This homemade basil pesto recipe has a bold yet fresh flavor with hints of garlic and lemon. The pesto recipe without pine nuts has hemp seeds and sesame seeds instead for a delicious nutty texture.
The addition of parmesan cheese gives this hemp and sesame basil pesto the authentic flavor of traditional pesto. To make a vegan basil pesto omit the parmesan cheese and add extra hemp and sesame seeds as a substitute.
My favorite way to use this healthy basil pesto recipe is with gluten-free pasta, zucchini noodles, or as a spread on nutrient-dense crackers.
Homemade basil pesto recipe
1 cup packed basil leaves
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
How to make homemade pesto
Making homemade pesto is super easy! Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend. Yup, it’s that easy.
Immersion blender pesto
If you don’t have a food processor to make the homemade basil pesto, then no worries. Instead, you can place all the ingredients into a large mason jar or blending jug, then use an immersion blender to make this healthy pesto recipe.
I prefer to use an immersion blender due to less cleanup of parts and because an immersion blender takes up less space in my kitchen cupboards. An immersion blender is perfect for making pesto when you don’t have a ton of liquid, as you can manually move the immersion blender up and down to blend basil into a homemade pesto.
Benefits of making a homemade basil pesto
Store-bought commercial pesto often contains unhealthy fats such as refined vegetable oils like canola oil. Making a homemade basil pesto with cold-pressed olive oil is so much better and tastier!
Unhealthy fats that have oxidized, such as refined vegetable oils are inflammatory to the system and thus, can contribute to weight gain. If your wondering, is pesto good for weight loss? It depends on what kind of pesto you are making.
This homemade basil pesto recipe is good for weight loss as it contains healthy fats in fresh ground whole food form found in the hemp and sesame seeds. Cold-pressed olive oil is used instead of inflammatory refined canola oil. Parmesan cheese is low carb and again a source of healthy fats that provide satiety.
Both hemp and chia seeds are excellent sources of plant-based protein and anti-inflammatory omega-three fats.
It is best to omit the parmesan cheese for anyone who has a food intolerance to dairy. Food sensitivities promote inflammation in the body that can lead to weight gain.
This homemade basil pesto will still taste delicious if you decide to omit the parmesan and make a vegan basil pesto instead to serve over zucchini noodles or freshly sauteed zucchini slices.
Homemade Basil Pesto Recipe
- Immersion blender or food processor
- 1 cup packed basil leaves
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup hemp seeds
- ¼ cup sesame seeds
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese
- Measure all ingredients into a food processor and blend till desired consistency is reached.