I never thought of pesto as herbal medicine, but indeed it is.
Pesto has earned a spot in my diet (and my freezer), fairly regularly as a result. I mean, think of it, it’s chock-full of herbs. Herbs are medicine. Pesto = Powerful Herbal Medicine.
The thing about pesto, for me at least, is that I don’t relish the making of it. I have to lug out my food processor and wash lots of herbs (I like to keep them varied for optimal nutrition). The other issue is that sometimes you don’t want a lot of pesto… you want just a little. Well, that’s not a problem when you’re smart and make pesto ahead of time.
When you realize you want (or need) some pesto, it’s great to have it on hand. It requires thawing, but I find that I usually know if I’ll need pesto a day in advance so I put it in the fridge to thaw overnight. I like to make a good sized batch and freeze it in jars of different sizes as shown in the pictures. I especially like these baby food storage jars because the amount frozen is perfect for adding a little of pesto flavor to any dish where you want herbal flare but not a pesto-heavy result.
Pesto (#HerbalMedicine) going into little cups for freezing.
When I go to the farmers’ market, I see what lovely fresh herbs the farmer has, and I buy a lot. I go home and get to making some pesto straight away so I can be done with it. It feels good to have a freezer stocked of different things that can quickly be thawed for food. If you haven’t seen my post on Real Food Fast Food, please check it out. I share lots of ways to make really fast meals that qualify as Real Food (healthy stuff).
Pesto goes wonderfully served over a grass-fed steak, grass-fed burgers (I buy from Alderspring), pasture-raised chicken (I buy from Good Earth Farms), wild-caught salmon (I buy from Vital Choice). It’s also delectable slathered over some fermented organic sourdough bread, drizzled over mochi, dumped on top of gluten-free pasta, and stirred into organic goat cheese for the best goat cheese ever. You can also add a spoonful of it to the next dressing you make. Holy moly, you’ll be licking the bowl and begging for more salad when you do.
See? Many ways to enjoy pesto, when you have it on hand. Don’t forget…
Pesto = Powerful Herbal Medicine.
Pesto is pretty easy to make even if it’s not my favorite thing to do. However, I am not going to give you much of a pesto recipe because it’s so forgiving. You only need fresh herbs and a couple of other ingredients. I list many herbs below and you can use one or a combination of many. I also prefer hemp seeds instead of other nuts because they’re nice and small, soft, and offer some better nutrition than many other nuts.
Place the herbs in a food processor, like this one I have, fitted with the “S” blade, along with sea salt, garlic, hemp seeds, and cheese. Pulse it a bit until it’s nicely chopped. Turn on the food processor and add the olive oil in a steady stream until it’s incorporated. Set some aside to eat, if desired. Transfer the rest into glass storage cups of different sizes to be frozen. Be sure to label them with “Pesto” and the date.
Here is a refreshing chia pudding recipe for the summer that can be enjoyed as a snack, dessert, or as an easy breakfast (make it the night before to enjoy the following morning). I pulled it from my Raw Vegan Transitions book and changed it up a bit to suit my preferences these days. Mainly, I swapped out the agave nectar for raw honey. (To keep it vegan, simply use agave nectar or maple syrup in place of the honey.)
How did I make that delicious looking, creamy, raw vegan nut milk? I’ll tell ya! It’s Pili Hemp Nut Milk and my new go-to for nut milk. It’s fantastic for many reasons:
Pili nuts, hemp seeds, and salt
Creamy! The pili nuts… They damn near melt in your mouth when you eat them on their own. Heck, blend them and wowza.
Easy! This is because no soaking (or straining) required! Hemp seeds and pili nuts are naturally soft and blend easily. What a time saver. And when it comes to hemp seeds, stock up. I operate under the philosophy of “go big or go home” and I buy in bulk. They are versatile and soooo healthy.
