It’s nice to have frozen pesto ready to grab, thaw and enjoy on our pizzas for pizza night. When one of my love’s very generous colleagues gifted us loads of kale, I knew that the next batch of pesto for the freezer would be Kale and Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto.
Delicious Kale and Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto is one of my favourite condiments. It is so versatile and can be enjoyed in more than a dozen ways. Basil pesto is a wonderful summer pesto, but kale, on the other hand, is available locally almost year-round, making it a terrific option for pesto this time of year before the summer herbs begin their harvest period. The kale that was gifted to us is from last year’s planting that regrew this spring.
Last fall I dehydrated loads of beautiful tomatoes, so I decided to add them to my pesto, since kale and sun-dried tomatoes make a tasty combination.
Health benefits of kale
- an excellent source of calcium. Studies show that calcium absorption from kale is greater than from milk
- high in antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin C, lutein and glucosinolates that neutralize free radicals that are responsible for chronic degenerative diseases
- contains mood-boosting B-vitamins, including B2 and B6, which support the nervous system by helping the body deal with stress and helping to boost serotonin levels to increase feelings of happiness, energy and concentration
- contains iron and folate which are necessary to make brain neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals are necessary for optimal mental health
- high in indole-3 carbinol to help rid the body of toxins, including xenoestrogens, balance hormone levels, and support immune health. Indole-3 carbinol helps to reduce the risk for several kinds of cancers
There are so many ways to enjoy pesto:
- Pesto pasta is an obvious option, with brown rice or zucchini noodles.
- Try it in a wrap with mashed chickpeas, egg, tuna or chicken.
- Spread on sandwiches instead of mayo.
- Elevate stuffed sweet potatoes.
- It’s delicious served on crackers along with cashew dill spread.
- Use as a pizza base instead of tomato sauce.
- Amp up your roasted vegetables with a spoonful of pesto.
- Upgrade your breakfast by topping your omelet or poached or fried egg with pesto.
- Serve it with your favourite frittata.
- Add pesto to your favourite grain such as rice or quinoa.
- Make quesadillas with corn tortillas, pesto and your favourite veggies and cheese.
- Top sweet potato latkes or burgers with pesto.
- Serve it on grilled corn on the cob.
- Combine pesto with cashew cream for a dairy free veggie dip.
- Add a dollop to roasted tomato soup.
For more healthy and delicious green sauces, try these:
I hope you love this Kale and Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto as much as we do. If you make this, or any of the recipes on Lori Moore Holistic Health, I’d love to hear how the recipe turned out for you in the comments below! You can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram.
Kale and Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
- food processor
- 4 cups kale (tough stems removed)
- ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes (softened in hot water)
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast (or parmesan cheese)
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Remove stems from kale. Soften the sun-dried tomatoes by pouring hot water over them and letting them sit for five minutes.
- Place the kale, sun-dried tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, nutritional yeast and garlic in the food processor. Pulse several times. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add lemon juice and pulse again.
- While the food processor is running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Continue processing until the mixture is well combined and has reached the desired texture, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl a couple of times.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- If you prefer a thinner pesto, add an additional 1-2 tablespoons olive oil.If you want a bit of a kick add some hot pepper flakes.
- Walnuts or pine nuts can be used instead of pumpkin seeds.
- Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 1 week or freeze in small containers. Makes 1 cup pesto.