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Quick, Easy and Healthy Walnut Pesto

Pesto makes a delicious and versatile accompaniment to so many dishes. Throw it on pizza, use it as a dip, add it to pasta, or try it as a marinade for your chicken - the possibilities with pesto seem nearly endless. Traditionally, pesto is made using pine nuts, but virtually any other nut can be used as a tasty substitute. We particularly love the nutty flavor of walnut pesto, which is packed with healthy omega-3s and a huge hit of antioxidants. Here’s how to make it. 

How To Make Walnut Pesto

If you already have a recipe for traditional pine-nut pesto, then substituting walnuts for pine nuts gram for gram will work absolutely fine. If you aren’t working from a recipe, then here’s our version for you to try. 

You Will Need:

  • ½ a cup of walnuts
  • ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1.5 cup of fresh basil 
  • 1 lemon, juiced, and zested (use the zest as a garnish)
  • 1 cup of spinach 
  • ¼ cup of finely grated parmesan cheese 
  • Pinch of sea salt 

How To Make Your Pesto Using A Food Processor

The good news about making pesto is that all of your ingredients can be added to a  food processor. Simply add everything listed above to a food processor and blitz together in pulses until it reaches the texture you like. 

How To Make Pesto Without A Food Processor 

If you don’t have a food processor to hand, then don’t fear - you can still make this delicious pesto using a pestle and mortar. 

  1. Start by chopping your garlic into small pieces and then grinding these in the pestle and mortar with a pinch of salt. 
  2. Once you have a smooth-ish garlic paste, add in your basil, spinach, and lemon juice and crush the leaves until they are homogeneous with the garlic. 
  3. Next, add in your walnuts, crushing them into small pieces, and toss in your grated parmesan cheese. 
  4. As you grind your ingredients together with the pestle and mortar, add in small drizzles of olive oil to keep everything moving. 
  5. Once your pesto reaches your desired consistency, give it a taste and adjust your seasoning with extra salt and lemon juice if needed. 

Tips For Making The Perfect Walnut Pesto

Use High-Quality English Walnuts 

For the best flavor and maximum nutritional value, always try to use high-quality English walnuts. Walnut pieces will work fine if you can’t find walnut halves. 

Use Fresh Basil Leaves

Nothing beats the flavor of fresh basil. While bags of freshly chopped basil will work fine, if you like this recipe, then it may be worth buying a basil plant. 

Omit The Cheese For A Vegan Alternative

If you’re dairy-free or vegan, then swap out the parmesan cheese in this recipe for a pinch of extra salt. Alternatively, try adding in a tablespoon of nutritional yeast. 

Use High-Quality Olive Oil

While you can use any oil in this recipe, it undoubtedly tastes best when a high-quality cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil is used. High-quality olive oil is packed with heart-healthy fats and has a more distinct flavor than other oils such as vegetable oil. 

Eat It While It’s Fresh

Although this pesto will store well in an airtight container for up to five days in the fridge, it tastes at its best when eaten fresh. After a few days, the basil and spinach may start to discolor. 


So there you have it - now you know how to make a quick, easy and healthy walnut pesto in under five minutes! Want more ideas for what to do with your walnuts or curious to know more about the nut itself? 

May 17, 2021 by Gillian Brady

Three Superfood Smoothie Recipes

Smoothies are a fantastic way to consume a lot of nutrition in one meal, especially if you’re on the go or prefer to drink your calories rather than eat them. Below, we’ve shared our top three protein-packed superfood smoothie recipes to provide you with the nutrient boost you need and to keep you feeling fuller for longer.
February 10, 2021 by Gillian Brady

Easy and Delicious Saffron Rice

Saffron can be enjoyed in many different ways and has several exciting uses but one of the most delicious ways to consume saffron is by simply making saffron rice.

Saffron rice is popular in many cultures and the procedure and added ingredients vary a bit between countries, but all variations have the golden color, unique fragrance and wonderful taste in common.


What do you need to make saffron rice?


There are really only two ingredients you need to make saffron rice and that’s good quality saffron and – you guessed it! – rice. White basmati rice is the best option for this dish. Those are the two essential ingredients, but you can experiment with other ingredients for more flavor combinations. For example, you can use butter, different types of stock, onions, bay leaves, salt and/or a bit of lemon juice. There are so many ways to enjoy saffron rice!


A Simple Saffron Rice Recipe


Here’s an easy recipe for delicious saffron rice that you can make at home. This recipe makes enough for 6 people.

Ingredients:

  • 400g white basmati rice
  • 2-3 tablespoons of butter
  • A pinch of high-quality saffron strands
  • 500ml of vegetable or chicken stock, prepared and hot
  • 300ml of boiling water
  • Salt for seasoning

Method:

  • Wash the rice and cover with cold water. Let it soak for 30 minutes before draining.
  • Add the butter to a frying pan (if possible, choose one that has a lid) and melt at a medium heat. 
  • Add the saffron strands to a few tablespoons of hot water and let steep for a few minutes. 
  • Drain the rice and add the drained rice to the pan and stir.
  • Add the saffron, the stock, the water and a bit of salt to the rice and butter.
  • Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and cover the pan and cook until the stock has been absorbed and the rice is cooked. This usually takes around 15 minutes but do keep an eye on it.
  • Season to taste, serve and enjoy!

This yummy rice would work well along a Moroccan tagine in the winter or grilled chicken and a salad in summer, for example.

Things to remember when making saffron rice


Saffron rice is a really easy dish to make but there are a few things that are important for a good result. The first thing is to ensure you have bought high quality saffron as this is what makes the rice taste, smell and look amazing. Make sure you buy your saffron from a reputable seller to ensure the quality is the best. The second thing is to use white basmati rice and not substitute with other types of rice as the texture is different. Finally, don’t forget to season with a bit of salt as this will complement the flavor and bring the rice to whole new level. 


Conclusion 


Saffron rice is a simple side dish that can be made easily and quickly at home with just a few ingredients. You can customise it with other ingredients depending on what you like or which other foods you are serving it with. What will you serve alongside your delicious homemade saffron rice? 

November 19, 2020 by Gillian Brady
Tags: recipes