Basil is one of the most commonly used herbs in Italian cuisine. Italian cuisine has gained popularity due to its simplicity and focus on fresh mostly locally sourced ingredients and lotsa flavor.
Perhaps one of the most common ways that basil is used is in making pesto, which is essentially a paste with the herb, some nuts, seasonings, extra virgin olive oil and garlic.Then the pesto can be used in very many culinary ways to bring a complex flavor into things like pasta, bread, salad dressing, as a spread for bread.
Apart from the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of basil that make it very healthy, this herb also contains great amounts of vitamin K and manganese which are associated with good cardiovascular health and healthy cholesterol levels.The pine nuts traditionally used in a pesto recipe also bring a wealth of good nutrition to the table. Pine nuts are rich in omega 3 fats which are known to help the skin and also boost longevity. The nuts also keep you full by naturally supressing your appetite hence it is a great addition to any weight loss scheme. The pine nuts are also linked to great visual health by supplying the eyes with much needed nutrition.
*You may use cashew nuts which are more affordable and widely available.
Garlic, well, is like the best medicinal plant, used for several thousands of years around the world to treat all kinds of ailments; from flu, to headaches to malaria and tuberculosis. Garlic is simply one of the strongest natural medicines and in this recipe it will be consumed raw, which is even better. The herbs and seasonings will make sure the garlic does not overpower your palate.
Parmagianno reggiano is also the cheese used to flavor the pesto and is slightly healthier as it is made from unprocessed milk and no chemical additives are used in the making of authentic parm cheese
|INGREDIENT||AMOUNT||PRICE AT MBOGA MASTERS|
|Basil||2 bunches||30/- per bunch|
|Garlic||2 small cloves||25/- per piece|
|Pine/ Cashew nuts||1/3 cup||50/- per 50g packet|
|Sea Salt||A pinch||195/- per 500g Jar|
|Black pepper||A few grinds||N/A|
|Parmagiani regianno cheese
|¼ cup grated||N/A|
|Extra Virgin olive oil||2 tablespoons||N/A|
- Just put your basil, crushed garlic, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, black pepper and parmagiani regianno cheese in your food processor and blitz. You can also make it with a mortar and pestle like it has been traditionally made for thousands of years.
- Store it in a glass jar and refrigerate, it can keep for a couple of days
One of the most popular berries that grow well in this region are strawberries and today you will learn more about how this fruit is very healthy and highly recommended.
Strawberries are super rich in this quintessential vitamin which offers great antioxidant support too. In fact just 1 cup of strawberries contains 113% of your RDA (Recommended daily allowance). Not only is vitamin C important for preventing colds and flu, it is also linked to cancer prevention and maintaining a healthy blood pressure, you know how high blood pressure is very rampant in modern society, a few berries can help a lot.
Research has also shown that strawberries help slow down ageing by maintaining great skin – call it the perfect anti-wrinkle product as the antioxidant vitamin C takes care of that. Vitamin C is also associated with healthy eyesight and immune system boost.
Manganese & Potassium
When you hear the nutrient potassium, you should immediately think cardiovascular support – it is great for maintaining a good ticker but science has also shown it is very helpful in bone health, by alkalizing the body hence avoiding acidosis (too much acid) which is typical in most modern diets. Strawberries are loaded with potassium as well as manganese which work hand in hand with other nutrients to enhance bone health.
Strawberries are a great source of fibre which acts like a broom and sweeps off the toxins in your digestive tract. On top of that, the insoluble fibre in strawberries cannot be digested and ferments while in the gut to create probiotics or good healthy bacteria which are essential for health.
Being naturally sweet, strawberries are highly recommended to people who have diabetes because the many minerals and nutrients found in berries helps control sugar in the berries and it is not like drinking a sugary processed drink which will spike the blood sugar.
How To Use
Since strawberries are very short-lived, you don’t want them lying around in the fridge- it is ideal to consume them within 48 hours or freeze them. They hold well in a tightly sealed container, preferably with foil so as to maintain some humidity and moisture.
Eating them raw is the best way to access this nutritional powerhouse but you can also throw them into a green salad or in a morning smoothie for some natural sweetness. You can make jam too or throw them into your muffin batter for added nutrition and colour in your pastry.
Chickpeas or garbanzo beans are a staple in India and the Middle East where they are popular due to their high nutrition value. They pack lots of protein, fibre, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus among other healthful nutrients that lack in most modern diets. Chickpeas are also loaded with complex carbohydrates which also help give you energy for working out, or just to have a successful and productive day.
These legumes also have a great amount of antioxidants in the name of flavonoids often recommended for anti-ageing and anti-disease qualities. Being nutrient dense and fibrous, chickpeas are awesome in the food arsenal of people who would like to shed a little weight because the beans keep you full for longer periods hence keeping those food cravings at bay. If you are diabetic or cook for someone, chickpeas are a great snack with a very low glycemic index meaning that they will not spike blood sugar.
Cumin & Cayenne Health Facts
Cumin is a very traditional spice and natural medicine that has been used for ages in Asia to treat flatulence and many other stomach upsets. Cumin is a great source of iron and magnesium, which are very important for overall health.
Cayenne pepper has been widely used to boost the immune system hence preventing against many diseases. Cayenne has also been proven to stop a heart attack in its track, in fact almost all ambulances have some cayenne pepper for this reason, but you know….prevention is better than cure.
|INGREDIENT||AMOUNT||PRICE AT MBOGA MASTERS|
|Chickpeas||1 cup||195/- per kg|
|Sea Salt||145/- per 500g Jar|
|Cayenne Pepper||95/- per 50g Jar|
- Soak the chickpeas overnight in the 3 cups of water as it will absorb most of it.
- Drain them and season with sea salt, black pepper, ground cumin and cayenne pepper.
- Add a touch of extra virgin coconut oil and bake them for 1 hour while flipping them every 15 minutes for even cooking.
- Cool them and enjoy immediately or pack them as a snack for your hike or day out.