Wooohooo! It’s Farmers’ Market season! If you’re one to frequent your local farmers’ market on a weekly basis, you’ve probably seen these cute spirally green onion-looking veggies that may as well be the healthified version of candy bracelets (someone please tell me you remember those!)
Do you recognize these beauties? They’re called Garlic Scapes which are the flowering bud that stick up out of the garlic bulb plant. The buds are removed in mid-late June to allow the bulbs to thicken up. This means they have a super short season, so if you see them around, be sure to pick up an armful (literally, throw them on your arm #VOGUE). The beauty of these garlic scapes is that they taste exactly like garlic, except more fresh and vibrant in my opinion, so you can really use them like you would use garlic in recipes. You’ll quickly learn how AMAZING these taste as a Garlic Scape Pesto (keep reading for the recipe!)
Part of my philosophy in healing people’s relationships with food is to bring them back to whole foods by exposing them to where specific foods come from, how they’re grown, the nutritional benefits they provide and the many ways to use them. This is the exact tactic I used in my journey to healing my relationship with food and overcoming 10 years of disordered eating. In doing so, we gain a whole new appreciation for food. We stop looking at food as the victim and start being able to look at food as a gift for the nourishment it provides. When we know how much love and care goes into growing food, we won’t be so quickly to dispose of it, whatever form that “disposal” may come in.
There’s also something to say about nourishing ourselves on a cellular level through wholesome nutrient-rich foods. When we do that, our body thanks us in the form of reduced cravings, satiation, increased energy and overall contentment. Before preparing this recipe, I had been feeling a bit run down as a result of a few busy weeks (yes, even nutritionists get worn down sometimes too!) I knew that my body needed a kick-start in the form of the living enzymes from raw nutrient-dense forms. Aside from picking up garlic scapes at the farmers’ market last week, this is primarily what inspired me to whip up this Garlic Scape Pesto to throw on top of raw zucchini noodles!
Since garlic scapes are essentially the offspring of garlic cloves, it’s fair to say that they offer a similar nutritional profile in the way that they are rich in vitamin C, making it a great immune-boosting food. When chopping garlic, it’s important to mince it super fine and let it sit for 10 minutes before using or cooking it. Waiting 5-10 minutes allows the health-promoting allicin to form which is where many of the health benefits garlic provides lay. This is more true for garlic cloves than it is for garlic scapes, but a fun fact nonetheless!
You’ll notice this pesto is quite dense in texture (I also left mine a bit chunkier out of preference) due to the addition of almonds, hemp seeds and nutritional yeast. Since I was using this Garlic Scape Pesto to top my zoodles, I wanted to make sure it was filling enough and provided a healthy balance of good fats and protein to keep me fully satiated (and let me tell you, I was stuffed after this!) If you want to make it a bit more smooth, you can thin it out with avocado or olive oil as you blend it or when you go to use it, you can just take 1-2 tbsp and top your zoodles, gluten-free pasta or whatever you may be eating and drizzle it with olive oil and then mix it all around. This would also make one mighty dip alongside some veggie sticks or crackers. Heck, smother it on top of a grass-fed or veggie burger. Now we’re talking!
I can tell you’re starting to salivate so I’ll cut to the chase and share this deeee-licious recipe with you already. Leave a comment below or tag me @rachelmmolenda on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram if you end up making it!
- 10 garlic scapes
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 lemon, freshly squeezed
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 2/3 cup hemp seeds
- 2/3 cup almonds
- sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Toss all ingredients into your food processor or high speed blender and blend on high for 20-30 seconds. You may have to scrape down the sides with a spatula throughout the blending process (just be sure to turn the blender or food processor off for this part).
- When ready to use, use 1-2 tbsp on top of zucchini noodles or your gluten-free pasta with a drizzle of olive oil and mix around so it spreads evenly
What are your favourite things to do with garlic scapes?