Pesto, one of my favorite condiments to keep on hand. It can accompany most anything while still adding a little bit of class and is oh so easy to make. It’s only downfall (in my opinion) is its call for a hefty serving of parmesan. Don’t get me wrong, I love cheese as much as the next person but try to eat it in moderation and usually only as a special treat kind of thing. I’ve been cooking with nutritional yeast for years and love the flavor it lends to meals, especially vegan leaning ones, but for some reason shied away from trying it out in pesto. I honestly just thought that since pesto is raw and made up of such simple straightforward ingredients that the nutritional yeast would stick out too much. Oh boy, was I wrong wrong wrong. This pesto is the best pesto I have ever had. I don’t say that nonchalantly or to try to manipulate you into making the recipe; it really is just simply the best pesto I have ever made or eaten.
Nutritional yeast may sound like something you want to avoid (I mean anything with the word yeast in it has to be sort of bad right?) but it is actually incredibly healthy for you. It is loaded with vitamin b-12, protein, folic acid, amino acids and fiber. But don’t just take my word for it – check it out on your favorite reputable health sources and I am sure you will find only good things said on it. As with all things, you want to make sure you source high quality nutritional yeast. A few things to look out for : 1. Make sure it was grown on non-gmo sugar beets. 2. Ensure the vitamins are naturally occurring and not artificially added 3. Check to see if the brand you are purchasing from tests their nutritional yeast for lead since some brands have had detectable traces of lead in their yeast.
Vegan Kale Pesto
- 1 bunch of lacinato kale
- 1-2 cloves garlic ( depending on how galic-y you like your pesto)
- 1/2 cup lightly toasted almonds
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
- 3 tbsp. of nutritional yeast
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- juice of one lemon
- 3 -4 tbsp. water
- sea salt and pepper
- 1/8- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Wash your kale and remove the large thick stems.
- Using a 2 quart saucepan bring a pot of water to a boil. Blanch the kale in the boiling water for 30 seconds then promptly remove and run under cold water to stop the kale from further cooking.
- Working with clean hands, squeeze all the excess water out of the kale. After squeezing out the liquid from the kale you should have a ball of kale that fits in the palm of your hand. Put aside.
- Working with a food processor combine all of the pesto ingredients besides the olive oil in the processor and pulse until the ingredients are well broken down. Slowly add in your olive oil a few tablespoons at a time until you reach the pesto consistency you enjoy most.
- Store in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to 1 month. I like to freeze half of the batch in a jar until I run out of the fresh jar. Enjoy!