RECIPE > Summer Oil-Free Vegan Pesto

Whether you are looking for a vegan pizza topping or a veggie dip, this new summery oil-free vegan pesto is one of the best we have encountered. Smooth, tasty and absolutely nutritious, this is a great recipe for any chef!

Quick and easy, this new summer oil-free vegan pesto incorporates some tantalizing ingredients that include organic sun dried tomatoes, walnuts, cashews and spinach as its base ingredients. The other flavorful ingredients include garlic, basil, lemon, arugula, cilantro and salt/pepper. The result is a marvellous take on a summer oil-free vegan pesto that can be eaten with just about anything!

Vegan Pesto Recipe > Sans Oil and Healthy!

Please share with your friends and family!

Servings: makes a jar, so 1-2 servings per batch
Preparation Time: 10 minutes


The Simple Ingredients for the Vegan Spinach Pesto Recipe

1 clove of garlic
2 tsp of ginger
2 handfuls of spinach (organic)
1 handful of arugula (organic)
2 handfuls of fresh basil (organic)
½ handful of cilantro (organic)
16 walnut halves (organic and unsalted)
8 cashews (organic and unsalted)
8 sun dried tomatoes (organic and medium sized)
6 tbsp of lemon juice (organic)
Salt and Pepper (to taste)


Vegan Pesto Directions

Step 1: Get your food processor out and plug it in
Step 2: Dump all ingredients except for lemon juice, salt and pepper into food processor
Step 3: Blend until it is semi-smooth
Step 4: Slowly add the lemon juice and blend some more
Step 5: Add salt and/or pepper as per your taste
Step 6: Enjoy and share with your friends/family!

You can store this in a jar or container and it should last at least 5 to 7 days!
This recipe is adapted from a wonderful pesto from Vegenista.

A Guide to Nuts and Nut Nutrition > Great Nut Infographic

If you are wondering which nuts are the best for you, here is an awesome nut infographic that presents information about nut nutritional value and nut nutrition in general.  Please note that the nut infographic is from the NutriBullet Blog.

As you can see from this infographic, the healthiest nuts providing the most nutrients, minerals, vitamins and fats are ALMONDS and PISTACHIOS.  In terms of nut nutritional value, they are followed closely by CASHEWS and PEANUTS.

Of course, the nut nutrition is based on unsalted and non-roasted nuts only.  Nuts are the best when eaten raw.

As mentioned above, this is THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO NUTS.  Almonds, cashews and hazelnuts are the best.


According to this NutriBullet nut infographic (which is awesome by the way), almost every type of nut packs a nutritional punch.  Considered a ‘superfood’, nut nutrition is amazing and fits in most diets including gluten free and vegan/vegetarian diets.  According to the information in this nut infographic on nut nutritional value, here is the breakdown of pieces of nuts per ounce, fat content, protein and fiber as well as overall calories.  Again, the serving size is 1 ounce of roasted, non salted nuts.  You will be amazed at the different types of nut nutritional values.

Almonds Nutritional Value (or Almond Nuts)

Considered to be one of the top 3 nuts in terms of nutritional value and calories, almond nuts are known to help with weight loss, reducing body fat content and even lowering blood pressure when combined with a low calorie diet.  Often considered as one of the most nutritionally dense nut, almonds offer the most overall nutrients per calorie and per ounce when it comes to nut nutrition as depicted in the nut infograph above.  Other benefits of almond nuts is that they may also help in lowering cholesterol, an increasing problem in Western style diets.  Here is the breakdown of almond nutritional value:

  • Number of Nuts per Ounce = 23
  • Fat (total) = 14 grams
  • Fat (unsaturated) = 13 grams
  • Fat (saturated) = 1 gram
  • Protein = 6 grams
  • Fiber = 3.5 grams
  • Calories: 163

Almonds are a great source of calcium, iron, fiber, vitamin E, riboflavin, magnesium, phosphorous and manganese.

Almonds are the second ‘healthiest’ nut when it comes to nut nutrition after pistachios (surprisingly to most people!).  Almonds are very high in protein and fiber and have low levels of unsaturated and saturated fats.

Brazil Nuts Nutritional Value

Brazil nuts are high in selenium as well as vitamin E.  Both of these elements assist in helping the body fight off free radicals which causes damaged cells and sickness.  In addition, the fiber in Brazil Nuts keeps the digestive system running smoothly and keeps he heart healthy.  The Brazil Nut nutrition is also very good and features an extra energy booster in the form of magnesium.  Here is the breakdown of the Brazil Nut nutritional value according to the nut infograph above:

  • Number of Nuts per Ounce = 7
  • Fat (total) = 21 grams
  • Fat (unsaturated) = 16.5 grams
  • Fat (saturated) = 4.5 grams
  • Protein = 4 grams
  • Fiber = 2 grams
  • Calories: 205

Brazil Nuts are a good source of selenium, vitamin E, fiber, magnesium, thiamine, phosphorous and copper.

