Pesto pasta is one of those dishes I never tire of, I find it so incredibly comforting and the flavours of basil and pine nuts is just delicious. I've always loved this dish, but since embarking on my healthy lifestyle change I haven't found a good ready-made pesto with healthy ingredients, as they normally contain either sunflower oil or dairy.
I decided to make my own pesto out of completely natural, healthy, vegan ingredients and it turned out so yummy! This pesto tastes so much fresher and full of goodness than the jars you buy from the shelves of your local shop - plus, it's super easy and cheap to make.
The base of this pesto is made from both pine nuts and cashews as I just love the mixture of the two - they create such a rich flavour that's beautifully creamy and thick. The addition of lemon is the best if you like zesty flavours and the olive oil is a much healthier, tastier oil than sunflower oil that's used in shop bought pestos.
You'd never even think about this pesto being healthy and dairy free, but if you miss that cheesy taste then try adding a teaspoon or two of nutritional yeast to the mix which is a great vegan, nutritious substitute but even without it the cashews help to mimic the cheese-like texture and flavour.
I love how such a mouth-watering dish can be so packed full of goodness too! There's lots of good protein from the cashews and pine-nuts, healthy fat from the olive oil, cleaning properties from the lemon, immune boosting garlic and slow-release carbohydrates that are such to keep you feeling fuller for longer.
There are many ways you could eat this pesto - stirred into cooked veggies, added to quinoa and salad, spread on toast with hummus or my favourite way is with pasta. You can mix and match different vegetables depending on what you have fresh at home and your personal tastes, but this recipe includes courgette and peas as I just love them with this dish so much - you really must try it!