugs. In a study published in the July 2003 issue of the Journal of Microbiology Methods, essential oil of basil was even found to inhibit strains of bacteria from the genera Staphylococcus, Enterococcus and Pseudomonas, all of which are not only widespread, but now pose serious treatment difficulties because they have developed a high level of resistance to treatment with antibiotic drugs.(September 8, 2003)Studies published in the February 2004 issue of Food Microbiology, have shown that washing produce in solution containing either basil or thyme essential oil at the very low concentration of just 1% resulted in dropping the number of Shigella, an infectious bacteria that triggers diarrhea and may cause significant intestinal damage, below the point at which it could be detected. While scientists use this research to try to develop natural food preservatives, it makes good sense to include basil and thyme in more of your recipes, particularly for foods that are not cooked such as salads. Adding fresh thyme and/or basil to your next vinaigrette will not only enhance the flavor of your fresh greens, but will help ensure that the fresh produce you consume is safe to eat. (March 25, 2004)
The eugenol component of basil’s volatile oils has been the subject of extensive study, since this substance can block the activity of an enzyme in the body called cyclooxygenase (COX). Many non-steriodal over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS), including aspirin and ibuprofen, as well as the commonly used medicine acetaminophen, work by inhibiting this same enzyme. (In the case of acetaminophen, this effect is somewhat controversial, and probably occurs to a much lesser degree than is the case with aspirin and ibuprofen). This enzyme-inhibiting effect of the eugenol in basil qualifies basil as an “anti-inflammatory” food that can provide important healing benefits along with symptomatic relief for individuals with inflammatory health problems like rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel conditions.
Nutrients Essential for Cardiovascular Health
Want to enrich the taste and cardiovascular health benefits of your pasta sauce? Add a good helping of basil. Basil is a very good source of vitamin A (through its concentration of carotenoids such as beta-carotene). Called “pro-vitamin A,” since it can be converted into vitamin A, beta-carotene is a more powerful anti-oxidant than vitamin A and not only protects epithelial cells (the cells that form the lining of numerous body structures including the blood vessels) from free radical damage, but also helps prevent free radicals from oxidizing cholesterol in the blood stream. Only after it has been oxidized does cholesterol build up in blood vessel walls, initiating the development of atherosclerosis, whose end result can be a heart attack or stroke.
Free radical damage is a contributing factor in many other conditions as well, including asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. The beta-carotene found in basil may help to lessen the progression of these conditions while protecting cells from further damage.
Basil is also a good source of magnesium, which promotes cardiovascular health by prompting muscles and blood vessels to relax, thus improving blood flow and lessening the risk of irregular heart rhythms or a spasming of the heart muscle or a blood vessel.
In addition to the health benefits and nutrients described above, basil also emerged from our food ranking system as an excellent source of vitamin K and manganese, a very good source of copper and vitamin C, and a good source of calcium, iron, folate and omega-3 fatty acids.
With the extensive studies and write ups that have been done with this amazing herb, how could you not rejoice as your nostrils bask in the aroma of this herb as you eat it?
With all of this being said, lets get to eating 🙂
- Pasta of choice
- 2 cups of peas
- 1/2 yellow pepper
- 2 cups kale
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1.5 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 bunch of basil
- 1 avocado
- Black Pepper to taste
- Pink salt to taste
Soak and wash all of your fresh produce and herbs. Produce can often be FILTHY, so clean wisely 🙂
As your produce is soaking, begin boiling your pot of water.
Add your choice of pasta to boiling water and cook until noodles are nice and tender.
Throw all pesto ingredients into your food processor or blender, and pulverize until you reach your desired consistency. I personally like to keep mine smooth with a little bit of texture.
When your noodles are done, drain the excess water from the pot, yet leaving about a 1/2 inch of water in it.
Add your processed pesto sauce to the pot, and keep pot on low for about 10-15 minutes. This will allow your noodles to soak up the flavor and aroma of your pesto sauce.
Add salt or pepper to complete your pesto if needed, and serve with !
This is one of my favorite meals to bundle up with on the couch and a movie 🙂
If you’re making extra sauce, store in a glass mason jar. Because it’s raw, add a pinch of turmeric as your preserving agent. This, along with the basil itself, will allow it to keep for a few (3) days, but thats it! Remember, basil & turmeric are anti-bacterial. For this reason, the fridge life is a bit extended.
After a few days, pitch it.
Enjoy this splurge into comfort, and know that your new healthy “main dish” is serving your body, and your body is thanking you for it!
To a healthier version of you,
For the printed recipe, click here!