Although Brazil Nuts rank poorly when it comes to number of calories in a single serving in addition to having high amounts of both unsaturated and saturated fats, this type of nut still has some essentials including selenium and vitamin E which other nuts are lacking.

Cashews Nutritional Value (or Cashew Nut)

Some of the best cashew benefits include phosphorous and iron.  Phosphorous is essential for building strong bones and teeth while iron is essential in keeping healthy skin, hair and nails.  The cashew nutritional value is exceptionally high when it comes to the amount of digestible magnesium which is used in building essential proteins and in keeping overall energy high.  Here is the cashew nutritional breakdown:

  • Number of Nuts per Ounce = 19
  • Fat (total) = 13 grams
  • Fat (unsaturated) = 10.5 grams
  • Fat (saturated) = 2.5 grams
  • Protein = 4.5 grams
  • Fiber = 1 gram
  • Calories: 163

Cashews are a great source of magnesium, phosphorous, copper, iron as well as protein.

Cashews come in 3rd place when it comes to nut nutritional value with low calorie count, high protein and low levels of fats.  However, it also has a lower level of fiber compared with other top performing nuts.

Hazelnuts Nutritional Value

Hazelnuts may have some fewer minerals and elements when it comes to nut nutrition, but it certainly contains many benefits nonetheless.  Firstly, hazelnuts may prevent the premature aging process and both cell and tissue degradation.  In addition, hazelnuts are known to help produce good amouns of healthy red and white blood cells, which is critical for a healthy circulatory system.  The breakdown of the hazelnut nutritional value is as follows:

  • Number of Nuts per Ounce = 20
  • Fat (total) = 17 grams
  • Fat (unsaturated) = 16 grams
  • Fat (saturated) = 1 gram
  • Protein = 4 grams
  • Fiber = 2.5 grams
  • Calories: 178

Hazelnuts contain healthy amounts of magnesium, copper, manganese, phosphorous, vitamin E, selenium and fiber.

Hazelnuts are very healthy and were in the middle range of all nut nutrition for 4 of the 5 factors above.  They also had the lowest amounts of saturated fats, which is good.

Macadamia Nuts Nutritional Value

Macadamia nuts have great nutritional value too.  Firstly, they are a great source of mono-unsaturated fats that help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.  Secondly, macadamia nutrients include magnesium and potassium which help in normal body functioning including heart function and muscle building).  They also assist in boosting energy levels.  Here is the breakdown of the macadamia nut nutrition:

  • Number of Nuts per Ounce = 11
  • Fat (total) = 22 grams
  • Fat (unsaturated) = 21 grams
  • Fat (saturated) = 1 gram
  • Protein = 2 grams
  • Fiber = 2 grams
  • Calories: 204

Macadamia Nuts are a great source of magnesium, thiamin, potassium as well as manganese.

Macadamia Nuts scored poorly in just about everything except for fiber (where it placed in the middle).  Not the healthiest of nuts, but contains some trace minerals that the body needs.

Peanuts Nutritional Value

We’ve included the Peanut in the nut infographic, although peanuts are not really considered nuts.  They are actually legumes!  However, peanut nutritional value should not be frowned upon as peanuts have lots of nutrients.  The peanut helps maintain healthy skin, muscles and hair in addition to having potassium which helps regulate the body’s water levels and metabolism.  In addition, the peanut nutritional value also helps prevents muscle cramping (great when working out).  Here is the breakdown of the peanuts nutrition:

  • Number of Nuts per Ounce = 28
  • Fat (total) = 14 grams
  • Fat (unsaturated) = 12 grams
  • Fat (saturated) = 2 grams
  • Protein = 6.5 grams
  • Fiber = 2.5 grams
  • Calories: 166

Peanuts are a good source of protein, niacin, vitamin E, folate, magnesium, phosphorous, manganese and copper.

Although not technically classified as a ‘nut’, the peanut comes in 4th place when ranked against real nuts for calories, fiber, protein and fat content.  In other words, keep eating peanuts.

