I have officially dubbed this week, the week of the avocado; because I cannot seem to get enough of this pitted fruit. I’ve been spreading it on sprouted grain toast, putting it in smoothies and making lusciously smooth sweet pea avocado pesto sauce.
Now I’ve covered all the reasons why we should be consuming avocados, from their healthy fats that lower cholesterol, to their 11-17 grams of fiber per one whole avocado and, lastly, their lutein for healthy eyes and glowing skin; but I have yet to mention their best quality- well one of their bests. And one of the reasons avocados and vegans, or wannabe vegans, should become acquainted.
Every time I consider becoming a vegan, I stop because I think “how will I get the creamy texture I have come to love from cheese and Greek yogurt?” I will freely admit that I love Greek yogurt, as most of my smoothies feature this probiotic rich ingredient; and I have a soft spot for cheese. And, although, Greek yogurt has quite large smoothie shoes to fill, when avocado is added to a smoothie, the yogurt is barely missed. And when making a pesto, cheese is rather nicely replaced by avocado. And it’s also worth a mention, because it’s National Organic Week in Canada, that avocados find themselves on the Clean Fifteen list; meaning they aren’t heavily sprayed with pesticides and do not need to be purchased organic!
No cheese in a pesto? Well, I made this pesto cheese free, which I normally don’t do, because I am currently cleansing after a very indulgent week in Toronto and the Muskokas; and quite frankly, cheese has no place on a cleanse. Dairy slows down our digestion and the goal of cleansing is to get things back in working order, so whether it’s organic or not, it’s a no go. So that’s why there is no cheese in this pesto. But you know what? I didn’t miss, and you won’t either.
The addition of sweet peas was off the cuff, as I had planned to save my frozen sweet garden peas until the depths of winter; but I have always had a problem with restraint, so I used a handful in this pesto because I was craving their distinctly sweet flavor, which makes this pesto decidedly unique.
This sweet pea avocado pesto sauce, as with most pesto, makes for a lovely garnish on fish, mixed in to mashed potatoes or whatever you’d like; I served it generously on Kamut pasta. Kamut is an ancient grain which has a rich nutty flavor; and it has a high concentration of selenium, zinc and magnesium and it’s a rich source of complex carbohydrates. But like I said, pesto is well placed in many dishes, so the choice is yours.
Basil pesto, as good as it is, has been done to death, while this avocado and sweet pea pesto is a breath of fresh air- new season, new pesto!
Sweet Pea Avocado Pesto Sauce
1 avocado, pitted
1 lemon, juiced
½ cup sweet peas
3 cloves garlic
¼ cup pistachios
1/3 cup basil leaves, packed
1/3 cup chives
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
½ cup olive oil
¼ tsp red chili flakes
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until completely smooth. Refrigerate in an airtight container for 1 week.