Nut & Dairy-Free Creamy Spinach, Avocado, Cucumber & Pomegranate Pesto a.k.a. Green With Deliciousness (& Envy!)
To be honest, this recipe came to life because I had extra cucumbers, pomegranate & spinach in my fridge! What better way to put it all to good use than to throw it into my blender & make a pesto?
This one’s vegan, gluten-free, dairy & nut-free but you can sub the nutritional yeast for Parmesan & the hemp nut butter for tahini or almond butter if you prefer! I personally like the idea of a nut-free pesto because sometimes, you just want something light & fresh to spread on crisp bread or rice cakes, without feeling too full, in between meals or before a night out! Pestos made with nuts are super nutritious & full of healthy fats, plant protein & vitamins & minerals, but they’re often so filling that they can actually curb your appetite so here’s a bit of a lighter, but still super healthy, alternative! I kept the healthy fat game strong by still adding in some hemp butter & avocado, so don’t worry, I GOTCHU COVERED!
It’s silky, smooth, GREEN AF, creamy & so nutritious! Use it as a dip for veggies, a dressing for kale, a spread for crackers, toast or rice cakes, as a topping for bowls, or as a marinade for chicken, fish, seafood or steak! Basically, use it on & in everything & get your daily dose of greens, antioxidants, healthy fats, B12, plant protein, carbs, vitamin C, A & E & FIBRE!
Hemp butter? That’s weird… I was a bit skeptical about it too when I first heard about it, but ohmahgoodness!!!! IT’S HEAVENLY! It’s a great way to add thickness to recipes, sauces, dressings, marinades & yes, even cookies, especially if you’re looking for a nut-free alternative to traditional nut butters!
PLUS PLUS PLUS! Hemp seeds are super nutritious. They are super rich in essential fatty acids (linoleic acid, omega-6 & alpha-linoleic acid, omega-3) & they also contain high amounts of gamma-linoleic acid, which has tons of other health benefits. EFAs are super anti-inflammatory & important for those who deal with digestive health disorders, skin ailments, autoimmune disease or cognitive health/mental health illnesses. Fatty acids are also crucial for preventing heart disease & diabetes.
Hemp seeds are also great for boosting immunity, promoting healthy restful sleep, boosting digestive health, maintaining healthy weight due to high protein & fibre content, strengthening bones & aiding int he production of vital enzymes. They also help in the repair & growth of lean body mass.
Without further ado, get your blender out & let’s get pesto-ing!
- 3 huge handfuls spinach
- Swap for kale, if you prefer
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds
- 2 cucumbers, chopped
- 2/3 cup hemp nut butter
- Swap for tahini or almond butter, if you prefer
- 2 huge tbsp. nutritional yeast
- 1/3 cup filtered water (& more as needed to thin out)
- 1/3 cup almond milk (& more as needed to thin out)
- 1 small ripe avocado
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 1 huge tbsp. raw organic yellow mustard
- Sea salt + black pepper to taste
- Add all the ingredients to your blender (except the hemp butter & avocado) & blend until combined & silky. It will be watery, but don’t worry, we’re about to thicken it!
- Add the hemp butter & avocado to thicken & blend again.
- If you find it too thick, add more water or almond milk. If it’s too thin, add more hemp butter or nutritional yeast.
- Enjoy & store leftovers in the fridge sealed in an airtight container.