Usually the rain makes me bummed– I have to stay inside, it’s cold, no outdoor fun, it just stinks. However, a few rainy days ago, I had the time of my life. It forced me to stay in, relax and just do whatever I wanted to do. And I wanted to make pesto.
Before the winter cold, my basil plant was flourishing. What started as a small baby basil, became a beautiful, luscious, full-leaved basil plant! I do not have a green thumb, so I have to say, I was pretty darn proud.
Look at all this!
Y’all. I had the best day ever. I don’t know if anyone has ever been so happy making pesto. I was picking, rinsing, chopping, taking photos and hopping around in my kitchen. It’s a good feeling.
Anyway, this pesto is so easy to make– you literally just throw it all in a food processor. I use Hamilton Beach’s Stack & Snap™ 10 Cup Food Processor and baby, it works wonders.
Typically, pesto contains cheese, but I opted for nutritional yeast to create a vegan version. Nutritional Yeast is inactive yeast and packed with nutrients (think B-vitamins, folic acid, fiber). It has a cheesy and nutty taste. Here is a great article from Mind Body Green on Nutritional Yeast.
I also sprinkled in a bit of spinach to add more nutrition. You can’t even tell.
I’ve added this pesto to eggs, pasta, chicken, salads, you name it. I have made it twice and froze a jar to enjoy this winter! What is your favorite version of pesto?
Vegan Basil Walnut Pesto [veg] [v] [gf]
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Ingredients (8 oz.)
- 2 cups packed Basil
- 3/4 cups packed Baby Spinach
- 1/2 c. Walnuts
- 1/2 c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3 cloves of Garlic
- 1 tbsp Lemon
- 1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
Add walnuts to the food processor and pulse 10-12 times.
Add basil, spinach, garlic and lemon juice. Pulse until well combined.
Sprinkle in nutritional yeast.
Turn the food processor on puree and add olive oil in a constant stream.
Use on your favorite meals or freeze for later!