There are about 2 million pesto recipes out there but this one is my favorite because it doesn’t have any Parmesan cheese. Ever since I cut back on dairy, I noticed that my stomach does not look like I’m carrying twins. My skin is definitely more clear.
Don’t get me wrong. I loved cheese. I still love cheese. But for this recipe I substituted cheese for nutritional yeast and I don’t even miss the cheese. If you’ve never heard of nutritional yeast, you need to get the scoop on this pronto! It is an awesome staple for vegans and vegetarians. I wrote a short article explaining all the health benefits of this amazing ingredient here.
Here are the highlights on nutritional yeast!
- 18 essential amino acids
- Vitamin B12, vitamin B6
- Chromium, Magnesium, Copper, and Manganese
- Folic acid, thiamine, riboflavin, niacine, zinc, pantothenic acid
- Essential fatty acids
- Low amount of sodium and fat, and ZERO cholesterol
- Low glycemic index of 1
Quite an impressive nutritional profile right? A lot of vegan and vegetarian eaters still complain about lack of energy. That’s because there aren’t any vitamin B12 in plants. And that particular vitamin gives you energy! So grab some at your health store and start cooking with it.
Vegan Pesto Recipe
- 3-4 cups basil, (I love basil, so I always put 4)
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, (buy a really good quality!)
- 1 organic lemon, (about 3 tablespoons)
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 6 tablespoons pine nuts, (optional: walnuts)
- *OPTIONAL, substitute 1 cup of basil for parsley
Put basil, garlic, pine nuts, salt, lemon in a food processor. Process until everything is combined.
Add olive oil and nutritional yeast and continue to process until you get a creamy sauce.
If you don’t care for garlic, leave it out. It’s your kitchen- do as you please! Just remember to taste as you go!
Sprinkle some ground pepper and yumm-0 you’ve got yourself a healthy sauce.
Store it in the refrigerator if you don’t intend to use right away.