In my current favorite vegan pesto sauce recipe, I have included a Brazil nut parmesan. The saltiness of the Brazil nut parmesan, along with its coarse texture, is a great substitute for the real thing. In addition to the flavor and texture, Brazil nuts add a good punch of protein, and are an excellent source of selenium, magnesium and thiamine.
As an added bonus, this sauce keep well in the refrigerator, and is great to have on hand to add to your pasta, toss with your veggies, drizzle onto your salad, add to potatoes, swirl onto your homemade pizza, mix in your favorite soup, use as a spread on your sandwich, and so much more!
To make the parmesan:
- 1 cup of raw Brazil nuts
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- Place the Brazil nuts, garlic clove and salt in your food processor and process until a crumbly, parmesan-like texture is reached. Measure out 1/4 cup and set aside. Store the rest in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator until ready to use for other recipes.
- 2 cups fresh basil, stems removed
- 1/3 – ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, depending on the consistency you desire
- ¼ cup brazil nut parmesan
- 1 ½ tablespoons pine nuts
- 1 ½ tablespoons sunflower seeds
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 2 cloves of garlic
- juice of ½ a lemon
- salt to taste
- In a food processor, add the basil, garlic, pine nuts, sunflower seeds and nutritional yeast. Process until finely minced.
- Next, the lemon juice.
- Keep machine running and slowly pour in the olive oil.
- Turn off machine, add the brazil nut parmesan, and pulse a few times or give another quick run in the food processor.
- Taste and add salt as needed. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. I also like to freeze in ice cube trays, so I can use one portion at a time.
*Note feel free to use all pine nuts or all sunflower seeds in the pesto sauce, to accommodate your allergy needs and/or taste preferences.
**I usually use my Vitamix for most recipes, but I do recommend a food processor for both the parmesan and pesto sauce. The Vitamix is so powerful that you will end up with a Brasil nut butter and loose the texture that you want in a classic pesto.