If you've tried pesto sauce, you've probably fallen in love with its wonderful flavor and vibrant green color. Fresh homemade pesto, with superb basil aroma, will undoubtedly sweep you off your feet. But did you know that pesto offers nutritional benefits too? Read on!
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The most important ingredient in pesto is basil, which contains many vitamins and minerals, specially vitamin A, vitamin K and iron. The next ingredient on the list is raw garlic, that enhances flavor and lowers cholesterol. Pine nuts provide a healthy amount of proteins and healthy fatty acids, also present in olive oil. Finally, Parmesan cheese will boost flavor and is a good source of calcium and vitamin A.
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All in all, it seems this amazing sauce has a lot to offer. You'll find it very often with pasta, but a little imagination can get you a long way. In my opinion, a Caprese salad is not complete without pesto. I love mixing pesto and cream cheese and serving it over crackers as an appetizer. I've also tried it with mild goat cheese and it tastes great. Adding some pesto to a shrimp or chicken pasta will definitely give your usual recipes an interesting twist.
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If you don't have the time to make your own pesto, then read your labels carefully. Choose a sauce without dyes or monosodium glutamate and watch out for high sodium content. Even though olive oil should be used, some brands may replace it with cheaper vegetable oils. These and other changes will affect the flavor and health properties of pesto sauce. Give yourself a gift and prepare this excellent sauce with the best ingredients you can afford. Buon appetito!