Easy Vegan Basil Pesto

by Paige Charette

Vegan_Pesto_Recipe_1 - Edited

When you have a limitless basil plant sitting on the porch, you may as well make pesto every week! However, I try to limit myself to occasional high quality dairy. I love my goat cheese, Gouda cheese, caprese salad… BUT overall I try to focus on plant based foods for fuel with hints of animal sources along the way. That’s why finding delicious plant based alternatives to some of my favorite recipes is so satisfying! I hope you love this one!

Vegan Basil Pesto

1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked and drained
1 cup tightly packed basil
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 big garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste

What the heck is a soaked cashew? Well? We aren’t making cashew butter! Add 1/2 cup cashews to a jar or bowl and cover with water. Leave tightly sealed at room temperature overnight or for at least an hour.  Then drain the water out and rinse cashews thoroughly. The cashews will be soft and ready for easier blending! This process also helps release their natural sweetness. In a pinch for time? You can soak cashews in boiled water for 15 minutes instead.

Add all ingredients, including cashews, to food processor. Keep processing until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. I always add a splash of water to thin out the pesto and get it to a creamier consistency – juuust a splash!

The pesto is delicious as a sandwich spread, over noodles, mixed in sautéed veggies…anything you can think of! Keeps well in the fridge for up to 5 days. Mine is always gone well before that!

CHEERS to fresh summer herbs!

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