Hastings_Jack_in_the_green_2015May Bank holiday is a very special one in Hastings as the whole town dresses up to celebrate the start of the summer in the Pagan festival of Jack in the Green (or The Green Man Festival). Everyone adorns their green attire to follow the procession of dancers and drummers as they lead Jack in the Green through the Old Town and up to the West Hill where he is slain, and thus the summer begins. Follow the link here for more of my pics of this year’s Jack in the Green.

Local, wild and green, just like today’s festival, the recipe I want to share today is my aptly named Green Wild Garlic Pesto of which the main ingredient is local foraged Wild Garlic. Wild Garlic grows abundantly in parks and woodlands and is in season between March and June. It’s very easy to identify with its pretty white flowers and you can smell it’s garlic aroma even before you see it. Garlic is well known for its anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties but it appears that it’s wild relative the Wild Garlic contains even more magnesium, manganese, iron and sulphur compounds meaning it has even greater effects on lowering blood pressure and regulating cholesterol.

Wild_Garlic_Pesto_Recipe_2Wild_Garlic_Pesto_Recipe_3The 3 seed mix of sunflower, pumpkin seeds and pine kernels together with the olive oil used in this recipe offer a good balance of Essential Fatty Acids which support proper brain and nervous system function, formation healthy cell membranes and regulation of the immune system just to name a few of the important roles of EFAs.  

My last ingredient is Morninga powder* which  is a superfood derived from the leaves of the African Morninga tree with a wonderful deep rich flavour, and as with all super foods I added it to this recipe for that extra little bit of oomph as it’s rich in B vitamins, iron, protein, vitamin E and A and magnesium. Although I love eating locally and seasonally as much as possible, I also believe that in order to give our bodies the best fighting chance especially if trying to recover from a diseased state, superfoods should play an important role in our diet, as they offer highly concentrated nutrients, readily absorbed and utilised by our bodies.

*Although delicious, Morninga is not an essential ingredient in this recipe and can be omitted it if you wish.

Ingredients:
Bunch of Wild Garlic
50g Three Seed Mix
4 tbsp Olive Oil
pinch sea salt
2 tsp Morninga Powder (optional)

Instructions:
Put all ingredients together in a blender and blend till smooth. If you don’t have a blender you can make pesto in a pestle and mortar too.Eat straight away or store in an airtight jar in the fridge.

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Today I mixed my Green Man Wild Garlic Pesto with some quinoa and peas, but it would also be delicious on your favourite pasta or as a salsa verde.

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Resources and further reading:

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/mar/30/wild-garlic-good-for-you

http://www.alive.com/health/wild-garlic-simply-the-best/

http://www.africamoringa.co.za/moringa_health_benefits_nutrition.html