One of the hardest adjustments for me when adapting to our grain-free lifestyle was finding substitutes for the classic foods my Italian husband loves. Pasta was, of course, at the top of his list, so after much trial and error, I was finally able to make some healthy alternatives that taste even better.
Basil Pesto From Scratch
While the pesto available in stores is not terrible, it is hard to find one that doesn’t contain hydrogenated oils or grain fillers. Thankfully, basil is one of the easiest herbs to grow. I don’t have a green thumb, but even I can’t seem to kill it. In fact, one summer, we had three foot tall basil plants take over the garden.
We made big batches of this when the basil was ready for harvest and froze it to use all year! I found that I actually prefer this, since the pesto was ready to go whenever we needed it.
Best of all, basil has a whole list of uses as a natural remedy in tonics, teas, and more. I tie any unused basil by the stems in bunches and hang upside to dry for future use. (Placing the basil in a paper bag recommended to catch any crumbling leaves.)
New to Pesto?
Pesto is essentially just a puree of fresh basil, nuts, olive oil, and garlic. It is a lovely green color and packs quite a punch of flavor. Pesto can be used on spaghetti squash “pasta”, on top of meatloaf, in stir-frys or casseroles for flavor, or with any Italian-themed dish. It is also delicious on omelets, biscuits, or grain-free bread.
And if you really want a pasta dish, this basil pesto is great with Paleo Cupboard grain-free pasta noodles!
Basil Pesto Recipe
- 2 packed cups fresh basil
- ½ cup raw almonds
- 2 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Put basil, almonds, and garlic in a blender.
- Turn the blender on and slowly add the oil until the pesto is the desired consistency.
- Use right away, store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, or freeze for up to 9 months.
Other Homemade Condiment Recipes:
- Egg Free Mayo with Avocado
- Italian Dressing Recipe
- Ranch Dressing Recipe
- Raspberry Vinaigrette
- Asian Vinaigrette
- Honey Mustard Sauce and Dressing
- Lactofermented Salsa
- Caesar Dressing
- Cilantro Pesto
How do you like basil pesto? Share below!
Discussion (10 Comments)
Hello Katie. I read in the recipe intro about your grain-free diet and missing your pasta. Surely by now you must have tried some of the grain-free pastas made from brown rice? Trader Joe’s has one that we have been enjoying for years. BUT – then – one day on the car radio we were listening to a podcast from Bon Appetit, and they did a piece on a new grain-free pasta brand: Jovial. Their praise for the product was so effusive that we went out and bought some. It was a revelation. Better then ANY pasta we’ve ever bought for home use, including premium Italian brands made from semolina wheat. Try it, you won’t be sorry. The company’s back story is also very interesting: you can hear it on Guy Raz’ podcast, “How I Built This” on NPR. https://www.npr.org/series/490248027/how-i-built-this Just search for the “Jovial” episode. Note: I have no connection to the company – I’m just a big fan, along with my gluten-free wife.
Store in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks in the fridge and ” ” months in the fridge. You left out the 9.
Just a tip. If you use wild garlic mustard rather than basil, the pesto will not brown. Bonus…the root of the wild garlic mustard plant is a wild horseradish.
Hilda M Smylie.
It also doesn’t brown when topped with olive oil and it will stay in the refrigerator for several months. Just used some from last year for bruschetta.Spread the pesto on baguette rounds, top with tomato bruschetta and Feta cheese. Homemade bruschetta was made with chopped tomatoes, garlic, chopped basil and olive oil. Served at a coctail party and got lots of compliments.
Is it two cups of packed basil or loose? Just leaves or stem as well?
Lainy Elena Torres
Why don’t you use pinenuts, just curious?
Don’t forget potato gnocchi! The first time I had pesto, it was served with gnocchi in a little restaurant in Liguria. That first bite began a life long obsession.
This sounds amazing! What kind of containers do you freeze it in?
I actually like freezing in ice cube trays and then dumping out into bags once frozen to keep in individual size portions..