Dandelion Basil Pesto – 2 Ways (AIP, Vegan)

Spring is well in bloom on the Canadian West Coast. Cherry blossoms sprung up suddenly on Valentine’s Day, daffodils are waving happily, and tulips can be spotted in the sunnier gardens. Dandelions have also begun to show their bright faces, and I found my first bunched leaves at the store today. Time for deep cleansing…and pesto!

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Dandelion is a powerful cleanser for the body, especially when it is fresh in spring. The spear-like, serrated leaves act as a strong diuretic and blood-purifier, working to cleanse toxins and stagnant energies from the system. Their sharply bitter flavour is surprisingly fresh compared to bitters like endive which leaves a dry feeling in the mouth. Bitters act as digestive stimulants and help the liver and gallbladder in bile production – an essential tool for proper digestion and clearing of the lower pathways. Full of vitamins A, C, K, and many more, dandelion is worth adding to your diet when you can. Here is just one small resource on dandelion leaf.

This recipe turns the bitter/acrid taste of dandelion leaf into a more palatable, tasty condiment that can be added to a plethora of dishes: roast potatoes and vegetables, burgers, chicken or other meats, as a dip, or even thinned with olive oil as a salad dressing.

IMG_0633Here are two versions of this delicious and fresh spring pesto – one is completely Autoimmune Protocol-friendly, while the other is Paleo-friendly…and both are vegan and nut-free!

Dandelion Basil Pesto
Option 1 (AIP/Vegan/Paleo)
2 cloves garlic
1 c. fresh basil
1 c. fresh dandelion greens
1/4 – 1/3 c. olive oil
1/2 tsp turmeric
salt, to taste

Option 2 (Vegan/Paleo)
2 cloves garlic
1 c. fresh basil
1 c. fresh dandelion greens
1/4 – 1/3 c. olive oil
1/2 tsp turmeric
salt, to taste (optional)
3 Tbsp hemp seeds
1 – 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and mix until desired consistency is achieved – voilà! Store in jars with a little olive oil on top to seal and preserve if you will be keeping in the fridge for more than a couple days. The pesto may also be frozen – for best results fill container right to top to lessen frosty ice crystals (just remember to NOT put the lid on tightly!).

 

7 thoughts on “Dandelion Basil Pesto – 2 Ways (AIP, Vegan)

  1. This looks amazing! Can’t wait to try it!
    And I envy your spring in the west! We’re having or third storm since St. Patrick’s day – snow, freezing rain, ice pellets. It’s second winter in the maritimes haha. But I’m sure spring will find us soon enough :).
    Enjoy the sunshine for me!

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