I used to love pesto the traditional way, with pine nuts, and you may too in which case you can substitute the walnuts out for pine nuts. You can also use cashews which adds a little sweetness or combine the nuts, even better! I no longer mentally enjoy eating pine nuts after an experience which left me with a terrible taste in my mouth for several weeks. If any of you reading this have suffered the same fate you can probably identify. If you’d like to know more about ‘pine nut syndrome’ click here. Anyway, I was thrilled when I discovered you can make pesto with walnuts or cashews as well. This is a fructose friendly version of pesto if you stick to the walnut version and I’ve included a zoodle (noodles made from zucchini) with chicken breast and broccolini recipe for you to try it with, so yummy!
Nutty nutritional facts
Please click here if you’d like to read some interesting nutritional facts about nuts. Paleo Flip have done a great job of summarising all the pros and cons about nuts. If you’ve now finished reading these facts and they have left you feeling deflated and confused? Fear not, everything in moderation as they say! And as the article suggests if you pair nuts that have a poor balance of omega 3:6 with something that is anti-inflammatory such as olive oil or use this pesto with an oily fish high in omega 3’s such as salmon, you are all good! To give you a quick conclusion of Paleo Flip’s findings on nuts: if you’re looking for a snacking nut or baking nut, macadamias although very calorie dense have the best anti-inflammatory properties with almonds coming in second place. Walnuts although high in omega 3’s are also very high in omega 6’s and cashews aren’t actually a nut! They like peanuts are a legume which can be troublesome for some people to digest.
Walnut Pesto Recipe
- 1/3 cup walnuts, cashews or pine nuts (or a mix of all of them if you like!)
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup garlic infused olive oil
- 2 stuffed cups of basil
- salt and cayenne pepper to taste
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Place the nuts & basil in your food processor and pulse until chopped
- Add the olive oil, Parmesan cheese (optional) and desired amount of salt and cayenne pepper and pulse again
- Put aside or store in air tight container in the fridge (It keeps for about a week)
Pesto Zoodle with Chicken Breast & Broccolini (serves 2)
- 2 tablespoons of pre-made walnut pesto
- 2 medium zucchinis
- 1 bunch broccolini
- 400 grams chicken breast (more or less depending on desired protein intake)
- Mixed herbs to taste
- Use kitchen tool to make zucchini noodles (looks like spaghetti) or cut into thin strips (looks like fettuccine).
- Cut chicken into strips and apply mixed herbs to both sides if desired.
- Pre-heat large frying pan to medium/low heat and add some coconut oil so the chicken doesn’t stick.
- Put brocollini at bottom of steamer and zoodles at the top so they should be ready at the same time.
- Cook chicken, flipping regularly until completely cooked through.
- To serve place the broccolini at the bottom of the plate, then the zoodles, layer the chicken pieces on top and dollop a tablespoon of the delicious walnut pesto on top.
- Once you’ve marveled your creation, you can mix the pesto in with the zoodles or use it as a dip, what ever you desire, enjoy!
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post. If you have any queries about recipe variations or are unclear on certain aspects of todays recipes, please do not hesitate to contact me. Also if you would like to share your own recipe variations or other uses for the walnut pesto, feel free to share in the post feed.