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Walnut Basil Pesto Bruschetta with Balsamic Glaze

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I’m not going to beat around the bush here, this bruschetta is downright DEEE-LI-CIOUSS!! The walnut + basil + balsamic flavors are unreal. What I love the most, however, is that this recipe is made from the staple foods (both macro and micronutrients) that I enjoy regularly. The key to eating healthier, more consistently, without feeling deprived is to identify your favorite healthy foods and condiments, then discover new and creative ways to prepare them. Walnuts are a staple in my pantry and I’m continually finding new ways to work them into my diet. To say the least, this bruschetta kicks ass and makes me happy. It’s the perfect combination of taste, texture and nutrition that I often enjoy as a snack, or a full on meal if I’m hungry enough.

These are a few of my staple foods. Let’s see how to make kick ass bruschetta so you can be happy too!

 

 

SUPER SIMPLE

 

Sometimes the simplest are the best. The only slightly complicated thing about this recipe is that I recommend you soak your walnuts first. Never skip soaking your nuts (insert dirty thought here), especially if you eat them regularly. Other than that, there isn’t much to do. Just toss the pesto ingredients (all 5 of them) into your food processor and go. The ingredients can be adjusted easily to suit your tastes — more basil for intense flavor, less olive oil for a thicker texture, more/less garlic, etc. Play around and have fun.

For the balsamic reduction, we’re using two ingredients: balsamic vinegar and grade B maple syrup. You won’t believe how amazingly beautiful these two ingredients work together. You can make this ahead of time if you’d like it be cool enough when you’re ready to assemble the bruschetta. Also, I love Alvarado Street Bakery’s sprouted bread, however, feel free to use a different brand of sprouted bread.

 

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SUPER FOOD PESTO

 

Before I go any further about making the bruschetta, I have to share with you how much I freaking love walnuts. Lucky me, because they happen to be one of the healthiest nuts to consume. It’s like Mother Nature crafted the perfect package of healthy fats, protein, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. As such, I often refer to this recipe as “super food” or “live food” pesto with loads of nutrition and living enzymes. One taste of this and you’ll never go back to jarred, full-of-preservatives, I-doubt-that’s-real-olive-oil-in-there, pesto.

 

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OMEGA-3

 

Walnuts are the only nuts with significantly high amounts of ALA (Alpha-linolenic acid), the super important omega-3 fatty acid we derive from plant foods. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for many bodily functions and crucial for keeping inflammation at bay. Unfortunately, most people are consuming too many omega-6 fatty acids from inferior industrialized fats such as corn, safflower, sunflower, cottonseed oil, etc. found in most processed foods. Too many omega-6 fatty acids and too little omega-3 fatty acids (ALA, EPA and DHA) actually induces inflammation and causes many health issues. The goal should be to consume more omega-3 and less omega-6 fats, and walnuts are a fantastic place to start. I generally recommend eating at least 1/2 – 1 oz of walnuts 3-5 times a week, along with other good sources of ALA, such as flax or salba.

 

 

VITAMINS, MINERALS

& ANTIOXIDANTS

 

If you’re eager to boost your body’s levels of cancer-fighting antioxidants, look no further than the mighty walnut. Research suggests that walnuts contain almost twice as much antioxidant power as commonly eaten nuts like peanuts, almonds, pecans, and pistachios. But unfortunately, people don’t eat a lot of them. How can this be? If you’re one of them, I’m hoping this pesto will inspire you to eat them more!!

Walnuts are loaded with lots of vitamins and minerals too! Some of the superheroes in walnuts include:

  • Copper
  • Folic acid
  • Phosphorus
  • Vitamin B6
  • Manganese
  • Vitamin E

Among the most common side effects include healthy cardiovascular function, brain health and glowing skin.

 

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The many ways to enjoy Walnut Basil Pesto // short of eating it off the spoon, here are some of the ways I enjoy this pesto.

  • bruschetta, obviously. Don’t stop at this recipe, though. Create your own version of bruschetta.
  • with pasta
  • stuff cherry tomatoes
  • stuff mushrooms
  • sandwich spread
  • dip for your sprouted crackers
  • top over your eggs
  • layer in between zucchini slices and marinara sauce for a lasagna
  • serve with baked sprouted tortilla chips, below

 

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Walnut Basil Pesto & Balsamic Glaze
 
Use all organic ingredients when possible.
Ingredients
Walnut Basil Pesto:
Balsamic Glaze:
  • 2 C Balsamic Vinegar
  • ½ C Grade B Maple Syrup or Coconut Sugar
Instructions
Making the Pesto:
  1. Add walnuts, basil and garlic to a food processor and pulse until well chopped. Scrape the sides and turn to high. Slowly add in the EVOO, continuing to blend until well combined.
  2. Add a little Himalayan salt to taste, scrape the sides if needed, and pulse until everything is incorporated nicely.
Making the Balsamic Glaze:
  1. Stir balsamic vinegar and sweetener together in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the vinegar mixture has reduced to about ½, around 20 minutes. When the mixture coats a spoon, it's ready.
  3. Set aside to cool.
Make your bruschetta:
  1. Toast bread until crispy.
  2. Spread a generous amount of pesto and top with tomatoes.
  3. Drizzle generously with the balsamic reduction.
  4. Sit back and seriously enjoy yourself!

 

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Ok pesto lovers, you’re going to love this recipe so much! And thanks for hanging in there with me while I preached a little nutrition. I sure hope it inspires you to get more walnuts into your diet on a regular basis. I mean, what better way than with bruschetta, ya know? And as always, if you would like more recipes like this make sure to sign up for my newsletter, and stay in touch with me on Facebook,  Twitter,  Pinterest and Instagram. If you feel inspired to post a pic of this recipe, remember to share with me and tag #yogitrition.

Enjoy!

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