Make your own pesto

There is a huge misconception that healthy food needs to be boring. I’m here to tell you that it isn’t so. Good-for-you meals don’t have to be devoid of flavour, in fact, how else would you stick to eating healthy foods if they were flavourless? You wouldn’t! You’d fall of the wagon in no time. Nobody wants to eat plain tilapia and broccoli day in and day out. But if you go for the ready-to-use condiments that you get at your grocery store, you might be turning your healthy food into a calorie bombs that aren’t so healthy with all the rich cream sauces and gravy and dipping sauces. Just look at the salads served at McDonald’s that are supposedly be good for you, but in fact are just as bad as the Double Big Mac! It’s all about what you put in your salad as dressing and extras that will make or break it. So, my solution to this dilemma is to make my own sauces and dressings to add flavour without compromising the nutritional value.

This time on the menu is my own home made, good-for-you and yummy pesto. I love the freshness and the nuttiness of pesto, but if you look at the nutritional label of most pesto jars out there, you will come to realize that there is 10 ingredients too many, including harmful oils and sugar and eating just a serving will pack on more calories than you need to be consuming! So here is a quick and easy recipe for you:

 

IMG_20160306_144614583_HDR-01  

Pesto
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 22
  • Serving size: 25g
  • Calories: 32
  • Fat: 2.3
  • Saturated fat: 0.5
  • Carbohydrates: 0.9
  • Sugar: 0
  • Sodium: 29
  • Fiber: 0.4
  • Protein: 2.2
  • Cholesterol: 1.4
Recipe type: Sauce
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Best pesto under the sun!
Ingredients
  • 5.5oz fresh Basil
  • 2oz Pecans
  • 1 cup Plain Fat Free Yogurt
  • 35g Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 20g Nutritional Yeast Flakes
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • 3 cloves of Garlic
Instructions
  1. Blend all in a food processor until you get a paste. You can add more yogurt or opt for some oil to reach the right consistency.
  2. Scoop out into an air tight container.
  3. Serve with noodles.
Notes
I don't use pine nuts since my mishap of getting a pine nut syndrome from eating pine nuts. It results in a metallic aftertaste that can last for up to couple of weeks and there is no way to get rid of it.

Compare the nutritional value of 1 serving of a conventional, store bought pesto:
300 calories, 27g fat, 11g carbs and 3g protein

When you add this pesto to conventional pasta you are talking overload of everything as 100g of wheat pasta adds on another 110calories of which 25g of carbs. And you are not going to eat just pasta, you will likely eat some meat with it, let's say steak would go well with your pesto pasta and that's another 387 calories of which 18g of fat for an average size steak. So here you go, you are eating close to a whopping 800 calories!

My meal with my pesto and 3.5oz of chicken is 157 calories! Of course, I'll eat more than that, but this just gives you an idea of what's wrong with the food we eat.

I use this pesto as sauce for my zucchini noodles, in salads as dressing or as dipping sauce for anything at all.
IMG_20160306_154134931_HDR-01
It is quite yummy if you very gently heat up the zucchini noodles before serving. You can also use it for conventional noodles, but I opt for volume without added calories.

 

IMG_20160306_153910448_HDR-01
You really don’t need a lot to make it tasty it. This is a serving of 25g and once you cover your noodles you come to realize that it is more than enough and only adds 32 calories. Now to compare it to a conventional pesto, we are talking hundreds of added calories!

 

IMG_20160306_144647783_HDR-02
I will never go back to using a store bought pesto ever again! This is way yummier and better for you!

 

Leave a Reply

Rate this recipe: