Here's a healthy twist on the classic pesto recipe, using raw, activated cashews in place of pine nuts.
Activating nuts and seeds involving soaking them overnight in salty water which begins the germination process. This increases their nutrient value, namely protein and vitamins, and also breaks down the problematic compounds such as phytic acid, which then enhances their digestibility. In other words, after activation, they are more nutritious and easier to digest! They should then be dried out in the oven (130-150 degrees) or the dehydrator (at 120-135) in order to store them. Left wet, they will go mouldy.
Raw cashews are both rare and expensive in Hong Kong supermarkets. They are ubiquitous in the wet markets however, and around $40 for a 600g, but I am not sure where these come from or how they have been treated. If you want to play it safe, try this organic raw variety from iherb.
What you need:
1 cup of raw cashews (which becomes 1.3 after soaking)
1 tsp mineral salt
1 stuffed cup fresh basil leaves - pictured are those from Tasmania Fresh
150g Parmesan (best quality you can find)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic finely minced
1 dessert spoon lemon juice
Salt & pepper to taste
Soak your cashews for 3-6 hours in a large bowl of filtered water, giving them room to expand, with 1 teaspoon of mineral salt. Cover the bowl to protect from dust.
Drain the cashews and blend them with the basil, Parmesan, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and seasoning. Taste.