I had a ton of basil in the fridge and wanted to see if I could lighten up my recipe just a little bit more.
By cutting back just a kiss on the oil, cheese, and nuts I was able to make my original recipe even lighter without sacrificing any flavor!
Pesto is full of nutritious ingredients like; basil, garlic, pine nuts and extra virgin olive oil, but when all is said and done, if I can find a way to lighten up a recipe without sacrificing flavor I’m all in!
Here’s what I did:
- I swapped out a little more than half of the oil for chicken broth (you could easily use veggie broth if you wanted to keep it vegetarian)
- Reduced my pine nuts from 1/4 cup to 2 tbsp
- Cut out one tbsp of the Parmesan cheese
Small changes… big results!
I found that by adding in the broth not only do you save yourself some excess calories, but it makes the pesto creamier (there’s no oil pooling at the top of your pesto), plus it’s easier to spread and coats pasta more evenly. And don’t worry, since you’re not eliminating the olive oil all together, the pesto still benefits from the fruity, richness that the olive oil brings.
Now the question becomes, “What shall I do with my pesto this week?”. What do you like to make with pesto?
Clean Eating Pesto
- 2 cups packed basil leaves
- 2 FAT cloves of garlic if they're not fat, I'd use 3
- 2 tbsp of toasted pine nuts
- 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil*
- 1/4 cup of chicken broth
- 3 tbsp of Parmesan cheese**
- Big fat pinch of salt
- Pulse garlic in food processor until finely minced. Add pine nuts and pulse again.
- Add basil and pulse until finely chopped (you may want to do this in batches).
- With processor running, slowly add the olive oil and chicken broth, you're looking for a nice creamy consistency. Stir in the cheese and season with some salt...enjoy!
- *Recipes tend to change just a little every time you make them. Add oil and broth slowly... you may need a little more or a little less.
- **If you plan to freeze you're pesto, hold off on adding the cheese (it doesn't do so well in the freezer). Simply add it in whenever you are ready to use you're pesto.
- Makes about a cup.