You know when companies dilute or add fillers to something to make the actual product people desire ‘go further’?
Well, that’s what we are going to be doing with this pesto, mates! Yes, with the same motive as said companies to cut costs, however, this method will not cheat you in any way; I assure you that the end product is no less valuable – just a little different. The substitutions are just as healthy and flavorful so you can enjoy a little extra cash flow next time you make pesto.
I’m mainly talking about the pine nuts and basil.
Back when I saw the price of pine nuts for the first time, I immediately thought, da-dang.. thoooose sure aren’t in a working college girl’s budget.
And when pesto recipes call for 2 cups of packed basil leaves? Well, that’s not too economical either when they come in those tiny packages for $3! Of course, fresh would be really nice and probably cheaper, but sometimes that is not always available.
So, with this recipe, we are ‘diluting’ the basil with spinach (without sacrificing the beloved taste of basil) and substituting hemp seeds for pine nuts. Hemp seeds are not a TON cheaper, but they still cost less and still add the subtle, nutty flavor.
This recipe doesn’t have a cheesy flavor in because I didn’t have any nutritional yeast on hand, but if you’d still like some chees-ay-ness, I recommend adding anywhere from 1-3 tbsp, depending on your preference.
Do what you may with this pesto, but I’ll tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed this spread on a piece of sprouted grain Ezekial bread with some tomato slices. It could also make a great sauce for some zucchini noodles with some diced tomato, mushrooms and avocado on top. Juuust puttin’ that out there.
The recipe yields probably close to 2/3 cup of vibrant saucy nourishment (the picture above shows it after I transferred it a couple times so I’d say it lost some volume during shipping and handling). 🙂
- ½ cup packed basil leaves
- 1 clove garlic
- sea salt and pepper, to taste (a couple turns or pinches, I'd say)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp. hemp seeds
- 3 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 cup spinach
- Place all of the lively ingredients in the blender, and blend until smooth.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep for a good week!
Join the mmmm.