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Dairy-free Avocado Pesto

Dairy-free Avocado Pesto

Try this nutritious recipe.

Yield: serves 4 as a side

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 large cloves)
  • 1.5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ large ripe avocado
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup water (plus more for thinner consistency)

Directions:

  1. Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add pine nuts and toast for 2-3 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, until they give off a nutty aroma and turn golden.
  2. In a food processor or blender, add basil, garlic, lemon juice, toasted pine nuts and nutritional yeast, salt and pepper, and pulse until finely chopped.
  3. Add avocado, olive oil and water and process or blend until well incorporated.
  4. Add additional water for thinner consistency, if desired.
  5. Don’t forget to taste test! Add additional salt and/or pepper as needed.
  6. Store in an airtight container for 3-5 days in the refrigerator or in the freezer for up to 3-4 months.

Nutrition Tips:

  • Nutritional yeast is commonly referred to as “nooch” in the nutrition and foodie world! It is actually inactive yeast that grows on molasses. Nutty and cheesy in flavor, in just 2 tablespoons, this powerhouse contains 4 grams of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, and 9 grams of protein! It is also rich in B vitamins and folate.
  • Nutritional yeast contains the compound glutathione. Glutathione is an important antioxidant that works to protect and promote proper immune function. A study published in Frontiers in Immunology found that glutathione plays a crucial role in the establishment of the innate immune response to viruses. Not only does it help to prevent oxidative stress, it may also have a significant signaling role helping to fine tune the body’s response to viruses. Peruse more info on the innate versus adaptive immune systems here.
  • Being gluten free, sugar-free, dairy-free, and packed with B vitamins (most are even fortified with vitamin B12), nutritional yeast is a great addition to vegan and vegetarian dishes to boost vitamin B intake.

 

Recipe created by Alexandra Regalado, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist with El Camino Health's Lifestyle Medicine Program. Click here for more information on Lifestyle Medicine, including available classes, locations and program tracks.

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