If you want a body-lovin’ pesto, this is the one for you! This basil cashew pesto contains the ingredients needed to help battle depression and lessen inflammation in the body. How cool is that?
Basil is one herb that shouldn’t be over-looked. It contains anti-inflammatory compounds (like eugenol) that block the activity of cylcooxygenase (COX), which is the main effect of many over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS), like aspirin and ibuprofen. Basil can provide symptomatic relief for any individuals suffering from arthritis, inflammatory bowel conditions, other joint-related pain and back pain.
Not only that, but cashews contain a significant amount of vitamin B6, which helps with the uptake of serotonin (the “feel good” chemical) in the body. Cashews are also an amazing source of the amino acid tryptophan, which improves serotonin uptake in the brain, acting as a direct precursor to this anti-depressant hormone (aka. serotonin). When our bodies lack serotonin, we feel anxious, stressed, and to put it bluntly, depressed.
I love this recipe as it is the perfect addition to any meal! I mix it through my salads, have it spread on homemade crackers, or just eat it straight from the spoon! It is a healthy dairy-free alternative to store bought pesto that is made with parmesan cheese and packed with oil.
Raw Basil Cashew Pesto Recipe
– 2 cups basil (loosely packed)
– 1 cup coriander (loosely packed)
– Juice of half a lemon
– 1 garlic clove
– 2 tbsp oilve oil
– 4 tbsp. water
– Salt and pepper
– 1 1/2 cups soaked, raw cashews (soak overnight and then drain before use)
1. Wash the basil and coriander and shake excess water out. Pull the leaves off the stem and place into a blender or food processor.
2. Add the lemon juice, garlic clove, olive oil, water and salt and pepper. Blend until smooth.
3. Next add the cashew nuts to the blender. The amount of cashew nuts you add it up to you. Start with half a cup and blend, then slowly add more. I like this pesto to be thick and more like a spread which is the consistency you will achieve using 1 and half cups of cashews.
4. Blend until you achieve your desired texture. If you want it to be a little chunky still then don’t over blend it.
5. Serve with vegetables to dip, or spiralize some zucchini and use as a pesto sauce for the zucchini noodles. Enjoy!