• Elly McLean

Dairy Free Basil Pesto - two ways

We don't all have time for huge amounts of meal prep (myself included) however what I can always make the time for is homemade dips, dressing and pesto. Many years ago I made the decision to free my diet of highly processed seed oils including canola, vegetable, corn and sunflower oil. These oils are chemically extracted and prone to oxidation when exposed to heat which makes them dangerous to our health and levels of inflammation.


Can you guess which supermarket products often contain highly processed seed oils? You got it, dips and and pesto! Other regular offenders include canned goods (such as tuna) and marinated goods (such as feta).


If you, like me, want to avoid poor quality and highly unstable oils then give these two pesto recipes a go. They're so easy and can be used to dress up a salad, a pizza, a bowl of zucchini pasta or a grazing platter.


Make a batch ahead of time and store it in an air tight container in the fridge for a few days!


I hope you enjoy these two options!

Cashew & Basil Pesto

2 cups basil leaves washed and torn

1 small clove garlic (optional)

120g raw cashews (soaked for between 15 minutes - 8 hours and drained)

1 tbsp extra virgin cold pressed olive oil

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

10 tbsp warm water

Pinch of salt


Method

Place all ingredients in the blender except water. Add 1 tbsp water and blend.

Add the rest of the water slowly until you reach a slightly runny consistency, or the consistency of your choice.

Serve immediately or store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to two days.


Walnut and Pepita Basil Pesto

1 cup basil leaves, washed

1 cup spinach leaves, washed

1 small clove garlic (optional)

50g walnuts

100g pepitas

1 tbsp extra virgin coxed pressed olive oil

3 heaped tbsp nutritional yeast

10 tbsp water

Pinch of salt


Method

Place walnuts and seeds in a blender and pulse until a ‘meal’ forms.

Add all other ingredients, excluding water, and blend until a paste forms.

Slowly add water 1 - 2 tbsp at a time until the desired consistency is achieved.

It should be creamy. If you want it runny enough to coat zucchini spirals or salad leaves then add more water.




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