Basil has a strong flavor folks tend to love or hate. I happen to love it – my husband, not so much. Therefore, I did not ask him to taste test this Avocado Pesto Spread. So imagine my surprise when he ate the pasta I made with leftovers the next day. He surprised me again when he took the leftover pasta for lunch the day after that. (I have to admit I was a little disappointed by that last surprise. I was all set to have the leftover pasta for MY lunch!)
In keeping with the ideas presented in Dr. Colin Cambell’s book Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition, I try to use whole foods in the place of processed oils whenever possible. Traditional pesto is usually made with olive oil. I opted for avocado, water and lemon juice instead. The results were exceedingly satisfying.
Avocado Pesto Spread
This Avocado Pesto Spread has the strong cheesy, garlic, basil flavor you associate with pesto without the dairy or processed oil. Nutritional yeast adds the cheesy taste. Avocado adds just enough creamy goodness you don’t miss the olive oil.
It makes a lovely spread for sandwiches or crackers. You can also add it to warm pasta. (Reserve a little of the pasta cooking water to thin the pesto to desired consistency.)
Avocado Pesto Spread
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 4 cups basil leaves fresh, packed
- 1/4 avocado peeled, pitted
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. garlic granules
- 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup water
- Add walnuts to food processor fitted with the S blade and pulse to chop finely.
- Add 2 cups of basil to food processor and pulse to chop finely. Repeat with remaining basil.
- Add remaining ingredients and process until well blended, scraping sides as necessary.
- Adjust seasoning to taste.
Note: I do not include nutrition information with my recipes because I subscribe to the theories presented in the book Whole and believe we should focus on eating a variety of whole foods instead of counting calories or keeping track of individual nutrients.
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