Super Green Pesto

July 19, 2011

I’m really enjoying my work with Melrose. Creating recipes is something I truly love, and I am so excited to have this opportunity. My aim is to create interesting recipes that are a little out of the ordinary but that you would undoubtedly want to make and eat!

So when I was handed a container of Melrose Organic Essential Greens Powder, I instantly knew I wanted to mix things up. The powder contains barley and wheatgrass powders, chlorella and spirulina powders and some lime flavour. Yep, all that goodness makes for one big hit of antioxidants, protein (with spirulina and chlorella being complete proteins), Omega 3 Fats and loads of vitamins and minerals. Usually it’s consumed in smoothie or juice form, but I tried to think outside of the box. I wanted to avoid baking with it, as overheating will reduce the nutrient content of the powders. Instead I looked for other ways to use the powder while still keeping it fresh and delicious. What is fresh and delicious?…and green?….ahuh!…

Pesto!

Fabulous.

And thus, the Super Green Pesto was born.

I loved the idea of jazzing up one of my favourite pasta sauces. And then I thought, why not take it one step further and make pesto that’s both nutritious and lower in kilojoules than your regular oil-heavy pesto. Yes please!

I looked to avocado, another magical green ingredient, and water to make a moist paste, rather than being overenthusiastic with olive oil. I also decided to use both pine nuts and almonds in my pesto, as I really loved the almondy versions I tasted in Italy.

Feel free to add more or less of whatever ingredients you favour, just be sure to taste as you go to get the flavour balance just right. You can certainly add more Greens Powder, yet beware it has a strong flavour, which will throw the balance off and make it taste less like a true pesto. If you’re fine with this, and are keen for more green goodness, then go for green! The suggested serving size for Greens Powder is 1 teaspoon per person.

Super Green Pesto

This recipe requires a hand blender

Serves 6

Ingredients

¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon (55g) Pine Nuts
20g Almonds
1 medium clove Garlic, crushed
100g fresh Italian Basil
75g Avocado (be sure to test the avocado first to make sure it’s a good one!)
3 teaspoons Melrose Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tablespoons Water
2 teaspoons (4g) Melrose Organic Essential Greens Powder
2 heaped tablespoons (20g) good quality Parmesan Cheese, grated
1/3 teaspoon Sea Salt

Method

1. Lightly toast the pine nuts in a heavy-based pan over low heat. Watch them carefully, you don’t want to burn them. Place them in a small bowl.
2. Repeat the same process with the almonds.
3. Add the toasted pine nuts and almonds to your blender, along with the crushed garlic, basil, avocado, olive oil and water. Blend until smooth.
4. Add the essential greens powder, parmesan and salt. Pulses until incorporated.
5. Taste and adjust as you desire. If you enjoy a thinner pesto, add a little more olive oil. Add more salt if you feel it needs it. If you want more green powder goodness, add in more!

Store in an airtight jar or container in the refrigerator, with a layer of olive oil to cover the top of the pesto. Use within 5 days.

Serving Suggestions
• Add your pesto to hot pasta, drizzle with a little olive oil and mix to incorporate. Serve with extra grated parmesan if you wish. For a more substantial meal, add a handful of diced, steamed asparagus and sliced, grilled chicken breast to this mix (adding more pesto if required).
• Spread onto toasted bread and serve with poached eggs for breakfast.
• Use the pesto as a spread on a fresh salad sandwich.
• Use as a salad dressing with Melrose Extra Virgin Olive Oil – it would go beautifully with a big leafy green salad.
• Use as a dip with Omega Brazil Nut Crackers (recipe to come).

Go Green.

Heidi xo

23 Comments

  • Reply Michelle Chin July 19, 2011 at 7:24 am

    I don't wanna buy storebought pesto but i don't really have a food processor either. 🙁 how?

  • Reply Heidi July 19, 2011 at 7:33 am

    That's tough! You can use a mortar & pestle but for few ingredients only so it doesn't overflow, and your pesto will b v chunky. Maybe invest in a hand blender, they're not that expensive & they're great!
    Heidi xo

  • Reply leaf (the indolent cook) July 19, 2011 at 8:29 am

    I love pesto with pasta. I dig the nice healthy twist in your version!

