Basil Pesto is an absolute staple in my kitchen and I believe once you have tried making it at home it will be a staple in yours as well. This is a simple recipe that can be made weekly and used as a topping on some of your favorite dishes. Personally, I love using basil pesto as a topping on my favorite chickpea pasta, or a finite addition to my Roasted red pepper or beet hummus. Basil Leaves are both hight in antioxidants and antibacterial properties. This herb is excellent for promoting a healthy gut and acts as a natural adaptogen to the body.
BASIL vs. HOLY BASIL
When it comes to making your Basil Pesto at home knowing what leaves to buy is important because there is a difference between the two basils. Holy Basil also known as Tulsi is a edible plant that emanates a sweet aroma. Although Holy basil is edible it is usually used for medicinal purposes. Basil however, is an edible herb that gives off a spicy aroma and is naturally used in culinary dishes.
THE BEST NUTS TO USE FOR BASIL PESTO
This basil recipe includes whole Raw Cashew and Pine nuts. Cashews are excellent for heart health and loaded with healthy fats. They are also loaded with antioxidants which make them excellent for this recipe being that the Basil leaves are as well. Pine Nuts are high in beneficial monounsaturated fats, magnesium and vitamin E, which work together to protect the heart. These two nuts in combination work very well together and are a great addition to your basil pesto. If however, you are not interested in the pair you can also sub-out and use almonds in their place.
THE BLENDING PROCESS
For this recipe you want to brown your nuts before combining them with the other Basil pesto ingredients. However, it is really important to note that you want to make sure that the nuts have completely cooled before combining them with the other ingredients. This will help to prevent the natural oils from melting and damaging your blender. For this recipe I am using my Vitamix but any high powered blender will do. Once the blending process begins you should have deliciously creamy basil pesto blended in less than one minute.
OTHER RECIPES TO TRY
FRESH BASIL PESTO
- High Powered Blender
- 2/3 cup Olive Oil
- 2 tsp lemon juice or 1/2 of a freshly squeezed lemon
- 1/4 cup pine nuts can be subbed for almonds
- 1/4 cup cashews can be subbed for almonds
- 2 cup basil leaves packed
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Dash of black pepper
- 1/4 cup parmesian
- Toast pine nuts and cashews (or almonds) in a skillet for about 5 minutes. Keep an eye to make sure they do not burn. Set aside to cool.
- Add Olive oil and lemon juice to your high powered blender or food processor
- Once cooled add nuts and remaining ingredients and pulse until all ingredients are evenly combined.