Green Omega-3 Pesto

In Ayurveda, food is not only a source of sustenance but also a powerful medicine that can restore balance and promote well-being. This green Omega-3 Pesto recipe combines traditional ayurvedic principles with innovative ingredients to create a delightful fusion of taste and nourishment.

Why this green Omega-3 Pesto is nutrient-packed

Basil, an aromatic herb known for its cooling properties, is the star of this recipe. Its distinct flavour and calming effect on the mind make it a beloved ingredient in the ayurvedic cuisine. Paired with the earthy richness of hemp seeds, which are packed with essential fatty acids and plant-based protein, this pesto becomes a nutritional powerhouse.

To further enhance the healing properties, we incorporate algae oil into the mix. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, algae oil not only provides a subtle sea-inspired flavour but also supports heart health and overall vitality. Algae oil is one of the best sources for omega-3 fatty acids and a must do if you are on a plant based diet. 

By using this unique oil, we embrace the sustainable benefits of plant-based alternatives while embracing the Ayurvedic principle of Ahimsa, or non-harming.

This basil hemp seed pesto can be a versatile addition to your dishes: Spread it on freshly baked bread, toss it with whole grain pasta or use it as a dip for fresh vegetables. Whichever way you choose to enjoy it, this pesto will surely bring a burst of flavour and plant based goodness to your table.

Pasta with green omega-3 Pesto and hemp seeds

Green Omega-3 Pesto Recipe

INGREDIENTS (FOR 2 PORTIONS or 1 small glass)
  • 100 g cooked peas (can use frozen peas)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp algae oil*
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp fresh pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 4 tbsp hulled hemp seeds

If you can’t find algae oil or if its taste is too fishy for you, feel free to substitute it with olive or flax seed oil. The algae oil I use is mixed with olive oil and has a lemony taste.

METHOD
  1. In a blender, mix all the ingredients together until they form a smooth paste. Add 1 tbsp of water if needed.
  2. Serve the hemp pesto with warm spelt pasta or have it as a chutney with your rice and veggies. You can also fill the pesto in a jar – it will stay fresh for a couple of days.

I like to add some roasted hazelnuts to the pesto as it gives it an even nuttier taste. Option B: Sprinkle the pesto with some grounded hazelnuts.

Algae Oil: What’s the hype about the oil made from seaweed?

Algae oil is an exceptional source of omega-3 fatty acids for vegans. Traditionally, omega-3 fatty acids are predominantly found in fish and seafood, making it challenging for individuals following a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle to meet their recommended intake. However, algae oil comes to the rescue as a plant-based alternative.

Algae, the primary source of omega-3 in marine food chains, naturally produces these beneficial fatty acids. The algae are then harvested and processed to extract their oil, which is rich in two essential omega-3 fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Many plants nuts and seeds like hemp seeds, walnuts or flax seeds are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. But they provide a different type of omega-3 fatty acid, called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which the body needs to convert into DHA and EPA. It’s not the direct form of EPA and DHA. That means that algae oil has higher bioavailability compared to flax seed oil or walnuts.

EPA & DHA

EPA and DHA are vital for overall health, particularly for supporting brain function, reducing inflammation and promoting heart health. These fatty acids play a crucial role in maintaining optimal cognitive function, supporting cardiovascular well-being. They even aid in the regulation of mood and emotional balance.

By incorporating algae oil into their diets, vegans can obtain EPA and DHA directly from a plant-based source – without relying on fish or fish oil supplements. This allows them to meet their omega-3 requirements while adhering to their ethical and dietary choices.

Algae oil serves as an excellent vegan-friendly source of omega-3 fatty acids. While flax seed oil and walnuts are still valuable sources of omega-3 fatty acids and can provide some omega-3 benefits, algae oil offers a more direct, reliable and sustainable option for obtaining DHA and EPA, the essential forms of omega-3 fatty acids.

Is there a down-side? Not really. But for me, the taste of algae oil can be a bit too much as I never really liked seafood. Some people like to take algae oil pure which i could never do. That’s why this recipe is amazing to add the unique oil to your diet. Mixed with olive oil, nutty hemp seeds and tons of basil, you can enjoy all the benefits without the fish taste.

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