Sunday, February 1, 2015

Purple Pesto With Hempseed oil-feed your face from within!

Healthy skin starts from a healthy diet. Here I explain our an every day food item, pesto, can be supercharged to maximise the health benefits without compromising flavour. this is a vegan version, however if you wanted to use parmesan cheese then that is your choice.



Purple basil leaves (why purple?) Well scientists recommend we eat a ‘rainbow’ of foods and those in the purple and blue spectrum are full of constituents  called Anthocyanins and ellagic acid which have a number of health befits such as reducing cholesterol, reducing risk of urinary track infections and maybe even preventing cancer cellular growth. Adding something blue or purple to your daily diet is a good place to start. Also purple is much more exciting than green. Nutritionally basil packs a good punch as well which it is so widely used in many global cuisines. From a vegetarian and vegan point of view it contains calcium, iron, thiamine, niacin and folate along with at least 14 other micro-nutrients and minerals. The full analysis can be found here
Hempseed Oil-I used a organic NZ grown one which is a rich dark green. Hemp seed oil is one of the most valuable nutritional oils as well as giving a pleasant nutty taste. And no-it does not contain THC so this pesto will keep you firmly on the ground! Hemp seed is another plant power house with a perfect profile of omega 3,6,9 which are essential fatty acids our body needs. Leave the poor salmon and krill alone- grow more hemp I say! this site here compares the profile of hemp seed with other common sources of EFA's. A quality NZ hemp seed oil can be obtained from New Hemisphere  (I am not affiliated in any way with this company)
Toasted sunflower seeds (yes pine nuts are usually used but here in NZ you need have bag of gold to buy a decent amount!). Sunflowers are another nutritional friend of vegans and vegetarians and also contain valuable minerals to improve skin health. Toasting them releases more zinc and selenium which is important here in NZ as our soils are naturally depleted of selenium. I usually sprinkle a handful of toasted seeds on whatever I can. A detailed analysis is here
Garlic- slightly fried to soften and take away the bitterness. Garlic helps boost immunity, reduces the risk of an attack by vampires (always a concern for us veg*ns)
I used some olive oil and a slight amount of lemon juice to make it smooth.
for my ‘pesto’ flavour I used vegan parmesan (non dairy) made by Angel Foods in NZ. this is optional as you can still have a perfectly nice pesto with the cheese flavour. I like it as if gives a nice ‘bite’

Pop them all in your blender and blitz away to your hearts content- time depends on whether you like it chunky or smooth! No rules with pesto.
use anywhere! Wendy