One of our favorite ways to incorporate flavor and spice to an autoimmune paleo (AIP) diet – or any diet for that matter – is to use sauces that are easily added to any dish. Pesto is incredibly versatile and has extensive health benefits as well. Why not cook an amazing meal and fuel your body at the same time? The fresh herbs and wild greens will provide lots of vitamins and minerals like Vitamin K, Vitamin C, magnesium, manganese, iron. Olive oil contains an essential fatty acid called ALA, monounsaturated fatty acids, and polyphenols, all of which assist in reducing inflammation, promoting brain health, and boosting the immune system. Garlic, ginger, and turmeric have many anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and and digestive benefits. And to make this even better, all you have to do is put everything into a blender!
From there the possibilities are endless, but a few easy recipes with pesto include:
– pesto vinaigrette for salad dressings (simply whisk with olive oil)
– roasted vegetables (coat veggies before cooking)
– pasta/spiralized veggies (add a scoop after cooking, stir in a small amount of cooking water, coconut milk, or butter)
Wild Greens Pesto
makes: 1/2 cup
- 1/4 cup wild greens (carrot tops, dandelion greens, beet greens, arugula)
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup fresh dill
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 inch fresh ginger (optional)
- 1/2 inch fresh turmeric (optional)
- 3 T nutritional yeast
- heavy pinch of sea salt
- zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Place all ingredients in a high-speed food processor or blender. Blend until well combined into a thick, spreadable sauce. Add more olive oil to achieve desired consistency. Add salt, nutritional yeast, and lemon juice or zest to taste.
- Use to top vegetables or meat, as a sauce for pasta or veggie noodles, mixed into a marinade or dressing, or on freshly cooked eggs.
- Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.