Recipe Collection: Classic Pesto |

Recipe Collection: Classic Pesto

Sarena-Rae Santos May 17, 2023

By Sarena-Rae Santos, Natural Health Blogger

As someone who is plant-based and loves pesto, it is so hard to find accommodating pesto in the store. I was sick of paying $10+ for pesto when I could make it myself for a fraction of the cost. Of course, the cost could be even lower if you consider growing herbs indoors, but that may not be an option for everyone, and that’s okay. 

Pesto is predominantly basil, and if you read our basil herbal profile, you know it has many health benefits, including:

  • Antibacterial properties (1)
  • Antifungal properties (2)
  • Antimicrobial properties (3)
  • May improve fasting blood sugar and diabetes (4)
  • May reduce hypertension (5)
  • May thin the blood (6)
  • May protect against Asprin’s damage to the gut (7)
  • May reduce damage from a stroke (8)
  • May reduce memory loss and increase mental alertness (9)
  • May reduce depression (10)
  • May prevent certain cancers (11)

Add in the benefits of garlic, pine nuts, and lemon juice; and you’ve got yourself a functional food!

Before we start, if you’re looking for a nut-free pesto, this is not it, but we have a splendid Nut-Free Pesto Recipe you can try.

Classic Pesto


  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves (no stems)
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2-3 large cloves of garlic
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast
  • 1-2 tbsp. lemon juice (optional)
  • Pinch of salt


Step 1: Add the basil leaves, pine nuts, and garlic to a food processor (you could also use a mortar and pestle) and process until very finely minced.

Step 2: Add the olive oil until the mixture is smooth.

Step 3: Add in the lemon juice and process.

Step 4: Add the cheese and the pinch of salt before processing it briefly, just enough to combine (you don’t want to over-process the mixture). Store in the refrigerator or freezer.

Have you ever made homemade pesto?

This is the writings of:

Sarena-Rae Santos is the founder of The Holistic Hipppie blog, dedicated to natural health and plant-based eating. Her journey to natural health began in 2019 when she swayed away from allopathic medicine after becoming wheelchair-bound due to the side effects of 20+ medications. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) and dizziness due to nystagmus were the sources of her many health complications. Sarena's symptoms diminished after adopting a healthier lifestyle surrounding whole foods and herbs, leaving her a fantastic quality of life and a passion for educating people.

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Hi, I’m Kate.  I love medical freedom, sharing natural remedies, developing real food recipes, and gentle parenting. My goal is to teach you how to live your life free from Big Pharma, Big Food, and Big Government by learning about herbs, cooking, and sustainable practices.

I’m the author of Natural Remedies for Kids and the owner and lead herbalist at EarthleyI hope you’ll join me on the journey to a free and healthy life!

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