This week, I had a discussion with some friends about the capacity of the body to heal itself by supporting it with alkaline foods. One friend mentioned that she had a chronic pain in her hip which completely vanished once she removed certain acid-forming foods in her diet and increased the amount of alkaline foods. Excited, I decided to review the literature once again on alkaline versus acidic foods.
According to health professionals, a healthy body must have an appropriate acid-alkaline balance, as measured by a pH level of 7.365. A lower body pH indicates that the body is too acidic and therefore more susceptible to illness. In summary, animal products such as meats and dairy, processed grains and sugar create acid in the body. In contrast, plant-based foods, especially leafy green vegetables, are very alkaline. Increasing alkaline-rich foods in our diets counteracts acidity in the body and promotes health – just another excellent reason to go vegan!
After being reminded of all the health benefits of raw, green vegetables, I wanted to create a supper with as much raw and green elements as possible. Earlier in the day, fatefully, I had come across a scrumptious-sounding recipe by way of a naturopathy newsletter to which I am subscribed. The recipe was for a pesto sauce made with dandelion greens and basil. I knew I did not have either one of these ingredients, but I went to my fridge and took a quick inventory.
Ample fresh arugula and parsley as usual (because they are favorites of mine) and a whole bunch of fresh broccoli were just waiting to be of healthful use. Why don’t I throw the arugula and parsley into the food processor and make a raw pesto for the broccoli and some quinoa (another favorite food of mine)? Let’s experiment!
I needed a nut base for the pesto, but I knew I did not have pine nuts. I went to my freezer (I always store my nuts in the freezer to avoid rancidity and keep them as fresh as possible. Nuts don’t “freeze” since they are naturally high in oil).
I picked out almonds, for their neutral taste, and walnuts, for their more pronounced nutty flavour and yet still in the neutral-tasting zone, as compared to other nuts in my freezer like hazelnuts and pecans. The dandelion recipe I read also used almonds and walnuts, but roasted as opposed to raw.
I wanted to keep the ingredients as unaltered as possible, therefore although roasting nuts does make them tastier, I stuck with raw nuts. Also, I only very slightly steamed the broccoli with garlic and a tad of grapeseed oil.
I thought that soaking the almonds just a bit would be a good idea so that they would more readily form a paste. Once the almonds had soaked for about an hour, I combined all the ingredients in the food processor and blended until the beautiful green mixture was creamy. I took a broccoli and dipped it in and wow, I loved it! Fresh, creamy, slightly bitter from the arugula – so delicious!
To complement this lovely green, raw meal, I decided to juice the broccoli stalks with my juice extractor. I added celery, apples, carrots and oranges. Sometimes I make vegetable broth with all my stalks and other times I juice them, but the important thing is to realize that they do not need to be simply discarded – they can be put to delicious use!
As you know from my very first post, I changed my diet to a vegan one 3 years ago in effort to cure myself from severe chronic exhaustion. The road to feeling good has been difficult at times, but I do notice an energy boost when I incorporate juicing and many raw foods in my diet on a daily basis. Try it and you’ll see for yourself! Are you ready for a whole new life – a new, maximized level of health and well-being?
Enjoy, in joy and in health!
Raw n’ Green Arugula Parsley Pesto
2 cups arugula
1 cup parsley, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
½ cup raw walnuts
½ cup raw almonds, soaked in purified water for 1 hour
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup hemp seeds
¼ cup nutritional yeast
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
1/3 cup purified water
1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.
2. Serve on vegetables, quinoa, pasta or as a dip or spread in a sandwich.
“The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different.” -Hippocrates