Oh, what a mega pesto!

So, what’s a naturally nourishing seasonal recipe for January to begin the year as healthily as possible?

The winter, and especially January, are kale season, so a lovely kale recipe it is! Kale is everywhere at the moment, and rightly so – it’s the daddy of nutritious greens. It’s a potent source of plant betacarotene, cancer-fighting sulphorophane and indoles, as well as vitamins C and E. The amount of kale in this recipe alone outstrips the RDA for C, E and betacarotene. Calcium, potassium, and a host of other nutrients, also feature.

The oils and walnuts join in to give the recipe its omega title – flax, rapeseed and walnuts are fantastic sources of omega 3 precursors, and with a touch of olive oil, the range of oils is available for your body and brain. Walnuts are high in B6 and folate too, along with magnesium, zinc, iron, manganese and phosphorous.

One thing few people know is that there should always be twice as much omega 3 as omega 6 in our diet. Too much 6 not counterbalanced by 3 causes inflammation, now implicated as a key factor in a number of diseases from cancer and arthritis to heart disease. So go easy on the olive oil, balancing with lots of omega 3 foods, and cook with rapeseed/coconut oils or butter – heating too high alters olive oil’s structure, wiping out the benefits.

Garlic and lemon juice top up the health benefits as well as flavour. So, for your heart, immunity, mood, and many other benefits, get these choice ingredients down you with this simple recipe. And the parmesan? Well, you can’t have a pesto without the scrumptious Parmigiano Reggiano……

Kale and Walnut Omega Pesto

100g chopped walnuts
1 tsp salt
100g kale, ripped into pieces
2 cloves of garlic, minced
organic rapeseed, flaxseed or extra virgin olive oil (or a mixture of all three)
100g parmesan
juice of 1 lemon

Toast the chopped walnuts carefully in a dry pan, ensuring they don’t burn. Cook the kale in water with 1 tsp salt, uncovered, until just tender, then drain. Whizz up the garlic, walnuts and kale until combined, then pulse or whizz slowly, adding the oil in a gradual stream. Stir in the cheese, then add lemon juice and seasoning to taste. Weave through beautiful wholegrain organic pasta, keeping the rest (if there is any!) in the fridge for the next few days.

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