Dairy-Free Pesto with Walnuts

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I have been wanting to make a dairy-free pesto for a very long time. But without cheese, a pesto can be lacking depth of flavor. However, I recently discovered nutritional yeast, which works as a cheese substitute without pretending to be cheese. I have learned that nutritional yeast tastes great in soups, sauces, and sprinkled over salads or even pasta dishes! I love this recipe because there is so much flavor with half the fat of traditional pestos, which I find difficult to digest. For an added bonus, I used walnuts instead of pine nuts, which are not only cheaper but are also a great brain food.

 

Further Food Nutritionist Commentary:

This pesto is suitable for dairy free and vegan diets, but doesn’t compromise on the thick, creamy texture of traditional pestos. In addition, nutritional yeast adds essential vitamins and minerals that may be lacking in a vegan diet such as vitamin B12. If the fat content is still too high for your preferences or dietary restrictions, cut down the olive oil and add more lemon juice.


By Katie Bishop, MS, Nutritionist
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Dairy-Free Pesto with Walnuts

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 0 mins
  • Servings: 8

Ingredients

3 cloves garlic (chopped)

¼ – ½ cup  extra virgin olive oil (plus ½ teaspoon for sauteing garlic)

¾ cup fresh basil (packed)

½ cup walnuts (chopped)

½ lemon (juiced)

3-4 tablespoons nutritional yeast

Instructions

  1. Saute garlic in ½ teaspoon of the oil over medium heat until golden brown.
  2. Blend until all the ingredients are mixed and mostly smooth (I like mine with a little texture), adding more oil or lemon juice as needed to get desired consistency.
  3. Remove from the blender and place in an airtight container to store in the fridge. Pesto should last about 1-2 weeks.
Saute garlic in ½ teaspoon of the oil over medium heat until golden brown. Blend until all the ingredients are mixed and mostly smooth (I like mine with a little texture), adding more oil or lemon juice as needed to get desired consistency. Remove from the blender and place in an airtight container to store in the fridge. Pesto should last about 1-2 weeks.

Nutrition Information

Per Serving:  Calories: 154; Total Fat: 12g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 5g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 1mg; Potassium: 59mg; Carbohydrate: 2g; Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 0g; Protein: 2g

 

Nutrition Bonus:   Iron: 3%

 

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