The cheese free pesto calls for miso because of its umami flavor!

Traditionally pesto is made with pine nuts, parmesan and basil. I love the original recipe and there is nothing wrong with it from a health perspective unless you are dairy sensitive. The cheese free pesto calls for miso because of its umami (cheese like) flavor!

I love this recipe for cheese free Pesto also because I can make it a true healing food without anyone noticing. Depending on the herbs I use I can address different health concerns and the taste remain delicious. When I use basil I support digestive and nervous systems. I sometimes use dandelion greens and these will stimulate your digestive juices secretion. They are also useful if you want to reduce blood pressure as they are an excellent diuretic. Another useful herb for healthy blood pressure is parsley.

Use herbs in combination if you like. Spinach and chard work well with stronger flavored herbs.

Here is a great recipe that calls for this pesto .

Miso vs Parmesan

Parmesan is one of the most dense cheeses with the highest amount of complete protein – higher than any animal meat – and negligible amounts of lactose. However, if dairy products don’t agree with you, try using miso which has a slightly cheesy flavor. Make sure to buy truly fermented and MSG free light miso. Miso is made by fermenting soybeans (soy allergy alert!) and will add some probiotics to our pesto.

Health Benefits of Pine Nuts

Pine nuts, also called pignoli, are delicious, rich nuts with excellent health benefit profile. One problem, they are very expensive. I like keeping them in the recipe for the flavor and adding other nuts to reduce the cost.

green pesto on grey background

Cheese Free Pesto


2 cups of tightly packed greens (any combination of basil, parsley, cilantro, spinach, dandelion greens, plantain leaves, chard etc.)
1/3 cup pine nuts
2/3 any other nuts: walnuts, pistachios, almonds, cashews
1/3 cup unfiltered olive oil
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
½ tsp salt
2 tsp light miso (optional)

  1. Combine all ingredients in a power blender like Vitamix and blend together until you reach a smooth and homogenous consistency.
  2. Serve on fish, chicken, broiled vegetables and practically anything.
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