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Health 360: Walnut pesto for a healthy heart

During our series of lessons about heart health, participants in Health 360 learned that inflammation may be a significant contributing factor to heart disease. Although the inflammatory response is an important part of the body’s immune system, it can cause problems when it’s overactive. There are foods with anti-inflammatory properties that may help protect against these negative health effects. Some of the best anti-inflammatory foods are those containing omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish and walnuts. Try this recipe for walnut pesto as a pasta sauce or sandwich spread. We tossed the pesto with whole wheat pasta, boiled sweet potatoes, steamed broccoli, and chopped red pepper, which had even more anti-inflammatory power from the whole grains and veggies! Thanks to Nathalie for another delicious dish!

Walnut Pesto
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup almond meal
6 cloves garlic, peeled
4 cups fresh basil leaves
Handful of fresh parsley
1 cup walnuts
Juice of 1-2 lemons
1 1/2 tablespoon sea salt

Place ingredients in order listed into a food processor and blend until thoroughly combined. This recipe makes a fair amount, and any leftover pesto can be frozen for later use.