Healthy vegan (but doesn't taste it) green pesto
Happy Sunday all,
I tried this recipe that I came across when researching how to make a healthy pesto and oh my heavenly lord above, it’s absolutely, divinely, phenomenal. You seriously need to try it.
Shop bought pesto is completely full of oil and surprisingly, dairy. Whereas this one is dairy free and only contains a very small amount of healthy oil. And a little bit is actually good for you and your skin. healthy fats also keep you fuller for longer so it’s a win all round.
This specific recipe I got from minimalist baker.com
2 cups packed fresh basil (large stems removed)
3 Tbsp pine nuts or walnuts (if nut-free, try sunflower seeds!)
3 large cloves garlic (peeled) (Optional. I love garlic but not in my pesto. Thank you, next)
2 Tbsp lemon juice.
3-4 Tbsp nutritional yeast.
1/4 tsp sea salt (plus more to taste)
2-3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil* (I used 2)
3-6 Tbsp water (plus more as needed) (I used 4)
I used my little smoothie maker to blend this together and it worked a dream. You don’t need a snazzy food processor!
I simply popped all of the above into my blender, gave it a shake and then whizzed it until smooth. I boiled my pasta at the same time as making the pesto. So all in all it only takes around 8-10 minutes for a full meal.
Also, I just want to quickly mention nutritional yeast as it’s not really something you come across in Tesco. It’s basically a vegan alternative for a cheesy taste. I got the below extract from healthline.com:
’Nutritional yeast is a highly nutritious vegan food product with various potential health benefits. It can be used to add extra protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to meals. Studies suggest that nutritional yeast may help protect against oxidative damage, lower cholesterol and boost immunity.’
a full spectrum of B vitamins: thiamin, riboflavin, viacine, folate, B6, panthoneic acid, folic acid, niacin.
important minerals like chromium, phosphorus, zinc, selenium and magnesium.
scomplete source of protein.
good source of fiber.
good source of protein.
low in fat.
low in sodium.
soy-free.’ - from runningonrealfood.com
Basically it’s rather good for you, is around £3 in Holland and Barrett and is healthier than real cheese. I do eat dairy and I love me some (lots of) cheese. But having a few replacements for it here and there is great.
I simply drained off my pasta (I love spaghetti with pesto), popped it back in the saucepan as a maxing bowl, poured over the pesto, stirred it together and then distributed it into dishes. I then chopped some cherry tomatoes into halves (7 cherry tomatoes is 1 portion of fruit/veg), sprinkled some rocket and extra pine nuts on top for texture et voila, c’est fini!!
It’s so easy and healthy and delicious. Full of healthy carbs and fats and a bunch of other nutritional goodness. It’s raw as well which is good for digestion and keeping all the nutrients in the ingredients alive and kicking. If you do fancy garlic in your pesto, raw garlic is so good for your heart, helps lower cholesterol, helps balance sugar levels and blood pressure and also contains anti-oxidant properties. Yay for garlic.
You can store this in the fridge for 2-3 days after making it which is very handy.
Let me know if you do make this - don’t forget to send me pictures too! Also, shout out to y 12 year old brother for taking these pictures for me. What a pro!
See you soon,