Spinach and Flaxseed Pesto

April 22, 2016

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3 cups spinach, blanched and shocked
1 cup basil, blanched and shocked
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 tbsp. flaxseed ground
2 each garlic, cloves chopped
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup Parmesan, grated
Salt and Pepper to taste


In a medium-size pot, bring water to a boil. Plunge spinach and basil in boiling water for 10 seconds, remove and shock in ice water bath. Squeeze excess water from spinach and basil. Combine all ingredients into a blender or food processor. Blend until pesto is smooth. Add more oil if the pesto is too thick. Season to taste.

Nutritional Information

Flaxseed is a plant-based source of omega-3 fat (ALA). Sprinkling ground flaxseed on cereal or oatmeal or adding it to a smoothie is an easy way to add fiber; one tablespoon of ground flaxseed has 2 grams. The ground form is easier to digest, thus to obtain the most benefits, ground is recommended over whole flaxseed.

Spinach is a powerhouse of nutrition. It is low in calories (7 calories per cup) and packs in 4% of the daily value (DV) for potassium, a nutrient most Americans don’t get enough of. Spinach also contributes vitamin C, magnesium, iron, and calcium to the diet.

Recipe Credit: Chef James O’Hara, PCEC, FMP, CHE, Johnson & Wales University Charlotte, Appetite for Life sponsored by the UNC Nutrition Research Institute

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