The Buzz

I'm always on the look out for condiments or ingredients that are going to make my meals yummier and scrummier! It's not that I don't absolutely love the taste of my beautiful, natural food. However, there are times when a little extra something special is required. That is why I adore this pesto recipe. It makes a great accompaniment to salads, steamed veggies, fish and pasta! It's also a super dip for snacks such as carrot sticks, cucumber sticks, rice cakes and oat cakes.

I usually make a whole lot and then freeze half of it because it doesn't keep for too long. You will always want to have a steady supply of this lovely stuff in your fridge and freezer. It defrosts very quickly too so you don't need to take it out long before you want to enjoy it. 

Nutrition

Obviously, this pesto is gluten, dairy and sugar free. It contains some pretty perfect ingredients, all raw and all guaranteed to make your body function better. Simply put, it's food that heals.

Cashew Nuts

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Cashews are probably my favourite nuts. They taste sweet and they are easy to eat. They are also such versatile nuts and make a great alternative to dairy in many recipes. They contain a good level of protein and are a source of minerals like iron, copper, potassium and zinc.

They are also rich in the mineral magnesium, which is thought to improve recall and  memory loss. If you are wondering whether magnesium will help with your Multiple Sclerosis, you would be on the right track! Magnesium is great for countering memory and nerve transmission problems as well as physical performance and muscle function. It really is one of those absolutely vital minerals.

A handful of cashew nuts a day in the tummy would provide enough of the above list of minerals to prevent deficiency diseases. Brilliant MS nutrition! You are sorted for theses minerals by eating a generous portion of this pesto.

Remember that the cashews you buy need to be raw. There is no use adding roasted/salted cashews. They are pretty tasty but when nuts are cooked, they lose most of their nutritional value. It is also preferable that the cashews are soaked for 8 hours, covered in water. This makes them more easily digestible. [1]

2. Sun-Dried Tomatoes

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Tomatoes in this form are a great source of concentrated antioxidants. Tomatoes deteriorate rapidly after they’re picked due to their high moisture content. Removing the water through drying, preserves tomatoes so that they retain more flavour and nutrients. Just some fun facts: one cup of sun-dried tomatoes has 139 calories, 8 grams of protein and 7 grams of fibre. Us women gain 17 percent of our daily intake of protein and 28 percent of fiber.

Additionally, a one-cup serving of sun-dried tomatoes has 39 percent of the recommended daily intake of potassium, which is essential for muscle contraction and the transmission of nerve impulses. Last fun fact: one cup of sun-dried tomatoes provides 23 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C and 16 percent of vitamin A. These nutrients support the immune system and neutralise free radicals throughout the body. Now this is the kind of MS nutrition that we need! [2]

3. Fresh Basil

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This strong tasting, fragrant herb is the cornerstone ingredient in this recipe. It really does bring out the best in salads, pastas and of course, pestos! It contains a unique array of flavanoids which have been found to provide protection for our bodies at a cellular level. Orientin and vicenin are two water-soluble flavonoids that have been of particular interest in basil. In studies on human white blood cells, these components of basil protect cell structures as well as chromosomes from radiation and oxygen-based damage. This is good news for us as we need all the help we can get to slow down the degeneration process in our bodies.

Basil is an excellent source of vitamin K and manganese; a very good source of copper, vitamin A and vitamin C; and a good source of calcium, iron, folate, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids. All of these properties make it highly anti-inflammatory for our bodies. I think it definitely deserves super-food status! [3]

4. Extra-virgin Olive Oil/Hemp Seed Oil

Both of these oils have anti-inflammatory and heart healthy benefits. They are both very healthy options for your pesto but they do have  some differences. EV olive oil is high in Omega 9 fatty acids whilst hemp seed oil has the most perfect ratio of Omega 3, 6 and 9  fatty acids of any oil. Our bodies actually can manufacture Omega 9s but can't do the same for Omega 3s and 6s. So, it essential to obtain them from the foods we eat.

The advantage of EV olive oil is that it is much cheaper and readily available than hemp seed oil. You could probably pick it up in your local grocery store whereas hemp seed oil would probably need to be sought out at a health shop or online.

Never use either oils to cook. They will denature and lose all of their healthy benefits. It's best to use these oils cold and raw on salads and veggies.

Hemp seed oil helps with cognitive functioning and memory. It's also great to keep skin healthy and improve the functioning of joints.

The MS Diet Recipe

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Ingredients

10.5oz/300g sun-dried tomatoes (Preferably in extra virgin olive oil)

3oz/100g cashew nuts (soaked is better)

1oz/25g fresh basil (stems removed)

1.4 fl oz/40ml extra virgin olive oil/hemp seed oil

herb salt (Herbamare is a good brand)

filtered water as needed

Method

  1. Place all ingredients, except the water and salt, in a blender and blend until well combined.
  2. Add the water, little by little, until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  3. Lastly, add in salt to your taste.
  4. Unless you want to use all the pesto straight away, you may want to put half of it in a container to freeze. Keep the rest in the fridge until you want to use it.
  5. Serve with your favourite salad, veggie dish or pasta.

Summing It Up

I hope you find this recipe helpful in keeping you on track with your MS diet. It really is so delicious and versatile and it easily fits in as a staple in your weekly menu. You can also experiment with it by changing the quantities slightly. Adding in more tomatoes will give it a stronger taste whilst throwing in more cashews will provide a milder, sweeter taste. You can also put flaxseeds, chia seeds and other healthy did bits in the mix. This will definitely add to the flavour and nutrient levels. Raw food is the absolute best for your body so enjoy this raw snack as it nourishes and energises you.

This is one of my favourite MS diet recipes and I would love to hear your feedback so drop me a line when you can!

 

kimsignature Protecting Our Kids From MS

P.S. For more information on foods to avoid  for MS, have a squiz of the MS Diet page. You can also discover the foods you can plentifully enjoy!

You can also find more information on the above mentioned supplements on Supplements page.

Sources:

http://www.whfoods.com

http://healthyeating.sfgate.com

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com