Delightful Flavor!Pili nuts have a fairly neutral flavor which is great for plant strong milks, raw vegan cheeses, dips, and even raw vegan cheesecakes! (They are amazing in cheesecakes for both flavor and texture because they firm up when cold – I digress though. This is a nut milk post after all.) Hemp seeds, on the other hand, can be a little strong in flavor, but they’re huge on nutrition (essential fatty acids and a complete protein), so I try to continuously have them in my life. By blending the softly flavored pili nuts with the extra nutritious hemp seeds, you get a mild raw vegan nut milk that is perfect for use in any situation needing milk. I will say, though, that pili nuts rightly boast some excellent nutrition. They’re extremely high in their oil content (great as a beautifying food, as well as high amounts vitamin E and magnesium).
Pili Nuts. Not usually inexpensive, so I stock up when they’re on sale.
And, here’s a peak at our current snack bar bowl (she also loves playing with them… taking them out and putting them back into the bowl). She’s especially fond of the Boku bars and she knaws on Go Raw bars like they’re teething biscuits. Although she only eats a few bites at a time, I love sharing my healthy snack bars with her.
Here are some other favorite Kamea foods: apple, guacamole, sauerkraut, red and orange bell peppers, smoothies and shakes, nut butter, sprouted whole grain bread, hemp seeds, blueberries (she can pack these away like there’s no tomorrow!), hummus, coconut milk, grapes, raw onion bread, black beans, chickpeas, and quite frankly, whatever we’re eating she’s game to try.
I just threw together a delicious combo of ingredients that basically make up a trail mix… all vegan, all organic, part raw. I couldn’t decide on a name because the mixture seemed ideal for serving at a party, as dessert, during a movie, or on the trail. So, I put those all in the name. I like making things in BIG batches so I only have to do it once in a while. No amounts given, I didn’t measure… that makes it part of the fun! Here are the ingredients…
Party Dessert Movie Trail Mix By Kristen Suzanne of KristensRaw.com
Yield approximately 2 quarts
I LOVE GREEN SMOOTHIES!!!! For all of you out there who are intimidated my raw food, or who don’t know where to begin… this is it! Whip up a blazing awesome green smoothie for your breakfast and TAKE ON THE WORLD! (Want to learn more? Read 3 Problems Smoothies Solvehere)
Here is today’s all-organic concoction. It made about a quart. I loved it so much, I drank it all down in about a minute – lol.
Water 1 giant leaf of Swiss Chard (ended up being about 1 handful when torn into pieces) 1 frozen banana 1 1/2 cups pineapple 1 handful goji berries 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
Blend it up and voila! Energizing – Satiating – Fun Breakfast
1 cup blueberries 1 cup blackberries 1 mango, peeled and pitted 2 large handfuls spinach 2 tablespoons hemp seeds 1 teaspoon raw sunflower lecithin 1 teaspoon raw agave nectar 1/2 teaspoon cardamom 1 serving probiotic powder
Blend these nutritious ingredients up and enjoy! *Update: It was brought to my attention that I didn’t list water as an ingredient. Oops. My bad. I don’t remember now, but I suspect I had a cup of water in there.
A day’s high raw, all vegan, all organic food plan – giving little Kamea lots of nutrition!
Breakfast: Ummm… 1 bite of organic dark chocolate :)
3 cups calorie packed green smoothie water, ice, spinach, lucuma powder, hemp protein powder, hemp seeds, vanilla, bananas, Sun Warrior Ormus Supergreens(update: I have read that parsley can dry up a mom’s milk supply so I’ll hold off on using too much of this; that means more for my husband and he likes it!)
1st Lunch: Curried lentils n rice n sweet potato I made red lentils with rice and sweet potato and seasoned it with curry powder and soy-free miso
2nd Lunch: Huge salad romaine, spinach, apple, cucumber, avocado, red bell pepper, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Himalayan crystal salt
Hi! I'm a chef, author, homeschooling mom, and I love to eat and cook super healthy food. I'm a former vegan, now real-food omnivore, who enjoys coffee(!), dark chocolate, rebounding, and researching the latest tips for optimal living.