Pestos, sauces and spreads

Cilantro Pesto

I love pestos of all sorts, and cilantro is a nice surprise! It has a very fresh taste, and compliments tacos and burritos amazingly. If you are wanting a traditional pesto though, you can sub basil. Funny story about cilantro, (or coriander, depending on your location) sometimes I see people separate out the leaves from the stem! The most flavor is held in the stems of cilantro, so I always cut mine all up together because it saves time and tastes better!

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Ingredients:

2 Large bunches of cilantro

1 cup olive oil

1/2 cup parmesan (sub cashews for vegans)

1 cup of nuts- I used almonds but pine nuts, walnuts and pecans work well

1-5 cloves of garlic to taste (5 will be spicy)

Dash of salt

Squirt of lemon juice, or white wine vinegar

Dash of cayenne (optional)

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The prep on this is pretty simple. If you used almonds, you can soak them overnight. Throw everything into the blender or the food processor. You can add more oil if your pesto is too dry, everyone likes it a little different. If your cilantro is bitter, you can add a 1/2 tsp of honey incrementally to taste.

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And voila! Cilantro Pesto!

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Served with marinated herb feta, tomatoes and seeded crackers
Beverages

Almond milk from scratch

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I love drinking dairy alternatives, but the ones I find in the store taste like plastic oil water. I just got confirmation from my roommate that this recipe is incredible.

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What you will need for this recipe:

A blender, a nut milk sack or cheesecloth, a bowl.

Ingredients include: 1 cup of almonds, a small handful of dates or 2 TBS honey, 1tsp vanilla, and a dash of salt.

It all starts the night before. Soaking nuts is such a wonderful habit to form, it makes the nutrients much more readily available.

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Here are the before and after soaking pictures of my dry, unsalted, raw almonds. They doubled in size!

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The next step is to take your ingredients outside and photograph them! Just kidding, its time for the blender. Add a quart of water (4 cups) with all the ingredients and blend it well. I often let it sit for a few minutes after, and blend it again.FullSizeRender-1.jpg

Pour the mixture into a nut milk sack or cheesecloth (folded many times) over a bowl, and wring it out.FullSizeRender-2.jpg

And voila! Delicious almond milk! The almond meal can be refrigerated and used in baking, recipes coming soon.

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You can also use other nuts for this recipe. Some of my favorites are hazelnut, brazil nut, and cashew nut, but go ahead and experiment. A friend once put blueberries in with her almond milk, and that was delicious as well.

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Bonus recipe: my daily smoothie! Combine 1 cup of whole milk plain yogurt (I like Strauss), 1 banana, two leaves of kale or two huge handfuls or spinach, 1 cup almond milk, 2 TBS raw hemp powder, 1 cup of frozen fruit, and blend! I drink it every morning, and my roommate often joins me.

 

Epilogue!

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This is Amy making almond milk. She testifies that Justine’s recipe is AMAZING.