This recipe is perfect to whip up after a busy day out in the sunshine, as a post-workout lunch or satisfying snack. The ingredients are easy to source and easy to use, and the preparation takes just minutes.
I recently teamed up with Indigo Herbs, a company based in Glastonbury, UK, who believe ‘the path to optimum health and wellbeing starts firstly with taking personal responsibility for one’s body, mind and soul. The second step is making the change by working some healthy routines into your daily lifestyle’.
The team say: ‘We’re proud to supply organic, wild crafted and quality assured products, and we choose to use simple no-nonsense, inexpensive packaging. We focus on quality, purity and simplicity, as we want your natural health products to be effective but also affordable. We work with suppliers who have an awareness of ecology and show a genuine respect for the earth’. If you’re looking for ways to make your diet a whole lot more wholesome and healthy, Indigo Herbs provide some of the highest quality products around, and even better – you can support an independent UK-based company while doing so!
As a Yoga teacher, I’m generally pretty active, as well as maintaining a daily Yoga practice, I also swim and keep up with cardio fitness on most days. With all this movement, the body needs to re-fuel regularly, and protein is a fantastic way to keep the body feeling full of energy! I’ve found Indigo Herbs’ protein powders and nut butters to be one of the best ways to do just that, and the fact that they’re an organic UK-based company is even more appealing. This protein-packed pesto is a great way to ensure you’re getting the vitamins and minerals your body needs after exercise, as well as satisfying hunger pangs!
The walnut butter smells so delicious that it’s difficult to resist eating it straight out of the jar…. (No one will know if you did, though). This butter is literally just made of 100% organic, raw walnuts, so there’s no ‘surprise’ ingredients in your meal.
Although this is some of the best-tasting butter to use in smoothies, dips, raw icecream, with hot porridge and honey, or as a spread on toast, the benefits go way beyond taste!
Walnuts are high in healthy fats, good for heart health and essential for boosting brain power and maintaining high mood levels. This nut butter contains good amounts of phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, vitamin B6 and fibre…. Read on to find out why this is so beneficial….
Why Walnut Butter?
Walnuts are a brilliant source of magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, iron and vitamin B6, and here’s why that’s a very good thing:
According to population studies of magnesium intake, most of us are not getting enough, and fizzy drinks, processed sweet foods, high stress levels, and over-consumption of caffeine and alcohol all greatly decreases levels of magnesium in the body. Magnesium is essential for muscle relaxation, and influences the amount of oxygen uptake, muscle function, and balance of electrolytes. When we exercise (especially intense or athletic exercise) magnesium is lost, but we’re not always aware of it. Low levels of magnesium often result in muscle fatigue, anxiety, muscle spasms, irregular heartbeat, insomnia and chronic fatigue, so ensure you’re getting enough by consuming natural sources like the ones found in this raw walnut butter!
This important mineral aids in maintaining the strength of bones and teeth, and is also essential for the health of the brain, kidneys, heart and blood. A deficiency in phosphorus may result in joint discomfort, weakness and tooth decay. Loss of appetite and diminished athletic stamina, anxiety, and weight loss are also known to occur without adequate amounts of phosphorus.
Potassium is one of the seven essential macrominerals, helping to lower blood pressure, preserving bone density, preventing kidney stones, and most importantly for this recipe; it aids in muscle recovery and even building muscle mass. Bananas are a particularly high source of magnesium, so you can be sure you’ll get your magnesium fix with this banana & walnut vegan nice cream recipe! [[[LINK]]]
The major benefit of iron is that it helps transport oxygen throughout the body, and without sufficient oxygen levels, the body becomes fatigued. Iron also helps maintain healthy cells, skin condition, hair and nails. Women generally require more iron than men (around 18mg per day) whereas the required amount for men is just 8mg. If you’re recovering from injury or taking part in intense physical training though, you might want to slightly up your intake.
Iron deficiency is known as anemia, and is extremely common especially amongst women. If you regularly feel fatigued, weak, dizzy, or suffer from headaches, numbness in hands and feet, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath or irritability, there’s a likelihood you could benefit from increasing your iron intake.
Vitamin B6 has been used to treat hundreds of ailments; it helps reduce the risk of heart disease, carpal tunnel syndrome and kidney stones, alleviate headaches and nausea, reduce symptoms of PMS, depression, and aid in strengthening the immune system and reduce the effects of asthsma…. To name but a few uses….
This is essential to our digestive health. It ‘keeps things moving’ (if you know what I mean) preventing heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and some types of cancers. Fibre is only really found in plant-based foods, which is why those following a plant-based diet often have a healthy digestive system! Walnuts contain insoluble fibre, which passes through the gut without being broken down, meaning it helps the process of digestion moving along smoothly! Eating foods higher in fibre can balance blood sugar levels, helping us feel full for longer and therefore keeping cravings for mid-afternoon sugary snacks at bay.
Why Hemp Protein Powder?
Hemp protein is a useful addition to any recipe in order to boost the nutrient content. Hemp is a ‘complete protein’, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids and is also very easily digested. Both hemp powder and hemp seeds aid in satiety, keeping blood sugar levels balanced, and preventing sudden hunger pangs. Hemp is known to not only aid in building muscle strength and mass, but it also boosts and maintains energy and mood levels dramatically. (Believe me on this one, adding hemp to my diet was genuinely a huge turning point in the amount of energy I had, and boosted my mood considerably!)
Hemp is very high in protein – with a 30g handful containing 10g of protein, 1-3g of fibre, and 200mg of magnesium. If you’re switching from animal to plant-based proteins, it’s a good idea to add a few more spoons of hemp to your recipes.
(Serves 2-3 people)
25g fresh basil
2 cloves garlic
3 tbsp Indigo Herbs Organic Raw Walnut Butter
3 tbsp cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp Indigo Herbs Organic Hemp Protein Powder
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt to taste
Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until it forms a smooth texture.
Add more olive oil if you’d like a thinner consistency
Rainbow veggie spaghetti
(Of course, the pesto can also be served with wholemeal or brown rice pasta instead!)
3-4 medium carrots
1 yellow bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
Using a spiraliser, (if you don’t have one of these, you can achieve a similar effect using a vegetable peeler – although it takes a little longer!) spiralise the vegetables to form long, thin curls of ‘spaghetti’.
Add fresh cherry tomatoes for extra flavour and texture
Serve fresh, and add an optional squeeze of lemon juice. The pesto will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days.
To see more products from Indigo Herbs, including natural tea, raw chocolate ingredients, aromatherapy products, and plenty of wholefoods, spices & lots more, click here!
‘Take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live’
– Jim Robin