Pecans Nutritional Value (or Pecan Nuts)

Pecan nutrition includes helping lower blood cholesterol levels by keeping the arteries clear and acting as a circulatory assistor.  In addition, pecan nuts help guard against infections and may even help protect against cancer (many studies are being done right now).  The pecan nutritional value is as follows:

  • Number of Nuts per Ounce = 19 halves
  • Fat (total) = 21 grams
  • Fat (unsaturated) = 10 grams
  • Fat (saturated) = 2 grams
  • Protein = 3 grams
  • Fiber = 3 grams
  • Calories: 199

Pecans are a rich source of fiber, magnesium, phosphorous, copper, zinc and manganese.

Pecans scored poorly in 3 of the 5 nut nutritional breakdowns including calories (almost 200 calories per serving), unsaturated fats (worst of all the nuts) and protein (scored second last).  However, it ranked in the middle for saturated fats and highly when it comes to fiber content.

Pine Nuts Nutritional Value

Pine nuts are known to sharpen vision and boost the immune system, helping the body combat infections and diseases.  In addition, the high levels of mono-unsaturated fats help boost a healthy heart.  Many people confuse pine nuts as seeds, but they are definitely nuts!  Here is a breakdown of the pine nut nutrition:

  • Number of Nuts per Ounce = 160
  • Fat (total) = 19 grams
  • Fat (unsaturated) = 17.5 grams
  • Fat (saturated) = 1.5 grams
  • Protein = 4 grams
  • Fiber = 1 gram
  • Calories: 188

Pine Nuts are a great source of manganese, vitamin E, copper, zinc, potassium, phosphorous, vitamin K and magnesium.

Also ranking lower on the nut nutrition chart are pine nuts.  Although low in calories, the pine nuts are high in saturated and unsaturated fats and low in both protein and fiber.  However, it does contain essential elements in copper and zinc in addition to a healthy dose of vitamins E and K.

Pistachios Nutritional Value (or Pistachio Nut)

One of the unique and awesome features of pistachio nutrition is that they are completely cholesterol free!  In addition, the pistachio nut is very high in mono-unsaturated fats which again helps your heart.  Other elements in the pistachio nutritional value includes B vitamins, magnesium as well as copper which are essential in strengthening the immune system to combat diseases and infections.  The pistachio nutritional breakdown is as follows:

  • Number of Nuts per Ounce = 49
  • Fat (total) = 13 grams
  • Fat (unsaturated) = 11 grams
  • Fat (saturated) = 2 grams
  • Protein = 6 grams
  • Fiber = 3 gram
  • Calories: 161

Pistachios have a good source of fiber, thiamine, vitamin B6, phosphorous, copper and even manganese.

Pistachios are the best bang for your buck when it comes to nut nutrition.  Having the lowest calorie count, pistachios also have high content of fiber and protein while having low unsaturated and saturated fats.

Walnuts Nutritional Value

Last but not least are walnuts.  Some benefits and nutritional value of the walnut includes the high levels of mono-unsaturated fats as well as omega-3 fatty acids.  Both help in preventing heart disease.  In addition, omega-3 fatty acids in walnut nutrition help prevent both depression as well as arthritis, giving walnuts a vast range of benefits.  Here is the breakdown of the walnut nutrition:

  • Number of Nuts per Ounce = 14 halves
  • Fat (total) = 17 grams
  • Fat (unsaturated) = 16 grams
  • Fat (saturated) = 1 gram
  • Protein = 7 grams
  • Fiber = 2 gram
  • Calories: 173

Walnuts are high in protein vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorous, copper, manganese and selenium.

Walnuts come in the middle range of nut nutrition. It’s got great stuff and not so great stuff.  On the good side are low calories, most protein for a single serving and very low saturated fats.  However, it also ranks in the middle of nut nutrition when it comes to unsaturated fats and fiber.

Misinformation and Confusion Surrounding Nuts and Fat Content

As well, according to the NutriBullet Blog nut infographic, nut nutrition is always at the forefront of fat discussions.  Although nuts are high in fat, one must understand the difference between unsaturated (or mono-unsaturated) fats and saturated fats in your diet.  The unsaturated fats (which occur in much higher levels in nut nutrition as depicted in the nut infographic) are actually good for us in moderation.  The unsaturated fats in nuts can help us moderate cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart disease and heart attacks.  On the other hand, saturated fats, which are fats that are mainly found in animal based and processed foods, can raise cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease.

The general rule when it comes to eating fat (and in nut nutrition), is that most healthy adults should consume anywhere between 20 to 30 per cent of their daily calories from fats.  This is equal to roughly 44 to 78 grams of fat per day.  However, doctors and nutritionists advise that no more than 10 per cent of the total daily calories comes from saturated fats.  That is equal to only 22 grams.