It’s peak basil season, making it a great time to incorporate this delicious herb into nutritious dishes. Aside from providing a bright flavor, basil also contains many vitamins and minerals plus antioxidants like beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, and zeaxanthin, making it a truly wonderful addition to your meals.

In honor of this aromatic herb, I’ve created a super-simple and tasty recipe I’m eager to share with you: Sunflower Butter Pesto. This basil pesto is allergy friendly and comes together easily thanks to the sunflower seed butter used in place of the more traditional pine nuts or walnuts. Feel free to substitute any other nut or seed butter you prefer. My family is kind of obsessed with right now. 

This versatile pesto can be enjoyed in so many ways: tossed with your favorite pasta, zucchini noodles, or cauliflower rice, used as a dip for fresh veggies or incorporated into a salad dressing. It’s also lovely on sandwiches or as a garnish with eggs or even soup. Enjoy! 

SunButterPesto 780x1024 - Easy Basil Pesto (Nut-Free and Vegan)

Easy Basil Pesto

Makes ~1 cup

Ingredients:  

  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves  
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower butter, tahini, almond butter (or other unsweetened nut/seed butter) 
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, (peeled) 
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice 
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast 
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt  
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1-3 tablespoons of water to thin out (if needed)  

 

Directions:  

Place ingredients in a food processor or small blender, adding the olive oil a little at a time. Pulse until smooth. If needed, add a few spoonfuls of water to thin out and ease the processing along. If desired, adjust seasoning. 

 

Now that your Sunflower Butter Pesto is ready, toss it with your favorite pasta or spiralized or riced vegetables, use as a dip for vegetables, spread on a sandwich, add it to eggs, or thin it out to make a salad dressing…or any way you like!

 

Want to learn about the work I do and see some of my other favorite recipes? You can connect with me via my website (https://www.jessicacordingnutrition.com/), Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/jesscording/?hl=en), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/JessicaCordingNutrition/), and Twitter (https://twitter.com/jesscording/). Also, make sure to check out my book, The Little Book of Game-Changers: 50 Healthy Habits For Managing Stress & Anxiety, where I share tips on living a healthy and balanced life.