This month, we’re bringing you a collaboration with a local (to us!) friend, Kristen Roberts from Krave Wellness. We’ve been fans of each other since the beginning, and we were so excited when Kristen agreed to work with us on some recipes. Kristen is a 2021 graduate of the Nutritional Therapy Association (NTP) and has been dedicated to sourcing foods locally and seasonally while also nourishing the mind and body. Follow along on Kristen’s adventures on her Instagram where you’ll not only see beautiful food but learn how it helps fuel your body. Learn more about Kristen and her nutritional coaching business below or visit her website.
As we welcome October, the last of the summer herbs hang on, providing us with their aromatic notes and flavors for just a little while longer. Basil, with its delicate and abundant leaves, has us scrambling to put up as much of it as we can before the last leaf browns. Today I am sharing a recipe for a very special pesto featuring Farmtrue’s beautiful Garlic Scape Ghee, one that is so good, I dare to say it is life-changing! I encourage you to make enough to enjoy now, and more to freeze for a mid-winter reminder that a warm sunny day is just around the corner. The basil that I used for this recipe also came directly from the Farmtrue Farm, so it was fresh and grown with love.
As a Nutritional Therapist, I passionately educate around the topic of fats, as it is one of my favorites from our 6 foundations for optimal health. Learning which fats fuel for function vs. which fats contribute to inflammation and disease is life-giving information. Fats are arguably the most misunderstood of the macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fats) and yet our body, brain, and heart all require a diverse range as a major source of energy to function. Here I feature a handful of healthy fats, Farmtrue’s organic grass-fed ghee, organic raw walnuts, and high-quality fresh crushed olive oil to capture Omega-3, Omega-9, and saturated fats.
Some lesser-known roles of fats to be aware of:
Act as building blocks for hormone production and cell membranes
Aid in the absorption of A, D, E, and K vitamins
Allow for proper use of proteins
Protect our organs
Help regulate blood sugar
Keep us feeling full
Control inflammatory function
Make our food taste good!
Basil on its own is a nutrient-dense therapeutic herb high in antioxidants, magnesium, and vitamins. It is known for being anti-inflammatory, cancer-fighting, pain-reducing, liver-protecting, immune-boosting, anti-stress, and diabetes-preventing but I wanted to push for more in my pesto. This is why I included parsley, a fabulous source of vanadium, and, according to Dr. Axe, a natural free-radical scavenger, heart protector, brain protector, antidiabetic, antibacterial, and digestive aid. Parsley never gets enough love, in my opinion!
In this same article, Dr. Axe shares that, according to Ayurveda practices, parsley increases bile production and beneficial gastric juices that are necessary for proper nutrient absorption. You are what you absorb, after all. By the way, digestion and elimination together make up the second of our 6 foundations. In Nutritional Therapy, we talk a lot about our north-to-south digestive process, the organs involved, what dysfunction looks like, and how to turn your unique imbalance around.
Lastly, you will notice that I call for unrefined salt. We always want the most nutrient-dense ingredients we can get our hands on. This includes salts which offer critical minerals our body uses to stimulate hundreds of enzymatic reactions happening at every moment. This is just one small effort and easy swap we can make to increase our mineral intake.
I hope you savor every bite of this incredibly nourishing pesto. Try one of my favorite ways to use it here in my recipe for White Bean and Maitake Mushroom Toast with Easy Ghee Pesto.
* I like and recommend Capizzano’s, local to the southeastern Connecticut region.
**Try Redmond’s Real Salt or Celtic Sea Salt.
***Hard cheese is naturally lactose-free and parmigiana is always made with raw milk.
Set up a food processor. Place all of the ingredients in the bowl with the exception of the parmigiana and lemon. Process until smooth. Add the cheese and lemon, pulse 5 or so times until incorporated. Taste and adjust salt if necessary. Store in a glass container and top with a thin layer of olive oil* to retain color, keep refrigerated. Excess pesto can be frozen in silicone ice cube trays. Pop your pesto cubes out when ready and store in airtight glass in the freezer. This is one way you can enjoy the flavors of summer all winter long!