Oil Free Pesto

This is one of our favourite concoctions and the introduction to it originally came from a time a few years ago when we were following the Dr Caldwell B Esselstyn, Jr MD diet from his book Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease. This recipe was not in his book and so I made it up myself and have since perfected it after reading a number of different websites including foodrevolution.org.


  • approximately 3 cups of basil or spinach or a combination thereof
  • 1/2 cup of raw or roasted cashews, or lightly toasted pinenuts, or walnuts
  • 4 or 5 cloves of fresh garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
  • the juice of one lemon or 2 tablespoons
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt (only if using unsalted nuts)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  • some water to thin, 3 to 4 tablespoons as preferred


  • If you are using pinenuts then you will need to roast them lightly in a pan on the stove. Watch them carefully as only a light toasting is needed and no oil added. My preference is cashews which are raw or bought already roasted, with or without salt on them.
  • put the nuts in your food processor with all the other ingredients including 3 of the tablespoons of water
  • process well and add the 4th tablespoon of water if needed

Now comes the fun bit....

...use what you need for your current meal, a topping for either pasta or potatoes or spread on some whole wheat bread....

... then .... freeze the rest. Yes, freeze it. Use an ice cube tray and spoon in the leftovers, once frozen remove from the icecube tray and put in a resealable bag. The cubes are a perfect size to take out and plop in a soup, to use on future pasta meals or potatoes, to add some extra tastiness to just about anything. My mouth is watering just thinking about the cubes I have in the freezer right now and it is rare that I don't. We are fortunate that our local supermarket has started carrying larger plastic containers of fresh basil as the smaller ones I used to buy were too small to make this affordable. ENJOY!

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