Basil Pesto

I really enjoy getting my Food Connect box. With the vagaries of weather and other conditions on the farms, one can never be sure that the items in the box will match up with the list published on their web site. But even when it does, I still get surprised as I pull the goodies out.
Basil was on the list today and I was delighted when I saw the lovely big bunch even though I’ve been growing it on my patio over summer. You see, I’ve become so used to the cut-and-come-again approach that I’m always just cutting off leaves.
A few years back I planted basil and tomato in the same pot and then completely forgot that the basil was there. One day I noticed how prolifically it had grown but when I tried to make pesto in the Vita Mix that I had at the time, it just didn’t work. So I haven’t really bothered trying again until now.
This time around the Thermomix has helped me to produce a credible basil pesto based on a recipe from a brand new raw book I received today called “Raw Food Made Easy – for 1 or 2 people by Jennifer Cornbleet. I didn’t have any pine nuts so I replaced it with sunflower seeds which didn’t break down as easily as the pine nuts would have. But I really enjoyed this pesto and was still licking my lips after I had washed the dishes.
I also received the book “The 80/10/10 Diet by Dr. Douglas N. Graham and have checked to confirm my recollection that his book recommends a low-fat diet and weaning oneself off salt amongst other things including garlic. He very kindly includes an FAQ section on his website that explains his reasoning.
So three of the five ingredients of this pesto are not recommended which is really sad because it tastes so nice. I think that’s a big part of why we eat the way we do, as items like salt, garlic and oil merge together so well into an almost addictive taste. It will be interesting to see where I head as I read through the 80/10/10 book – or as some people call it, the 811 diet.
I believe I need to change what I’m doing as I have sore knuckles on my fingers and a ring that used to fit onto the middle finger has now been relegated to the index finger. This could be considered a precursor to arthritis which won’t happen to me as I’m quite happy to change what I’m doing if I need to.
I’ve decided that I’ll move towards the recommendation in the book “The China Study to follow a whole food, low-fat, plant-based diet as a stepping stone to the 811 diet. A whole food diet excludes meat, poultry, dairy and eggs, so I am now having cappuccinos made from soy, rice or oat milk instead of cows’ milk. I still have some eggs in my fridge so once I’ve used them up then I won’t buy any more. This will only be difficult when I want to make muffins or bread but I have read about egg substitutes and will experiment with incorporating them.
In the meantime, I’ll take my time to read and consider what I’ll do about the 811 diet. The good part about all of this is that there is no timeline for change which means that I can feel my way along this path and enjoy the journey.


ThermomixBlogger Helene said...

Hi Tara -- I was just reading this recipe and wondered if the sunflower seeds which were less broken down added a nice bit of crunch to the dish. I was also curious about why the Vitamix doesn't work for Pesto... I've never used a Vitamix, so I have no idea of it's limitations...

On another page you said you get so inspired by reading raw food blogs, and that is how I feel when I read YOURS. Thanks, H.

Tarah said...

Hi Helene

Actually, the sunflower seeds did add a nice bit of crunch. I like to replace ingredients as sometimes I come up with a real winner, like this time...

The Vitamix is what might be called a super blender, and does a good job in blending fruit juices and soups. I found when I tried blending pesto that it didn't blend the basil fine enough. I think it's because the blades in the Vitamix are not as close to the base as the Thermomix blades are.

Thanks so much for your comment about my blog. I visit your web page from time to time to check out what's new...