This nettle pesto is oil-free and filled with fiber. It is made with blanched nettles and cashew nuts. For this pesto, you can also use frozen nettles.
Why you will love this recipe
- Healthy: Nettle is a nutrient-rich plant that is high in vitamins and minerals. Nettles have a good amount of calcium, magnesium, and folate. In terms of vitamins, it is high in C-vitamin, E-vitamin, B-vitamins, and A-vitamin. Cashews are a good source of healthy fats and protein. This pesto recipe can provide a nutritious boost to your diet.
- Flavor and versatility: Nettle pesto with cashews is a flavorful versatile addition to many dishes. It can be used as a spread on bread or crackers, as a sauce for pasta, or as a dip for vegetables.
- Allergy-friendly: This recipe is free from common allergens such as dairy and gluten, making it a great option for people with dietary restrictions.
This pesto does not taste that much for the nettles since it has roasted cashews, perfect for those unsure of nettle taste. If you want it to taste more, you can use plain cashews without roasting them.
- Wear protective clothing: When picking nettles, wear gloves, long sleeves, and pants to protect yourself from stinging. Nettles have tiny hairs on their leaves and stems that can cause a painful rash when they come into contact with your skin.
- Choose young plants: Young nettles are more tender and flavorful than mature ones, so try to pick plants that are no taller than 12 inches.
- Look for clean areas: Make sure to pick nettles from clean areas where there is no risk of contamination from pollution or pesticides. Avoid areas near roadsides or industrial sites.
- Don't over-harvest: When harvesting nettles, take only what you need and leave enough for the plant to regenerate. This will ensure that there will be enough nettles for future harvests.
- Blanch before using: To remove the stinging hairs from nettles, blanch them in boiling water for 1-2 minutes before using them in recipes.
- Use in a variety of dishes: Nettles can be used in a variety of dishes, including soups, stews, pesto, and tea. They have a slightly nutty, spinach-like flavor and can add a unique twist to many recipes.
- Store properly: If you're not using nettles immediately, store them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can also freeze them for later use.
- Cashew nuts
- Blanched nettles
- Nutritional yeast
- Black pepper
- Garlic (optional)-powder is more subtle.
You can replace cashews with macadamia nuts, hemp seeds, or pine nuts. You can add vegan parmesan cheese to the pesto if you want a more authentic tasting one. Black pepper can be replaced with white pepper and salt with a teaspoon of white miso paste.
This pesto does not have any oil; by skipping the oil, I could save a total of 800 calories in the whole amount.
To make pesto, you need a hand mixer, a blender, or a mini-chopper. I used my spice grinder that comes with the Bamix hand mixer.
It is good to cut the nettle stems a bit shorter if you use a hand mixer since they might spin around the blade, making it impossible to use.
- Rinse your nettles or let them soak a while in water.
- Blanch. Put the nettles in boiling water for one minute, lift them in a sieve, and squeeze the excess water.
- Roast your cashews for 2-3 minutes in an air fryer at 350F. You can also roast them in the oven or on a pan. Watch out, so they don't burn; a slight light brown color is enough to give extra flavor. Soak the cashews in water for at least 15 minutes to get a smoother consistency for the pesto.
- Put the drained cashews and other ingredients in your blender and make a smooth pesto. You might need to scrape down the sides a couple of times.
What to serve with
- As bread spread
- Sauce for pasta (add some more water)
- For pestopastasalad
- With tofu sticks
- As filling for oven-baked potatoes or sweet potatoes
- As condiment with baked veggies
The nettle pesto stores in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days. I have not tried freezing it.
Vegan Nettle pesto
- 1 cup cashews
- 1 cup blanched nettles
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Rinse your fresh-picked nettles, put them in boiling water for a minute, lift them in a sieve, rinse with cold water and squeeze out the excess water.
- Roast your cashew nuts in 350 F in an air fryer for 2-3 minutes or in the oven to get a slight golden color.
- Soak you cashews in water for 15 minutes. Then drain the water.
- Put your cashews and other ingredients in a blender and make a smooth pesto, you need to scrape the sides a couple of times when using a high-speed blender.
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