Cashew Pesto – Serves 12

Whatcha know about pesto?  Well if you’re anything like me you know pine nuts are a staple in it…  Now again, if you’re anything like me, you know you want a lower cost ingredient.  This is an awesome twist to one of my favorite meal additions that is packed with powerful flavor.

Now instead, of pine nuts, opt for cashews.  Even raw, these nuts are packed with buttery flavor and are super chewy thus giving your mouth a mini workout.  Cashews are a great source of unsaturated fat which basically means they help to reduce the bad cholesterol (LDL) and instead help increase the good cholesterol (HDL).  Cashews also have other nutrients such as micronutrients and vitamins.  If you are taking blood thinners such as Coumadin/warfarin use discretion since these nuts are a great source of vitamin-K.

This recipe is officially a staple in my meals as of recent.  Not only does it taste good warmed up with a meal but it also tastes good cold served with crudités and or crackers.  Therefore make pesto for your family and friends during Thursday Night Football (TNF) – it is a crowd pleasure that shocks your taste buds!  So far, I have made this with shrimp, steak, and chicken as a garnish topping or I have mixed it into my vegetables for extra flavor.  My taste testers prefer the pesto warm and so I shall say that is the majority consensus currently.

pesto = heaven

pesto = green, edible version of heaven

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup cashew nuts (soaked overnight or for a least 1-2 hours prior to making the recipe)
  • Handful or 1/2 cup basil (preferably fresh)
  • Handful or 1/2 cup parsley (preferably fresh)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • To taste: black pepper and sea salt

Methodology:

  1. Remove cashew nuts from the refrigerator, drain from water, and add to a blender.
  2. Add the basil, parsley, lemon, lemon zest, cloves, and oil to the blender.
  3. Blend on low and increase the speed until the mixture is uniform but retain some texture.
  4. Taste and then add spices (salt and pepper) as desirable.
  5. Serve cold or serve hot as a garnish as shown above…  The recipe for the shrimp and vegetable side are to come – stay tuned.
  6. Happy chow down!

xxx – Sarah

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