Looking for a light, easy to make, summer snack that’s also super nutritious?  Check out this delicious twist – Kale Pesto!  A refreshing taste, perhaps served on apple slices, sliced tomatoes, crackers or even as a spread or dressing on salads, vegetables or starches.

An original recipe, courtesy of Beth Mincher, Holistic Wellness Coach at Evolution Wellness.

‘Raw’king fresh greens in summer will give your body a boost of energy, but it also keeps you in tune with the season, which in turn helps your body function at a more optimal level.  Eating raw or uncooked foods in summer coincides with beating the summer heat.  Just as your body wants to cool down amidst the scorching summer sun, eating raw gives you the opportunity to absorb more nutrients from your uncooked, non heat-processed foods.  When you decrease the amount of processed foods in your diet and increase the amount of fresh, raw fruits and vegetables, your body composition can change. You may notice a more vibrant complexion and internal glow.  In addition, you keep your oven off and keep your house cool!

Kale is high in vitamins A, C, K and E and also has a high mineral content for manganese, iron, calcium and potassium.  It even has a significant protein value and is packed with phytochemicals which can be linked to cancer prevention.  The true start of kale season is mid-summer, and the good news is that it continues to thrive all the way through December.  So keep this recipe handy for summer and fall dishes.

The perks of this recipe are the incorporation of almonds, olive oil and garlic.  Adding olive oil, which has heart healthy monounsaturated fats, to your greens actually helps your body absorb the nutrients from the greens even more.  Almonds are the healthiest of tree nuts, adding an extra source of good fat and protein.

There has been some concern or caution about eating raw, cruciferous vegetables in extreme quantities (such as an all raw food diet), as it can affect your thyroid function and the body’s use of iodine.  However, as long as you add these foods to your diet wisely (one cup a day) and eat supportive foods with iodine (like iodized sea salt, seaweed, saltwater fish, and shellfish) this should not be an issue.

Kale “Pesto”

Prep time: 10 minutes        Prep notes: Food Processor required

Cooking time: 0 minutes    Yields: 2 people

Ingredients:

Kale (2 handfuls), 2-3 Tbsp. olive oil, raw almonds (1 handful), 1-2 cloves garlic

Directions: Soak almonds for 1-2 hours (optional) and drain water.

In a food processor, combine one handful of almonds, 2 handfuls of rinsed kale and 1-2 cloves of garlic.  Drizzle with olive oil (about 2-3 Tbsp)

Blend until all ingredients are chopped and combined and to desired consistency.

Season with Himalayan sea salt and pepper if desired.

Serving Suggestions:  Serve over sliced apples or tomatoes, with carrot sticks or crackers, or over fresh, raw zucchini noodles, salads or starches.

*I make this recipe fairly dry/coarse. You can increase the amount of olive oil or add some grated Parmesan to make the pesto more creamy.   I am a big fan of playing around with recipes and adjusting them to your liking.  Food is meant to be fun, creative and enjoyed!

Beth Mincher, CHHC offers customized health coaching programs to fit all wellness goals. She offers face-to-face and online health coaching sessions. Learn more about health coaching with Beth now!