When I met my first batch of homemade pesto – it was love at first taste. We’ve been going steady ever since a dear friend taught me her pesto recipe years ago. It’s totally cool with my husband, he loves pesto as much as I do.
Over the years, I’ve refined my recipe to become increasingly healthier. When I was first making pesto, I was still consuming dairy, (now I know that dairy is linked to osteoporosis and many other health issues so I live dairy-free). The original recipe included parmesan cheese, so I came up with a substitute because goodness forbid I give up my pesto! So I did the most logical thing I could, I came up with a vegan recipe for this pesto as well as for vegan parmesan cheese but you the vegan parm is not essential.
Another major change I’ve made in my diet is that I’ve stopped eating salt. Gaaasp! Yes, it’s true, and it’s one of the best health choices I’ve ever made, especially concerning my weight. Check out my free download on salt and how it affects weight management. Free for you!
Yet another health change I’ve made is removing oils from my diet. Now you’re really starting to think I’m a party pooper! Well, I may be a party pooper but I’m a lot healthier than I’ve ever been in my life! I wrote about the truth about oils and exploring if they really are a health food here.
So I now make my pesto with little garlic, no oil and no salt. It’s not a “traditional” pesto recipe, that’s for sure, but it suits my healthier dietary needs. You can play with this recipe in any way you like to suit your own personal needs!
Raw Vegan Pesto Recipe
Essential Kitchen Equipment
For this vegan pesto recipe, all you will need is a food processor. A food processor is one of the top 4 raw food kitchen essentials that I recommend stocking your kitchen with.
In the food processor, place:
- 1.5 cup of hemp seeds, macadamia nuts or pine nuts (or a combo!)
- 1-2 cloves of garlic (I also don’t consume as much garlic as I used to, a small amount goes a long way, but you can add garlic to meet your specific taste)
- 1 Tbs of lemon pepper (find one without salt)
- 8 Tbs of fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbs of chickpea miso (This is what I used to add instead of salt but miso is also super high in sodium. I personally don’t use bragg’s or miso anymore. Try using whole dried dulse leaf as a transition away from salt. It’s still higher in sodium, so if you are on the no-salt path, keep it minimal. Experiment with what works best for you!)
Process until ingredients are mixed together, but not totally smooth. You want the hemp to grind down, but not all the way. Then add:
- 3-4 cups (very packed) basil
- 1/2 cup parsley
Place in the fridge and it’s ready to serve. You can use this vegan pesto to make a delicious living pesto pasta, or simply spread on raw pumpkin crackers, bread or dip with organic veggies. However you like it, this raw vegan pesto makes a healthy, easy to make snack for you and your family to enjoy.
Aloha from the Big Island of Hawaii,