Making Vegan pesto sauce is one refreshing way to incorporate more green leaves into our diets. Don’t you agree? This vegan pesto sauce recipe is easy, nutritious, and very delicious. Something you should try tonight! Even if you have a kale-hater in your family, this yummy pesto recipe will change that!
The original pesto flavor from pine nuts and basil are complimented perfectly by steamed kale while adding tons of nutrition to the dish.
I used half basil and half kale mix in place of basil in my usual pesto recipe. You'll likely not even notice the difference with that ratio. After that, it is really up to you to leave it chunky or a smooth paste for your pasta.
Although the traditional way of enjoying pesto is with parmesan cheese in pasta, I kept this recipe vegan by using nutritional yeast and lemon juice to replace parmesan cheese.
If you do not practice dairy-free, you can omit both the nutritional yeast and lemon juice and add ½ cup grated parmesan cheese.
Apart from the Kale addition and the dairy-free substitute, the rest of the procedure is similar to traditional pesto. You can also change the amount of oil to suit your preference for a thick or thin pesto sauce.
Best Nuts for Vegan Kale Pesto
Pine nuts are the most popular and also my favorite option for pesto. In fact, the aroma from pine nuts reminds me of pesto and nothing else. But that did not stop me from experimenting with other options. I have discovered that the pine nuts can easily be swapped for toasted almonds or toasted walnuts.
Why Steamed kale?
Steaming reduces the leafy green’s strong taste and helps it retain its bright color. Not just that, steaming helps clean leafy vegetables like Kale and spinach. Steaming also shrinks the Kale helping you in retaining the original form for Pesto and not make it too thick.
If you are allergic to Kale, swap it with Spinach, and follow the same procedure. Spinach comes close to Kale in texture and nutrition.
I don't think I even have to elaborate on the nutritional benefits of Kale. The challenge lies in making it palatable to everyone and that’s exactly what we accomplish with this recipe of vegan Kale Pesto.
By adding the leafy green to your pesto sauce, you’re getting a vitamin and antioxidant boost without sacrificing the flavor.
Pesto sauce created this way stores well in the refrigerator for up to a week. You could also freeze small portions and thaw them in the refrigerator overnight before using them.
If you are looking for an easy way to cook Kale, check out this recipe.
Ways to use kale pesto sauce
We love it with pasta, but there are many ways to enjoy them
- For pizza sauce
- Spread on sandwich or flatbread
- Mix into salad dressing
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Vegan Pesto sauce Recipe
- Start by steaming the kale in a pressure cooker or stovetop.
- Strain all the excess water. Add cold water and squeeze excess water out with your hands. Set it aside.
- Place a pan over medium heat and dry roast pine nuts until you get a nice aroma and they turn crispy. Place it aside.
- In the same pan, dry roast garlic until they turn golden. However, this step is optional. You could use raw garlic too.
- Add all the ingredients to a food processor or blender and blend to a smooth paste as you add the olive oil gradually. You can vary the olive oil quantity to your preference depending on how thick you like your pesto.
- You could add some water to make the recipe lower in fat, but it’s generally better tasting and longer-lasting if you use just olive oil.
- Vegan Kale Pesto sauce is ready! Use it on your favorite pasta and store the rest in a sealed container. It can last up to a week in the refrigerator.
- For an oil-free version of this recipe, use tahini or any nut butter instead of olive oil.
- Add 2 tbsp of any nut butter and 2 - 3 tbsp of water, instead of oil. I would add 2 tbsp of almond butter and 2 tbsp of water, instead of 4 tbsp of oil, but it’s up to you.
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