Raw, Vegan Wild Garlic + Spinach Pesto

garlic photoIt’s evident Spring has fully settled in when white wild garlic flowers begin blooming in shady forest areas. This plant is abundant in many grassy areas, seeking out moist soil before springing up for a couple of months of the year.

Garlic cloves are found in thousands of recipes, adding deeper flavour to sauces and stews, and also providing powerful immune boosting properties, manganese, vitamin B6, c, selenium and fiber. The active compounds in garlic can significantly reduce blood pressure, and lower LDL or ‘bad; cholesterol levels. The antioxidants found in garlic are pretty notable too, making it a potential preventative of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Used medicinally for centuries, garlic has long been utilised as a way to reduce fatigue, even taken by Olympic athletes in ancient Greece! At high doses, it can be used to detoxify heavy metals from the body, and studies have even shown that garlic can help minimise bone loss in women by promoting increased oestrogen levels.

pestophotoForaging for your own ingredients is hugely satisfying, and making a meal from scratch with these new-found ingredients makes it even more special and sumptuous. This pesto recipe can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, but is best eaten one day after making, to allow the flavours t infuse. From April through to late May, wild garlic is pretty much everywhere – if you know what to look for. The garlic with full white flowers indicates it’s a little past its best, but will still be delicious, and is probably safest to eat then, as you can be more certain it’s the plant you’re looking for.

Beware that some people have mistaken poisonous plants for garlic, and have suffered the consequences, so always ensure you’re 100% sure about what plants you’re foraging for!

Ingredients

  • 1 large handful wild garlic
  • 1 small handful spinach
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds or your choice of nuts or seeds
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 3 tbsp oil. I used hemp for its sustainability and anti-inflammatory benefits, but any good quality oil will work. Try extra virgin olive oil, or even avocado oil.
  • ¼ tsp salt (add more to suit your taste)

 

How To

Thoroughly wash the garlic

Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender, and whizz until you reach a smooth pesto consistency

Scoop into a well – sealed jar and store in the fridge until you’re ready to use it

Stir into pasta, use as a pizza topping, spread over crackers or serve as a dip. Enjoy!

 

 

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