I am going to skip the part where I comment on the lack of postage around here … and go straight to the wonderful pesto I have made from the herbs we gathered at Törnagården.
I looked up recipes online but I ended up playing it by ear for the most part. Basically, for pesto you just mix the herb of your choice (basil being the classic one) with olive oil, pine nuts and grated Parmesan cheese. I used sunflower seeds instead of pine nuts this time since pine nuts are pretty expensive here, and I needed a lot.
I found the recipe for the mint pesto on Martha Stewart’s, the one for the nettle pesto on chiliconkarin (in Swedish), and the dandelion pesto on a German page on healing herbs (so, yeah, this one’s in German, duh).
- Always rinse whatever herbs you’re using first (I don’t know, maybe I am stating the obvious here but just in case).
- In the recipe for the nettle pesto it said to boil the nettle leaves for 2 minutes in salt water before processing, which I did, although I can’t say that I have any idea why.
- I roasted the sunflower seeds after rinsing them (not the raw food way to go, I know!). I don’t know, I just somehow got the idea that it would be better to have as little water as possible in the pesto, so that it wouldn’t go bad so fast. I don’t even know if that’s true or not, I guess I was just acting on some sort of instinct here.
- Something I do know helps to make pesto last longer: make sure that there is a layer of oil on top.
I think that’s it. I can’t wait for the basil I am growing on my kitchen window sill to be big enough for some classic pesto. The simple things are really the best. I also want to try this cilantro pesto recipe I found on ByzantineFlowers … so I guess the pesto fest isn’t over yet.
OK, there’s no dancing around this: this one may look healthy but calling it tasty-looking would be a stretch.
How to (makes about four servings):
- Soak about a cup of figs over night (it’s a raw food thing: soaking everything – to get rid of toxins (seeds and nuts), or in this case just to make it more digestible).
- About half an hour or so before you want to prepare the smoothie, soak some powdered nettle, hip and blueberry (of course you can use the real thing, too, but we happen to have tons of this powdered stuff, it’s supposed to be rich in vitamins and stuff – gosh, this sounds like I don’t even know why I am doing half the stuff I am doing … which is completely untrue! … er … well). At Peter’s request, I added some spirulina, too (algi, also … um, healthy)
- Put the figs in the blender – with the water they were soaking in! Blend. Duh.
- Add the powder that should have turned into a creamy goo by now.
- Add a banana (or more, if you like), even some agave syrup if you like it REALLY sweet.
- Add water depending on what kind of texture you like
At our friend’s we ate this with berries (picked by her in the woods behind her house, of course). We were out so we had to go without. What I like best about this smoothie/cream is how the fig seeds crackle in my mouth.
Oh yeah: and how it makes it possible to take in all these vitamin supplements that I couldn’t force down before when I tried to just drink the stuff. I guess you can come a long way with sugar.
Like I said, this trip inspired me. A lot. Our friend eats raw food and while we were there, so did Peter and I. I found eating raw food surprisingly diversified, digestible and filling. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t feel like I had to eat a lot to feel full – but for me that’s kind of a mental thing I need to get over. I am probably not going to go Green for Life, although I did find the book very interesting and sensible in a lot of ways. For now, however, I do feel like trying out some of the nutritious deliciousness our friend introduced us to.
My favorite – which I had tried and failed at before – was her almond milk.
Here’s how it goes:
- Take about two cups of almonds (makes about five cups of almond milk, less if you like it creamier), and let them soak in water over night.
- The next day, pour the water out, and pour boiling water over the almonds. Only let them sit for about a minute, this is just so that you can peel them more easily.
- Rinse the almonds.
- Put the almonds into a blender, add a little bit of water at first, blend.
- Gradually add more water until you’re satisfied with the texture.
- I added nothing else when I made this this morning. Our friend usually put in a banana (both for sweetness and texture), sometimes some agave syrup.
As for the health benefits and more detailed information, I unsurprisingly found something on my favorite health/food/diy blog.