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Whole Food Vegan Pesto

I've got some food related posts coming your way over the next couple weeks here at FIMBY. I'm contributing to Heather's 30 Day Vegan summer course and it's inspired me to share some of my vegan kitchen knowledge and experience here at the same time. I don't want you to miss out on all the fun.

In the works is a menu planning resource with a one week late-summer menu, an e-book cookbook giveaway and a post where I finally answer the question "what about children who are picky eaters?". Those of you who know me in person know how I answer that question but the rest of you will just have to wait. Let's just say the people-pleasing part of myself is a bit nervous about writing that piece (eek).

I'd like to start this vegan kitchen extravaganza with my whole food pesto recipe.

What's up with a whole food pesto recipe? Well, for a variety of health reasons that I'm not going to discuss in this post (not enough time to write all that out) our family really limits the amount of refined fats and oils we eat. We eat lots of nuts and other whole plant food sources of fats though.

I refer you to the following doctors/nutritional researchers if you'd like to look into the issue more yourself - Dr. Fuhrman, Dr. Esselstyn and Dr. McDougall. See this list for more recommended reading.

Basically, what it comes down to is wanting to eat as many of our calories as possible from high nutrient, whole food sources. The same goes for processed sweets. We prefer to get our nutrition from the whole food not the sap, the syrup, the juice etc. Not to say we never eat oil or sugar, just not regularly. 

All that to explain why I've come up with a pesto recipe without olive oil. 

We've been eating fresh garden basil here for the past couple weeks and this recipe is one of our favorites. I served this to my parents a couple weeks ago and it was a hit. 

pesto ingredients

Click to view and print → Whole Food Vegan Pesto

Whole Food Vegan Pesto

Ingredients

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 3 cloves garlic, can use garlic scapes instead.
  • 1⁄4 cup dried basil (I make this with dried basil all winter) or 1 bunch fresh basil, leaves washed
  • 3 tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp. (light) miso, or more to taste

Directions

Put all ingredients in food processor and process till slightly "mealy" or smooth, depending on your preference.

Notes

  • I dare you to not eat it by the spoonful it's so yummy.
  • This recipe makes enough for one family sized batch of pasta or a big stir fry of veggies.
  • This is a very thick sauce (it doesn't have the usual oil to help thin it out). Is best mixed into pasta with hands or by adding another liquid, like the juice of a tomato. If adding to stir fry veggies it should mix-in fine. 
Do you have a favorite way to eat basil?

Resources: 

23 August 11

Comments

I LOVE basil! And I love

I LOVE basil! And I love pesto as well. We typically make ours with walnuts and without cheese, but definitely yes on the olive oil :-) But, my favorite way to eat basil is with fresh sliced tomatoes from the garden and a little salt. Sometimes we have it with homemade mozzarella too...not often...but delicious when we have it!

Wow Renee a pesto with no

Wow Renee a pesto with no basil? I am going to try this today!!! I have lots of fresh basil from the garden... Do you think this recipe would freeze well?
I'll let you know how it was for my family Thanks for sharing:)

thanks for sharing this

thanks for sharing this recipe, looks great!!!! how long do you think it can stay fresh in the refrigerator? also, i'm not very familiar with miso... i have mellow white miso, do you think it will work with the recipe?
thank you, looking forward for other food related posts, since i'm also doing the 30 day vegan and into learning about food these days.

looks yummy! favorite way to

looks yummy! favorite way to eat basil here is with fresh tomatoes, some mozarella (fresh or not) and a drizzle of olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar. just had it last night, wonderful!

It's so funny, I've just

It's so funny, I've just recently been looking into Dr. Fuhrmans website and trying to get his book from the library and then I see you recommend him! I even wrote a post about it, recently.
I have plenty of fresh basil in my garden right now I need to try this recipe. Sounds good!

Sounds like a great recipe,

Sounds like a great recipe, Renee. I didn't even think you could make pesto without oil. I also didn't know you could make pesto with dried basil. I can't wait to try it. I also am looking forward to future food posts, especially the picky eater one. :0)

I'm not typically a pesto

I'm not typically a pesto fan, but a friend of mine subbed walnuts and spinach for the classic pine nuts and basil -- and I loved it! I think I may try that with this recipe. I'm looking forward to your post on picky eaters (although I think I know what your advise is going to be!). I have two of them. One is pretty easy to deal with because she simply can't walk away hungry. My other one, however, will politely say "no, thank you" and just not eat. Okay - I'll stop there because I could go on and on about it, and this post isn't even about picky eaters! :-)

Made the pesto recipe with

Made the pesto recipe with fresh basil (about two big handfuls per batch). I made four batches trying to get my plants cut short before Hurricane Irene struck. I froze all the batches but sampled each one before freezing. Delicious! Thank you!

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