Almond Pesto Paste

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This almond pesto paste with basil is like your classic pesto, but with a little twist. It’s quick and easy to make and it requires only a few ingredients

It’s naturally gluten-free, very versatile, and can be used in so many different recipes. It’s definitely a recipe you want to add to your Batch Cooking or Meal Plan.  

A glass jar with almond pesto inside

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What do you need to make almond pesto

The ingredients to make this pesto are:

  • Almonds
  • Garlic
  • EVOO
  • Basil
  • Parmesan

I have switched the traditionally-used pine nuts with almonds, as they are easier to find and usually cheaper. 

I haven’t tried it with other nuts yet, but my guess is that it would work with any other nuts, except probably hazelnuts, as they have a sweeter taste; that’s why they are perfect to make a Healthy Nutella.

As for the equipment that you need to make this pesto, a small food processor like this one would do, and a spatula would make the process of scraping and storing easier. 

A jar with green pesto inside

How to make almond pesto

If you have raw almonds, the first step to make this pesto is to roast the almonds and let them cool before using them. 

The roasting process is easy. Place the almonds on a baking sheet with a mat and roast them for about 10 minutes at 350ºF (180ºC) in a preheated oven.

If you don’t like raw garlic, you can roast it together with the almonds. 

Once you have the ingredients ready, you just toss them all into the food processor and you blend them. 

The almonds can provide a certain crunchiness to this pesto, so depending on your taste, process the pesto more or less.

Another difference between this recipe and a traditional pesto is you can use the entire basil stalk instead of just the leaves. This helps to save time and money, and it makes less waste. 

If you are wondering about the taste, I’ve not noticed much of a change from only using the leaves.

Finally, this pesto paste is pretty dense because I have decided to use a small amount of oil, as it tends to go rancid quickly. 

However, depending on the recipe you are going to use it in, you can just add more fresh oil to it. 

STEP BY STEP PICTURES ON HOW TO MAKE THIS ALMOND PESTO PASTE

A food processor containing all the ingredients to make pesto

Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor.

Food processor with the first step on making pesto

Pulse until smooth, scraping down sides as needed.

Storing basil pesto paste inside a glass jar

Store it in an air-tight glass jar in the fridge for up to one week.

WATCH HOW TO MAKE THIS ALMOND PESTO PASTE

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Why do I consider this pesto to be healthy

You can buy ready-to-use pesto in every supermarket, but have you ever read the ingredient list? 

Most of the time, they don’t use a good quality EVOO, if and when they even use EVOO! Don’t forget that there is a big difference between Extra Virgin Olive Oil and just Olive Oil. 

In case you are not sure where to buy your EVOO, Vitacost offers a wide range of good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil to choose from.

Moreover, you’ll often find preservatives added to it; for example, extra salt and, yes, sugar!

Making your own pesto at home will ensure that you have control over the ingredients you are going to use and ingest.

More reasons why this almond pesto is healthy are related to the nutritional aspects of its ingredients:

ALMONDS
Almonds are rich in fiber, protein, good fat, vitamin E, vitamin B2, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and copper. (1

They are also rich in antioxidants and in this study, it was shown that the antioxidant activity was higher for roasted almonds.

Additionally, in a 2010 study, it has been shown that a diet from the American Diabetes Association, consisting of 20% of calories as almonds, over a 16-week period, was effective in improving markers of insulin sensitivity and yielded clinically significant improvements in good cholesterol in adults with prediabetes. (2)

Experts emphasize that a daily consumption of almonds (1.5 oz.), substituted for a high-carbohydrate snack, may be a simple dietary strategy to prevent the onset of cardiometabolic diseases in healthy individuals. (3)

Finally, they can help with weight control. This study, published in 2013, has shown that almonds provide post-ingestive metabolic and appetitive benefits, and did not increase the risk for weight gain. This suggests that almonds may be a healthy snack option.

