Raw Beet Soup & Hemp Seed Pesto
Today is Albion Cooks 5th Birthday! I thought I'd celebrate with two raw recipes.
January often finds us enthusiastic about healthier directions. I would definitely like to be healthier and lighter this year. A couple of friends are on a "cleanse" and have inspired me to check out a variety of diets and cleanses. There's an awful lot of differing opinions out there, but everyone seems to agree that the more raw fruits and vegetables you eat, the better. And there seems to be some consensus that a smoothie or juice is gentler on your digestive system, giving your body more energy for other things.
I wasn't too psyched about the idea of smoothie/juice meals, until I found the recipe for a raw "Beet Soup" in Raw Food: A Complete Guide for Every Meal of the Day by Erica Palmcrantz & Irmela Lilja. Given my current love affair with Borscht, this recipe tempted me. And, the result was incredibly satisfying! In addition to great taste, beets are full of antioxidants and considered anti-inflammatory and detoxing.
The recipe is this simple: Peel two beets and dice. Place them in a blender with water and blend until smooth. Add a chopped apple and more water, as needed. Add an avocado and water to desired consistency.
The taste is a wonderful blend of earthiness, sweetness, and creaminess. Most notably, it is substantially satisfying and the vibrant color adds a zing to a cold winter morning.
I highly recommend Raw Food: A Complete Guide for Every Meal of the Day if you are interested in incorporating more raw food into your diet. The recipes are simple and do not require you to invest in expensive dehydrators or juicers - you use your oven or regular blender. Lots of lovely photographs too! I already have my eye on a beet-pistachio raw burger recipe for next time.
I've wanted to make this "Hemp Seed Pesto" ever since I enjoyed it at Cafe Gratitude.
The recipe is adapted from their cookbook I Am Grateful. Hemp seeds are nutritional gold mines: high in protein, fiber, omega 3 & 6, phosphorous, potassium, and Vitamin E. This pesto is easy and quick to make and taste great on crackers or raw veggies or as a vegetable-bean soup garnish. I'm planning to use it as a topping to tofu.
Hemp Seed Pesto
1 cup basil leaves
2 TBS olive oil
1/2 tsp meyer lemon juice
1/4 cup + 1 TBS hemp seeds
Place all ingredients but the hemp seeds in a mini-prep and pulse until blended. Add the hemp seeds and pulse to desired texture. This made 1/3 of a cup.
Thanks to all of my readers for visiting Albion Cooks over the last 5 years! Here's to a happy and healthy year!