Pesto is one of my all time favorite sauces. A mix of cheese, oil, nuts, and fresh herbs, what's not to love about this delicious carb-covering sauce? Unfortunately, my brain knows better than my tastebuds, so I know that while it tastes amazing, it's not the best thing for my body. High in fat (even if it is the healthier kind of fat) and even higher in salt, pre-made jars of pesto from the market are essentially delicious green sauce with a side of high blood pressure (please, don't hate me). And even most homemade pesto recipes call for at least 1/4 to 1/2 olive oil
I am not the only one in the family that loves classic basil pesto. Ever since he was old enough to eat solids, my wild child has loved pesto. Octavian may not come within a mile of red sauce, but he'll eat pesto any day of the week. Watching him eat so much pesto, so often, had me worried- I had to make something healthier.
Now, just in case you've been living under a rock, avocado is the poster child of healthy. And, avocado just so happens to be one of my top 10 favorite foods in the world. A terrific source of vitamins like C, E, K, and B, avocado is also good for the brain. Made mostly of monounsaturated fats, avocado supports the production of acetylcholine; in other words, this mighty fruit helps give both memory and learning a boost.
So you may be wondering, does it taste good? I mean, it looks like basil pesto, but does it taste like basil pesto? yes and yes.
You guys, this power food pesto tastes almost identical to the real deal (this will depend on how much salt you add to your sauce). Of course, the real test came when I presented my picky toddler with a plate full of zucchini noodles and chicken covered in this sauce.
He ate every last bite...and asked for more.
I didn't think it was possible for my toddler to eat both fruit AND veggies in the same meal, but thanks to the creamy powers of avocado it happened :)
Healthy Avocado Basil Pesto
Prep Time: 5 minutes / Cook Time: 0 minutes / Total Time: 5 minutes
1 large avocado
1/3 cup grated parmesan
3-4 Tablespoons pine nuts
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 cup basil, packed
5 cloves garlic
salt, to taste
water, if needed
Add avocado, parmesan, pine nuts, lemon juice, basil, and garlic to the bowl of a large food processor and pulse until blended and chopped (but not completely processed). Add water and continue to process until smooth, adding more water, one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached-- I prefer mine on the thicker side.
Store in an airtight container for 3-4 days or freeze for up to several months.
Serve with pasta, zoodles, sandwiches, pizza and all other other stuff pesto tastes great on.