|My Very Own Pesto with another good for the ♥ Crackers|
What's in it and Just How Good it is for the ♥?
- Sweet Basil - contains anti-oxidants, has anti-bacterial properties, has anti-inflammatory effect, rich source of beta-carotene plus among other things
- Parsley (optional) - anti-oxidants, anti-anemia, anti-bacterial, immune booster plus among other things
- Pine Nuts (recommended) or just your good old pal Peanuts - anti-oxidants, a good source of Coenzyme Q10 which protects the heart during the period of lack of oxygen example high altitudes and clogged arteries, contains iron plus among other things
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - anti-oxidants, offers protection against heart diseases, colon cancers plus among other things
- Garlic - anti-oxidant, and aids in managing high bad cholesterol levels plus among other things
Note: How much of each ingredients you will have to use will depend on how much do you plan to have it, be it as for weeks' supply or longer as bread dips, or as pasta sauce. Your primary measure is the Olive Oil, how much olive oil you put will also be how much your pesto will yield (plus 30% to 40% more of the oil to account for basil, garlic & nuts). I read somewhere that you can keep it frozen for 3 to 6 months. Better suggestion is to put it on ice cube trays for easier thawing, and you just can get what you need, without unnecessarily defrosting everything. If by refrigeration, it can last for a week.
Just how easy?
- Pick the Sweet Basil leaves - should be the healthy greens, don't include the stems & buds that are not in good condition
- Wash & Shake Off excess water
- Prepare the garlic cloves - how much? I used around 4 medium cloves, but it's optional to add more or less depending on one's tolerance to garlic
- Combine Everything & Let the Food Processor do it's Thing ! :-) --Chopping, Grinding & Mixing!- In your food processor, put the basil, garlic, parsley (dried or fresh - again this is optional, but I like the extra added benefits from it & I do have a lot of dried parsley around),the nuts (either peanuts or pine nuts --my friend suggested that I used the spicy variant of the peanuts for added twist) and then gradually add the oil, a teaspoon of sugar (option to change it to low/zero calorie sweetener), salt & pepper to taste.
- Some suggested that you put the Parmesan cheese right then, but I prefer adding it when I'm ready to use it, so it's in small portions & it actually extends the shelf life of the food.
- I read that you can also add a teaspoon, or drop of lemon zest/juice to minimize darkening of the greens brought about by oxidation.