Perfect, basic and nutty homemade basil pesto made with nutritional yeast!
I love trying new ingredients. Once I tried nutritional yeast and it made a permanent place in my pantry. It is one of the few products that were used as dietary supplement before the enormous product range of nutritional supplement was made available to consumers by the industry.
Nutritional yeast is rich in variety of basic nutrients such as B vitamins, minerals (chromium, phosphorous), and amino acids. It is high in protein and energy. Nutritional yeast is grown from 2 primary sources – 1. Brewer’s yeast from hops and 2. From whey, molasses and wood pulp. In past, brewer’s yeast was used by athletes and fitness enthusiasts by adding it to protein shakes, juices or health drinks.
Note that nutritional yeast is not same as baker’s yeast.
There have quite a lot research articles been published, which have shown potential health benefits of brewer’s yeast in treating vitamin B deficient diseases, diabetes, etc.
Risk- Although it is known to be healthy, it should not be consumed if you have any of these health conditions- inflammatory bowl disease, gout, glaucoma, hypertension and if you are allergic to yeast. Please consult your health practitioner or dietitian.
Flavor – It has nutty, cheesy and savory flavor. It comes in powder or flakes form.
You can find nutritional yeast in farmers market or even online.
There are tons of way to include nutritional yeast in diet:
- Sprinkle on toasts
- use instead of Parmesan cheese in dips and sauces
- add in soups
- blend with water to form cheese sauce
- Sprinkle on food instead of salt, etc.
I am not vegan but I love the flavor of the nutritional yeast. Here I am sharing a recipe that I often make with nutritional yeast- Vegan Basil Pesto. I love all the ingredients in this pesto. The flavor and aroma of this pesto is lingering. It is so good you will not notice it is dairy-free.
It yields around a cup of pesto.
- 1 cup tightly packed basil leaves
- 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup pine nuts/walnuts/cashews
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1-2 pinches crushed black pepper
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1.5 Tbsp nutritional yeast (flakes)
- In a blender take basil, pine nuts and garlic. Blend until coarse.
- Add rest of the ingredients and blend to desired consistency. You can keep it chunky or smooth. Adjust salt as per taste.
- Transfer in glass jar and refrigerate.
- Stir well before using.
- Toast nuts for extra flavor.
- Use it sparingly in pasta, salad or on toast or as a marinade.