Fresh herbs are a fantastic addition to any Candida Diet, partly because of the health benefits, but also because its a great way of super-charging your recipes with flavour!
💕 Why You'll Love This Recipe
This pesto is so versatile. It can be used as a salad dressing, a dip, a topping for crackers and gluten-free sandwiches, and of course to be stirred into your favourite gluten free pasta such as buckwheat or green pea.
As well as being completely dairy free thanks to nutritional yeast, which gives this pesto it's cheesey flavour, this recipe also uses far less oil.
Want to pack even more goodness in? Add a small handful of baby spinach too.
This pesto is great because it is:
And best of all, completely dairy-free!
🌿 How to Make Candida Diet Friendly Pesto
Traditionally pesto is made by blending together fresh garlic, basil, pine nuts, extra-virgin olive oil, and parmesan cheese. But because dairy is not permitted on the Candida Diet, I had to find a substitute.
In order to achieve the same cheesiness and creaminess, the parmesan has been substituted with nutritional yeast and sunflower seeds.
💫 Recipe Substitutions
In the recipe I combined pine nuts with more affordable sunflower seeds, however, you can substitute any combination of Candida Diet friendly nuts and seeds out of pine nuts, sunflower seeds, walnuts, macadamias or almonds.
If you already have a batch of homemade Sunflower Seed Sour Cream in the fridge, then you can swap the whole seeds out for a couple of spoonfuls of this instead.
Can I Substitute Dried Garlic For Fresh?
I find that fresh garlic is too overpowering when you do not have the salty parmesan cheese to off-set the sting, so this recipe uses garlic powder in it's place - making it slightly kinder to your breathe too!
Having said that, garlic is a Candida Diet powerhouse thanks to it's anti-microbial properties, so if you would prefer to use fresh, and you don't have a date planned for that evening 😉, substitute the half teaspoon of garlic powder for 1-2 cloves of fresh garlic.
Why is My Pesto Turning Brown?
Let's talk browning! As with avocados, once the pesto is exposed to the air it will slowly start to turn brown on the surface.
This is completely normal and is simply the oxidation of the basil. You can minimise the effect of this by storing the pesto in an air-tight container. You could also add a thin layer of extra virgin olive oil to the top, to create an additional barrier.
How Long Can I Store The Pesto?
I find it's best to use up this pesto the same day its made, in order to maximise freshness. However, you can freeze smaller portions in an icecube tray so that it can be used as and when required.
Easy Basil Pesto Recipe (Dairy Free and Vegan)
- 100 g fresh basil
- 50 g raw pine nuts
- 30 g raw sunflower seeds
- 2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 50 ml olive oil
- 50 ml filtered water plus more if needed
- ¼ teaspoon pink salt
- Wash and pat dry the fresh basil and remove the larger stems.
- If desired, save a few of the basil leaves and pine nuts for garnishing at the end.
- Add all of the ingredients except for the water, to a blender and blend until smooth.
- Top up with the water in small quantities until the desired consistency is reached. The more heavy duty your blender is, the less water you will need.
- Taste and adjust the flavour to suit your preference by adding more lemon for tanginess or nutritional yeast for cheesiness.
- Use cold on bread alternatives, with chicken or as a dip, or warm through before adding to your favourite freshly cooked gluten free pasta or cooked vegetables.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days or preferably freeze smaller portions in the freezer (within 1-3 months) to use as and when required, so that it is as fresh as possible.