Spinach Walnut Pesto
Updated: Oct 27
Leafy greens (lettuce, Swiss chard, watercress, kale, collard greens, mustard greens, arugula) are so much more than the base of every salad. When ingested, these leaves scrub and massage the linings of your stomach, small intestine, and colon, loosening up old, trapped yeast, mold and other fungi, along with debris and pockets of waste matter, so they can be carried out, making elimination very productive. If you experience digestive discomfort when consuming raw salads, try adding butter leaf lettuce, red leaf lettuce and/or spinach to your daily diet in small amounts. This discomfort is usually from the fiber of the greens doing its job to "clean house".
Spinach, specifically, is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. Its an excellent source of vitamin K, beta-carotene, manganese, folate, copper, vitamins B2 & B6, vitamin E, calcium, vitamin C, and potassium. Spinach is also a very good source of zinc, dietary fiber, phosphorus, and choline. It contains a unique and powerful mixture of phytonutrients, anti-oxidants, flavonoids and carotenoids. If spinach isn't a part of your current diet, get creative with adding it on the daily. Try adding a handful to your fruit smoothies in the morning to help them stick with you longer, and the best part is it doesn't make the smoothie taste 'too green'.
This recipe is a great way to get your spinach in for the day. The pesto comes together while the pasta cooks, meaning dinner can be ready in less than 20 minutes. Now there's really no excuse for not eating your greens!
2 packed cups of fresh spinach
1 cup of raw walnuts
1 clove of garlic, roughly chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
A couple grinds of black pepper
1/3 cup (scant) of extra virgin olive oil
Combine all ingredients (except olive oil) in a food processor. Turn the processor on, and immediately start drizzling in the olive oil slowly through the top spout. After pouring the olive oil in, let it run for a few more seconds until everything is smooth. My favorite way to serve is on some brown rice and quinoa pasta (or red lentil pasta from Trader Joe's because its pretty). Simply cook your pasta of choice according to package directions, drain completely and add back to the pot. Pour the pesto over the warm pasta, and stir until all the noodles are covered with the pesto.
Parenting Tip: I call this Monster (or dinosaur) Pasta because of it's beautiful bright green color. My kids *usually* gobble it right up. Marketing is everything with kids.