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Homemade Raw Kale and Walnut Vegan Pesto: Eating Seasonally This Spring

Hey everyone! Today, I’ve got a fantastic vegan pesto recipe for all of you! If you’ve been keeping up with the site, you know I’ve been playing around with vegan recipes for the last few weeks/months. I love how these dishes focus on using produce in such creative ways! I’ve always tried to eat a ton of vegetables and fruits, but something about these vegan recipes has gotten me really inspired to play with veggies more. The weather has also been remarkably better, and I think spring is FINALLY in the air (in case you didn’t know, the DMV had an incredibly harsh winter).

About Today’s Vegan Pesto Ingredients

Pesto is a great dish to make in the spring. Even though you can buy these ingredients year-round, basil, lemon, and garlic are technically in season in the spring. I decided to get a little creative by adding some red kale to this vegan pesto recipe. This is totally optional, and if want to make a traditional vegan pesto, by all means do that. I’ve simply seen kale in a bunch of vegan pesto recipes before and wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Now, I understand the fuss 🙂

Instead of using the traditional Parmesan cheese for this vegan pesto recipe, I opted for nutritional yeast. Don’t let the name fool you—nutritional yeast does NOT have gluten in it! Discovered in the 1970’s, it’s rich in B vitamins, which is something you need to watch out for since most B vitamins are obtained from animal products. Vegan cuisine uses nutritional yeast in soups, sauces, dips, pasta, and even on popcorn! I’m really happy that I went out on a limb and bought some for this recipe. Nutritional yeast gives this vegan pesto recipe the classic cheesy note everyone craves.

vegan pesto retouched

I was fortunate enough to find a lot of the ingredients for the vegan pesto at a local Farmers’ Market. Not only do you usually find fresher and more local produce at markets like these, but you’re also support local farming economies. I feel MUCH better knowing that my dollar is going towards a farm in my neighborhood than some giant food importing company that uses a ton of fossil fuels to bring fruits and vegetables in from some random country.

Use this vegan pesto like you would a traditional pesto. I personally like to mix mine into spaghetti squash or brown rice pasta. But remember pesto can also be used on chicken and seafood (if you consume animal proteins obvi).  Also try thinning out this pesto with a little water and/or olive oil for a great homemade salad dressing.

One final note: I KNOW that I’ve been going ape shit with the ramekins. I bought a really cheap set of four on Amazon not too long ago and I’m in love with them (sorry Leo DiCaprio). They’re great not just for photographing, but also for when I want a small portion of kale chips, rice crackers, vegan ice cream, or some other semi-unhealthy food.

Enjoy today’s recipe!

Print Recipe
Homemade Raw Kale and Walnut Vegan Pesto
Prep Time 5 minutes
Prep Time 5 minutes
  1. Simply blend all the ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor. Scrape down the sides to make sure all the ingredients get combined. If the pesto is too thick, add water/olive oil one tablespoon at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.
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