BASIL
It is rich in vitamin K, especially if consumed in the form of dried leaf and in high amounts. (4)

Note that vitamin K helps clot the blood and, therefore, can interfere with blood-thinning drugs.

In a study done on mice, basil ameliorates (improves or makes better) the changes induced after exposure to chronic stress. However, human studies are still needed.

In this other study, it has been suggested that the use of basil as a medicinal plant could be beneficial for the cardiovascular system.

Finally, together with other herbs, basil has been shown to contain powerful active components that might be effective for increasing human health and preventing cancer. (5) (6)

EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
This review on recent works, analyzes  the relationship between the structure of olive oil polyphenolic compounds and their antioxidant activity.

It has been shown that its compounds’ possible beneficial effects are due to their antioxidant activity, which is related to the development of atherosclerosis and cancer, and to anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activity.

In an analysis of different types of oil, only olive oil seems to be associated with reduced risk in all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, cardiovascular events, and stroke. (7)

It seems that the polyphenolic compounds present in virgin olive oil have anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects in cardiovascular disease. (8)

This study suggests that newly-pressed extra-virgin olive oil contains oleocanthal which seems to have the same pharmacological activity as ibuprofen, acting as a natural anti-inflammatory compound.

Finally, olive oil intake has been shown to reduce blood pressure. (9) (10) (11) (12)

A jar from above with basil pesto inside

How to store and how long this almond pesto paste lasts

The best way to store this almond pesto is by using an air-tight glass jar like this, or this

If stored in the refrigerator, it will hold up to one week. 

You can also freeze it for up to one month.

Gift this almond pesto

Any fridge staple like this Almond Pesto, a Teriyaki Sauce, a Spanish Mojo Picón, a Caper Hummus, a Healthy Nutella or a Homemade Jam, make great presents for friends and family, neighbors, new moms, or college students. 

How to use this pesto paste

You can use this almond pesto on your veggies, meat or fish. You can make a dressing for your salad with it. You can also use it on your pizzas, sandwiches or even on your Cauliflower Rice.

Your turn: Have you ever tried to make pesto at home? If not, do you think you will give this recipe a try? 

Let me know if you have any questions by leaving a comment below.

As always, I appreciate you stopping by my blog. If you think this post might help someone you know to make even a small step to a healthier lifestyle, please don’t hesitate to share it away!

Happy Healthy Eating!

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Almond Pesto Paste

A jar with green pesto inside

This almond pesto paste with basil is like your classic pesto, but with a little twist. It’s quick and easy to make and it requires only a few ingredients

It’s naturally gluten-free, very versatile, and can be used in so many different recipes. It’s definitely a recipe you want to add to your Batch Cooking or Meal Plan.  

  • Author: Claudia Canu
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 0 min
  • Total Time: 10 min
  • Yield: 3/4 of a cup 1x
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: Healthy
  • Diet: Gluten Free
Scale

Ingredients

  • ½ cup (70 gr) of almonds, roasted
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 4 Tablespoons (50 ml) of EVOO 
  • 1 full cup of basil with stalks (20 gr)
  • ½ cup (35 gr) of grated parmesan

Instructions

1. Roast the almonds, and garlic if needed. Let them cool.

2. Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor, pulsing until smooth, scraping down sides as needed.

3. Store it in an air-tight glass jar in the fridge for up to one week.

Notes

If you don’t like the paste texture, add more oil to reach desired consistency. 

You can freeze it for up to one month.

Keywords: almond pesto, pesto paste, basil pesto, almond basil pesto

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10 responses to “Almond Pesto Paste”

  1. Lauren says:

    Yum! I love pesto and can’t wait to try this variation with almonds.

  2. Michelle says:

    Yum! I like this almond version WAY more than pine nuts!

  3. Jordin says:

    Wow! This pesto looks amazing and super easy to make! I can’t wait to top this on everything!

  4. Jen says:

    Such a great idea to have this made and ready to grab during the week. Loved the flavor!

  5. Cate says:

    This sounds so yummy and unique! Would be great on pasta or bread, saving for later!

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