Happy Veggie Pesto

Did you know that what you eat plays a big role in how you feel? It goes far beyond the bloat or guilt over supposed "good" and "bad" foods. Scientists have begun calling the gut our "second brain" because of its powerful control over our emotional state and well-being. In fact, your gut is responsible for churning out 95% of the mood-boosting hormone serotonin. So while it won't give you the answer to hard physics equations anytime soon, you can trust your gut when it comes to good mood food. Which is just what I have for you today. 

This pesto is brimming with good mood food.

This pesto is brimming with good mood food.

Say hello to the spread that is loaded with whole food goodness that promises to make your day a bit sunnier.

Loaded with feel good ingredients like:

Pesto is happy food!

Pesto is happy food!

Walnuts: Arizona State University researchers found that a high intake of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a form of omega-3 fat found in walnuts, makes you happy.

Basil: Contains soothing natural plant chemicals containing B vitamins known for combating the negative effects of stress. 

Nutritional yeast: More of the B vitamin, mood-elevating goodness here. Plus it naturally makes you happier because it has that yummy, cheesy taste without the yuck from dairy

This dairy-free pesto is super versatile. Spread it on crackers for a pretty appetizer, use it as dip or brush some on your kabobs... the possibilities are endless. However, don't put it on chocolate. Chocolate makes you happy enough. Can't go getting too happy. Let's not get crazy here. :) <---- oh, even writing this post makes me happy -- see all the smileys :) :) :) Ok, ok before this gets out of hand, here's the recipe:

Happy Veggie Pesto

2 cups tightly packed fresh basil

1/2 cup raw walnuts

1 good-size garlic clove (may add more or less as desired)

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 tbsp nutritional yeast

squeeze of half lemon

S&P to taste 

Directions: Place basil, walnuts and garlic in your food processor. Process until the mixture becomes coarsely ground. Then slowly stream in the olive oil. Finally add in the nutritional yeast, lemon and S&P, pulsing a few times to combine well. Enjoy! :)