Vegan Kale Basil Pesto

Vegan Kale Basil Pesto

December 28, 2020 Recipes 0

I literally ate Trader Joe’s vegan kale pesto on sourdough toast daily, whether topped with sliced summer heirloom tomatoes or heaps of alfalfa sprouts. Sometimes I ate the same thing for both lunch and dinner! The addiction wasn’t subsiding, and I needed a way to cut down on the plastic container waste. That’s why I now eat my own vegan kale basil pesto…yes, still daily.  

Not only are all ingredients minimally processed and raw, but this stuff is bursting with health benefits. Kale has copious amounts of vitamins A, B6, C, K, calcium, copper, and potassium which equals lower cholesterol, better bones, stronger immunity and much more. Cashews bring the iron, zinc, more copper, and manganese which kicks up metabolism. Lemon also helps with digestion, as the acid breaks down food and prevents kidney stones. Phytonutrients in lemon are powerful antioxidants, protecting each cell building block of your body. Finally, the garlic is anti-inflammatory, positively influences blood pressure, and improving immunity. My kids love this recipe as a dipping sauce for warm ciabatta bread, an easy way to sneak in these nutrients and super-charge their health.

This recipe is so simple, because a recipe doesn’t have to be complicated to be magic. It takes just five minutes. Feel free to tinker with more or less of your favorite ingredients, and perhaps get creative with different leafy greens, nuts or oils after you’ve perfected the baseline. I find myself subbing out some of the oil for water because, again, I eat so much of it. You are also welcome to forego the food processor for a blender if you want a smoother spread. 

1 bunch lacinato kale (or your favorite variety)

2 packed cups basil

3/4 cup olive oil 

1 cup raw cashews 

Fresh squeezed lemon juice to taste

Salt to taste 

(two garlic cloves optional)

  1. In a food processor, layer half of the kale with stems, basil, half of the olive oil, cashews, garlic, and one generous squeeze of lemon juice. Pulse until fine, adding more kale as room becomes available and more olive oil as needed. 
  2. If the mixture is too thick for your liking, add a splash of water. 
  3. Salt to taste. 
  4. Keep pesto refrigerated in an airtight container. You may also freeze half in an airtight container. 

Enjoy your fresh pesto!