I always enjoy making my own pesto and experimenting with different ingredients. All you need is a blender, nuts or seeds, herbs and healthy oils. I've been making my own pesto for many years. It helps me avoid all the unnecessary additives found in commonly available products, it's cheaper, and best of all, using keto-friendly pesto in your everyday cooking is an easy way to boost your electrolyte intake! Keep in mind, pesto itself won't be enough and you'll still need to eat foods such as salmon, spinach or avocado.
Although it's a common ingredient in pasta dishes, you can be creative and include it in your low-carb diet. Add it to "zoodles" to create flavourful recipes with just a few ingredients. Depending on your choice of herbs, you can try it on top of cooked fish or meat. Basil goes great with any fish and poultry, cilantro and rosemary with lamb, and parsley is perfect with pork or beef.
You can even use it as a dip with freshly cut vegetables and even in salads, where it adds a wonderful flavour. Here are a couple of my recipes with home-made pesto: Caprese Skewers and Quick Beef Ragù with "Zoodles".
Even more delicious recipes using home-made pesto can be found in my apps and book: Cauliflower pesto mash, Tomato tarte tatin, Cauli-bread bites with Artichoke & lemon pesto, Grilled zucchini wraps and many more.
Nutritional values (per 2 tbsp, 30 g / 1 oz):
|of which Saturated||1.4||grams|
Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (4%), protein (3.5%), fat (92.5%); ~ 0.6 g net carbs per tbsp
Ingredients (makes ~ 400 g / 14 oz jar):
Note: For more potassium, add ¼ tsp lite salt. When looking for ingredients, try to get them in their most natural form (organic, without unnecessary additives).
- Halve and peel the avocado and remove the seed. Wash the basil, peel and mash the garlic and juice the lemon. Place the avocado, basil, garlic, lemon juice, pistachio nuts and oil into a food processor and pulse until smooth.
Note: I like to mash the garlic before blending to make sure there are no large pieces left.
- Season with salt and add more to taste if needed.
Note: It may also help if you soak the pistachios for 1-2 hours before blending. Otherwise, let it sit for at least an hour to allow the nuts to soften. This will help create a soft and creamy texture.
- When done, use immediately or spoon the mixture in a glass jar, top with a bit of avocado or olive oil and seal properly with a lid.
You can keep your pesto in the fridge for up to a week or two if it's stored properly. It helps to pour a thin layer of olive oil on the top, as it keeps it fresh for longer. Whenever you use pesto, always remember to add a thin layer of olive oil on the top.
If you want to preserve home-made pesto for longer, freeze it in manageable portion sizes by putting it in an ice-cube tray and keep in a bag in the freezer for up to 6 months. Whenever you need to use it, just keep the required portion at room temperature until it melts.