I don’t remember when I had my first bite of pesto. I do remember that it was love at first taste. The explosion of garlic, the freshness of the basil, the decadence of the cheese, I was hooked. My second epiphany came when I was introduced to avocado pesto through one of Chloe Coscarelli’s recipes. I mean seriously. Beyond delicious.
Pesto can be made from many different ingredients. You can use the traditional pine nuts, or walnuts. I have seen it made with kale or parsley. It is one of those recipes that can adapt to a ton of changes. Making it raw / vegan is simple. Just omit the cheese. Honestly, with all of these other tasty ingredients, you will never miss it.
My version uses avocados and kale! I can never get enough kale and why not incorporate it into an avocado pesto? This raw recipe is simple to throw together. Toss the pesto with some zucchini noodles and tomatoes and you have a very satisfying meal.
Avocados contain a an amazing array of carotenoids. They are also anti-inflammatory. They help digestion, are high in vitamin K, fiber, folate and vitamin C. Avocados are also high in fat but it is considered to be the good fat that helps you absorb nutrients, protects you from inflammation, and helps lower your risk of heart disease. Did you know that pine nuts are high in iron and magnesium? And kale, well, we all know what a nutritional powerhouse kale is. At only 36 calories a cup, the kale in this recipe helps lighten it up while providing you with fiber, vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, iron and more.
- Food Processor
- Spiralizer (optional)
Raw Avocado Kale Pesto with Zucchini Noodles
- 4 medium zucchini
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- 2 avocados
- 1/4 cup cold pressed olive oil
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional)
- 1/2 cup pine nuts plus some for garnish
- 1 small bunch kale, de-stemmed and torn into small pieces (about 1 BIG handful)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- pinch Himalayan salt and fresh cracked pepper
1. Spiralize the zucchini. Set aside in a colander to drain excess liquid)
2. Start food processor running. Drop cloves of garlic in, one at a time.
3. Add avocado, olive oil, nutritional yeast, pine nuts and lemon juice. Pulse until blended.
4. Add kale and pulse until kale is well chopped and incorporated.
5. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then toss with the zucchini noodles and tomatoes.
*Chef’s note: Be careful of the source of your pine nuts. Some contain nuts that are not digestible and can cause problems. Please do your research and make sure you are getting your nuts from a good source.