This is my favorite pesto recipe in the whole, wide world and if you know me - you know I put it on pretty much everything from pizza to bruschetta, pasta, salads and more. I recently baked it onto gluten-free toasts to dip in my homemade butternut squash bisque and it was the perfect combination. However you prepare it - this pesto is the besto (I just had to say it).
This pesto is healthier than any pesto you buy from the grocery store because it's made fresh with no preservatives. Basil is immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory and thanks to it's natural adaptogenic properties - it even helps fight stress. I replaced typical dairy in my pesto with nutritional yeast which is a great source of vitamin B, aka the happy vitamin along with nine of the 18 amino acids making it a complete protein. Raw walnuts are neuroprotective and contain melatonin, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants which all promote brain function. Olive oil balances blood sugar and can help reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes. It's also great for your heart (aww) and can prevent strokes and some cancers. I buy two types of olive oil - a cheaper organic one from Trader Joe's or Whole Foods that I use to cook with and then a pricier extra virgin organic olive oil that I use for raw recipes and salad dressings.
What You'll Need:
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
- 1/2 cup raw walnuts
- 2/3 cup organic extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 fresh garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/4 tsp salt
Combine basil leaves, walnuts, olive oil and chopped garlic cloves, nutritional yeast and salt in your food processor and pulse approximately 1 minute. Use a fork to scrape the sides and any excess leaves and pulse for another 30 - 60 seconds or until you have a smooth, even consistency with no chunks of walnuts or garlic (they're sneaky so make sure to double check!)
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