Recipe: Pesto And Nut Butters

Pesto and Nut Butters

Recipe for Pesto:

This is a simple and delicious pesto with a grainy nutty crunch and the cheesy taste from the nutritional yeast. 

  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 cup almonds
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • sea salt and pepper to taste 
  • Process all the ingredients in a food processor till well combined.

Recipe for Almond Vanilla Butter:

  • 2 cups of almonds
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 1 tbsp oil (I used sunolive, which is a combo we get here)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • Process the almonds in a food processor for 10 to 12 minutes, pausing to scrape the sides.
  • The nuts will first become powder,then they will clump together like a dough, then split and become smoother and smoother and you will see the fats/oil ooze out and glisten.
  • Then add the salt, vanilla and the tbsp of oil cinnamon and process for another minute.
  •  Scrape the sides and spoon the butter into jars. I got a jar and a half with this quantity of almonds. 
  • You can make instant almond milk by using a tbsp of butter and a glass of chilled water, adding a mild sweetener or blueberries and viola – you have a lovely almond milk drink.

I use almond butter with rice crackers or even better, slices of apple for a healthy snack or in cookies and cakes too. Just be careful as this is so yummy, you could get carried away, so measure out a serving and stick to your quota for the day.

Recipe for Cashew Brazil Nut Butter:

  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1 cup brazil nuts (high in selenium)
  • or you can use 2 cups of cashews.
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • a pinch of sea salt

Use the same process as for the almond butter, adding the oil towards the end. I don’t add anything else to cashew butter at this stage, leaving it simple and basic.

I use the cashew butter in the following ways: 

  • adding a little water, garlic, nutritional yeast, salt and lemon juice will give you a cheesy sauce to go over your pasta or veggies.
  • Thin it out with more water and you get a dressing for a salad. Add any herbs, spices or flavours to this sauce or dressing, yummy!!!
  • make instant cashew milk (like the almond milk above) for your smoothies and shakes.
  • blend a couple of tbsp with mangoes or blueberries, add a sweetener of choice and some nutritional yeast, a little lemon juice and you have a filling for a raw fruit and cheesecake pie

This was originally posted on Neeta’s Healthy Plate (

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