Pesto…the Frugal Way


I’m ignoring the advice and blogging guidelines completely. Lucky you, you get to read my diverse blogging topics. They say to pick one specific field, and stick to blogging about that topic. If you are interested primarily in spirituality or adventure, I do apologize. If you enjoy food-related subjects, than you may like today’s topic. If you are just interested in what’s going on in the Roets’ lives than that’s perfect too. I’ve realized blogging is an outlet for me, and right now, I need one! Sick kids, more change happening in our lives than I can emotionally process, so I’m going to talk about food!

I love pesto! But really, who wants to pay exorbitant prices for pine nuts and Romano cheese? And lets face it. We don’t always have fresh basil in our idyllic herb garden on the patio. My basil is nibbled down to stubs by our hungry over-population of deer. Did you know you can make pesto out of more economical and available spinach and sunflower seeds? And it has a smooth, milder taste even the kids love. Throw in a few leaves of fresh basil or even crushed, dried basil and there you have it: Pesto. We like to eat it with any type of sturdy pasta or pesto-crusted baked chicken breast.

The final convincing argument for Spinach Pesto is the obvious advantage of a raw super-food on your dinner plate. Combined with raw garlic, cold-pressed olive oil, and sea salt I think you can call it a health food.

Spinach Pesto

3 cups firmly packed fresh organic spinach leaves

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds (walnuts, almonds, pine nuts also work)

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves or 1-2 teaspoons dried basil

2 large cloves garlic, quartered

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup olive oil

In a blender combine spinach, basil, Parmesan, sunflower seeds, garlic, and salt. Cover and blend, pulsing several times til a paste forms, stopping machine to scrape sides.

With blender running slowly, gradually add olive oil and blend to the consistency of soft butter.

This makes enough for 2 meals for a family of 6. Freeze for longer storage.

*Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

Fresh Basil. Photographer: Sander H. Location: Bath, Maine


2 thoughts on “Pesto…the Frugal Way

  1. Georgiann says:

    Molly – this is wonderful! Thank you for posting. I’m always looking for more way to be frugal and healthy.

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