I like to start the day off with a great big spoonful of Hemp Hearts to help kick off my protein intake for the day. They’ve got 10 grams of protein in a 3-tablespoon serving! But I don’t stop there. I really love the cool little seeds for their taste and texture in so many recipes. So here’s my newest creation … a pesto that tastes luscious, but provides far fewer calories than the original. It’s vegan. But if you’re a little bit more of a traditionalist, you can just stir a little bit of grated Parmesan cheese into the finished pesto recipe.
To add to the newness of it all, I whirled this up in the food processor bowl of my new NutriNinja® Blender Duo. Gosh it’s powerful!
Calories saved: 220
Why it’s better for you? It’s got hemp seeds and a splash of herbal tea.
Disclosure Note: I received a complimentary Ninja® Blender Duo from NutriNinja® as a member of the food media. I was not compensated to write this blog post. The recipe and opinions in this post are mine.
- 1/4 cup unsweetened freshly-brewed herbal tea (made with 1 tea bag), hot
- Juice of 1/2 small lemon (1 tablespoon)
- 3 cups packed fresh baby spinach leaves (3 ounces)
- 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves (1 ounce)
- 3/4 cup raw shelled hemp seeds
- 3 large garlic cloves
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Add all ingredients to a food processor, cover, and puree well.
- Serve as desired, such as tossed with pasta or quinoa or spread onto roasted or grilled fish. Or refrigerate for later use.
Per serving: 160 calories, 13g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 310mg sodium, 6g total carbohydrate, 1g dietary fiber, 1g sugars, 7g protein
The “Before” Version
Inspired by: Classic Pesto
Per serving (about 1/4 cup): 380 calories, 39g total fat, 7g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 10mg cholesterol, 680mg sodium, 3g total carbohydrate, 1g dietary fiber, 1g sugars, 7g protein
- Create intrigue by using hemp seeds in pesto in place of pine nuts.
- Instead of drowning pesto in extra-virgin olive oil, use just the right amount of oil and replace part of it with a full-flavored herbal tea.
- Add lemon juice to brighten the flavor and balance the slight bitterness from the basil and spinach.