Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Hemp Spinach Pesto Cups + Giveaway

Featured Ingredient: Hemp Hearts

During the summer, we always have pesto on hand. It goes smashingly with so many warm weather dishes such as grilled potatoes, smoked fish sandwiches or sliced local tomatoes. Unfortunately, with just the two of us some of the pesto often goes a little raunchy before we have had a chance to use it all up. It’s a grim time to have to scrap homemade pesto into the compost bucket!

For this reason, I’ve started to freeze my pesto in mini muffin cups. This way I have ready-to-go servings that simply need a quick defrost on a warm windowsill or in the microwave. The pesto cups will stay good in the freezer for up to 3 months which is much longer than in the fridge.

There are countless pesto combinations that can be used, but one constant in my recipes is hemp hearts (a.k.a. hemp seeds). They have an amazing nutty flavor that works well in lieu of pricey pine nuts and are loaded with minerals and heart-healthy omega essential fats. If I have it on hand, I’ll also often swap out the olive oil for verdant hemp oil. At this time of year, we can get loads of garlic scapes at the market or in our community garden and are a great seasonal addition to pesto recipes. But you can also use regular garlic in this recipe.

It’s time for another Muffin Tin Mania giveaway. This time, the fine folks at Manitoba Harvest would like to award one of my readers with some of their amazing hemp food. To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment on this blog post that says “Hooray for Hemp” along with some way of identifying yourself such as your initials, name or email address and I will use this online tool to randomly select a winner. I’ll announce the winner next Wednesday July 17th, so if you entered write the date down on your calendar and check back in then for a chance to claim your prize.

Congratulations to Georgiana who was randomly selected the winner of some good goodness. Georgiana, use the contact button above to send me your shipping details and I'll get some hemp product sent your way.

Hemp Spinach Pesto Cups

8 to 10 garlic scapes, finely chopped (or 3 chopped garlic cloves) 
2 cups spinach
1 cup fresh basil
1/3 cup hemp hearts (hemp seeds)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil or hemp oil

Place arugula, basil, garlic scapes and hemp hearts in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times until coarsely minced. Add cheese, lemon juice and salt; process until combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Through the feed tube add the olive oil or hemp oil while the machine is running until fully combined.

Divide pesto evenly among 10 mini muffin cups, cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and freeze until solid. Unmold pesto cups and place them in a zip-top bag for storage in the freezer until needed. If not using paper liners and you have trouble unmolding the pesto cups, try placing the bottom of the muffin tray in warm water for a few seconds, being careful not to thaw the contents. 


I love hearing from fellow muffin tin fans, so let me know what is on your mind.