Basil and Lemon Pesto

Basil and Lemon Pesto

  • Serves: 1 1/4 cups
  • Prep Time: 00:15
  • Cooking Time: 00:00

Enjoy the fresh lemony tang to my pesto. Roasting the nuts and seeds adds extra flavour. This recipe can be made into a paste to use in cooking or add extra olive oil to make into a dip. Try spreading on top of lamb chops and bake in the oven, they come out with a lovely crunch on top due to the nuts and seeds in the recipe. You can make the pesto nut-free by using a mixture of roasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds.


* Please click on the green icon next to the ingredients listed below for extra details and helpful information.

  • 1/2 cup almonds, raw and roasted
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, roasted
  • 2 lge bunches basil leaves
  • 1 lge bunch parsley, include stems
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon(s)
  • 1/4 of the lemon zest, from the juiced lemon
  • 1/3 - 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper


Place the almonds and sunflower seeds on a baking tray, spead out evenly. Roast in the oven on medium-low heat until slightly brown, then set aside to cool.

Add the basil, parsley, nutritional yeast flakes, garlic, lemon juice, zest, 1/3 cup of olive oil, salt and pepper to a blender or food processor. Add the nuts and seeds on top of the ingredients.

Blend for approximately 5 seconds, scrape down sides, then blend for a further 5 seconds. Add more olive oil to reach your required consistency, one tablespoon at a time.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. If storing for longer, press the mixture firmly into a glass jar and drizzle olive oil over the top to preserve the pesto, seal with an airtight seal.


Almonds have 240mg of calcium in 50gms, as much as is found in 200ml of milk. Nuts are a great protein snack. Eat them raw or activated and it's best to avoid store bought roasted nuts that have been cooked in canola, sunflower or similar vegetable oils. When ground finely almonds make a wonderful nut meal/flour for grain-free baking.

sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds have a mild nutty flavour. An excellent snack as they are high in protein, delicious added to smoothies and grain free baking. Sunflower seeds can be finely ground to replace almond and other nut meals/flours in baked goods, substitute ratio 1:1. They are high in Vitamin E. Vitamin E travels throughout the body neutralizing free radicals. Sunflower seeds are also a good source of magnesium, which can help calm your nerves, muscles and blood vessels.

basil leaves

The culinary herb basil is of the mint family. The type used in Italian dishes is sweet basil opposed to Asian dishes which may use Thai basil, lemon or holy basil. I prefer to add at the end of a recipe or toss through as I serve a dish as cooking can destroy the flavour.


Parsley would be the most widely used herb worldwide. The two main varieties of this herb are curly parsley with ruffled leaves and Italian parsley with flat leaves. In general flat-leaf parsley has a more robust flavour than the curly leave parsley. Its fresh green flavour and colour can be much more than just a garnish. Both kinds of parsley may be used in cooking. Fresh parsley contains useful amounts of vitamin C, calcium, iron and potassium. Parsley is also high in bioflavonoids and other anticancer compounds.

nutritional yeast flakes

Also know as Savoury Yeast Flakes. It’s a fermented and deactivated yeast, which means it isn’t going to grow (and has nothing to do with brewer’s yeast or bakers’ yeast). It has a creamy cheesy flavour and I’ve used it in a few recipes to create a cheese flavour. Vegans use it as a condiment and a cheese substitute, and to also add additional protein and vitamins to their diet (it’s a complete protein). Nutritional yeast flakes are free from sugar, dairy, grains and gluten. Do not confuse it with yeast extract (MSG). Purchase from health food stores or in the health food aisle of supermarkets.


Garlic is a close relative to the onion and has been used throughout history for both medicinal and culinary purposes. In most of my recipes I use minced garlic as I find it distributes better throughout the dish. When in a hurry I use organic minced garlic which I purchase in glass jars and store in the fridge. When garlic powder is needed for a particular recipe, I use 'Simply Organic' brand. Why is garlic so good for us? It is an immune booster, antibiotic, good for the heart, cancer fighter and it's also knew as a weight loss aid (appetite suppressant).


The lemon is a citrus fruit which makes it high in vitamin C. Lemons have a distinctive sour taste which makes it a key ingredient in drinks and foods. The pulp and rind (zest) are also used in cooking and baking.

lemon zest

Lemon zest is the finely grated yellow skin of the citrus fruit lemon. The lemon skin is where you will find the oil. To make lemon zest, use a fine zest grater so you can avoid the bitter white pith under the skin.

olive oil

The olive fruit of the olive tree is pressed and crushed to released the oil. Healthy fats like olive oil are essential for brain function and to transport vitamins and minerals throughout our bodies. This is a delicious oil to drizzled over salads and vegetables.

pink Himalayan salt

Raw pink Himalayan salt crystals is unlike common table salt which can be a highly refined industrial byproduct, otherwise know as sodium chloride. Himalayan salt is completely pure and may naturally balance the body's alkaline/acidity and regulate water content. In addition Himalayan salt helps in the absorption of nutrients from food and contains many trace minerals for healthy cell structure. I purchase fine pink Himalayan crystal salt so I can use it in my shaker and for cooking.

white pepper

White pepper is cultivated from the ripe fruit seeds of a tropical vine. Black pepper is the cooked and dried unripe fruit of the vine. White pepper is a little milder in flavour and I use it when I prefer not to have black speckles in my dish, like a white sauce.