  • Reply Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets July 19, 2011 at 9:37 am

    What a healthy pesto — love pesto pasta!

  • Reply Chanel July 19, 2011 at 10:14 am

    I love pesto! Your healthy version sounds packed full of delicious flavour 😀

    Just to add, I love my food processor and definitely recommend buying one!

  • Reply Julia @ Boredom Abounds July 19, 2011 at 10:15 am

    Yummy – I love making my own pesto. So satisfying, and if I make double the amount it's handy to freeze the excess to use later on.

  • Reply Hannah July 19, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Mmmm looks so good, love adding almonds and avocado (I shall bookmark this recipe!)- a little twist! You're work with Melrose sounds really great 🙂
    Hannah x

  • Reply Hannah July 19, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Lucky you! I want crazy green powders 😛 You even manage to make pesto soudn delicious to a girl who usually avoids it like the plague (don't know why; I've simply never really enjoyed the taste).

    P.S. Squee, you're off to the States so soon!

  • Reply Leah July 19, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    I never thought about putting an avocado into a pesto, great idea Heidi I will have to try this soon! 🙂

  • Reply ClaireyH July 19, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    This recipe looks so yummy and simple to.

    My mixmaster also makes this super easy to do. I have blown up two hand blenders mixing baby food over the last few years, so if you can invest in a good one than you might just have it for 20 years.

  • Reply Heidi July 19, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    Leaf – thanks!

    Xiaolu – me too 🙂

    Chanel – they're great, aren't they!

    Julia – absolutely, I agree. Great to make a huge batch!

    Hannah – thanks, I'm having a lot of fun 🙂

    Hannah – oh my goodness, yes I am!!! You must get your pesto love on, lady. I'm sure you'll love it if you try it again. Surely. Basil…it contains basil!

    Leah – oh good, so pleased 🙂

    Claire – hehe, yes, good point!

    Heidi xo

  • Reply chutneyandspice July 19, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    wow heidi, these are my favourite posts of yours, this one and the brownies. You make nutritious food look so delicious and I can tell by reading the ingredients just how good this one would taste. I don't think we can get Melrose ingredients in the UK but it has given me a really good idea for trying to get some more nutritious ingredients into my children via pesto.

  • Reply Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella July 19, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    I was just watching Dr Oz today and he was talking about the power of green foods! 😀

  • Reply Heidi July 20, 2011 at 9:33 am

    chutneyandspice – wonderful! I'm so glad you're enjoying them 🙂 You should be able to find similar green powders over there, check out health food stores!

    Lorraine – yay, Dr Oz is right 😛

    Heidi xo

  • Reply Keely aka The Richest Girl in Bondi July 20, 2011 at 11:29 am

    You have awesome ideas to make recipes more healthy Heidi! Using avocado's a stroke of genius and can't wait to try a bit of almond as well. Melrose will be stoked with your work!

  • Reply Maria July 20, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    I adore pesto with pretty much any greens and any seeds or nuts. This sounds so tasty!

  • Reply laura July 21, 2011 at 12:56 am

    aah green pesto is one of my favourite ingredients, its so yummy!!

  • Reply Heidi - Apples Under My Bed July 21, 2011 at 7:10 am

    Keely – awww thanks, lovely! How sweet 🙂

    Maria – thanks! Adding seeds also is a great idea!

    Laura – isn't it?! I agree 🙂

    Heidi xo

  • Reply Brooke July 21, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    Omgosh that looks delicious! I am so hungry now!! x

  • Reply The InTolerant Chef July 21, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    Great idea! Pesto is the perfect medium for this, great idea, yumm…
    The mayo you sent me has a really lovely lemony flavour and is very tasty. The texture is OK, and it's not as 'gummy' as some others out there which is a big pluse. Thanks very much!

  • Reply Heidi July 22, 2011 at 7:15 am

    Brooke – thanks!

    InTolerant Chef – you're welcome! Good to know, thanks 🙂

    Heidi xo

  • Reply Kath (My Funny Little Life) July 22, 2011 at 8:02 am

    That Green Powder sounds totally awesome! I want to try something like that, too! 🙂

  • Reply Iron Chef Shellie July 27, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    I have still never made pesto… how outrageous! must rectify that soon 😛 looks fab!x

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