Homemade Pesto Sauce (without nuts!)

I am working on harvesting some of our garden surplus like the herbs that we haven’t used up and we had a ton of basil. I harvested two pounds of basil leaves from the walkways in the garden. Man did I smell good! What to do with all this basil? PESTO!

basil

I am allergic to nuts so I wanted to come up with a pesto I could eat too, so I decided to roast up some sunflower seeds to use in place of the pine nuts.  I used 1/4 a cup of seeds and toasted them lightly in a skillet.

I am allergic to nuts and I don’t know if I will react to pine nuts or not so I wanted to come up with a pesto I could eat too, so I decided to roast up some sunflower seeds to use in place of the pine nuts. I used 1/4 a cup of seeds and toasted them lightly in a skillet.

Toss the toasted seeds in the blender with 2 cups of basil leaves and we also added a couple of dried thai peppers for some kick.

Toss the toasted seeds in the blender with 2 cups of basil leaves and we also added a couple of dried thai peppers for some kick.

Add 1/4 cup grated parmesean cheese and two cloves of cut up garlic.

Add 1/4 cup grated parmesean cheese and two cloves of cut up garlic.

Blend until smooth.

Blend until smooth adding olive oil until sauce will blend. Approximately 1/4-1/2 cup.

We used some of the pesto as a topping for some cooked pasta and froze the rest in pint sized jars to use later.  It was delicious!

We used some of the pesto as a topping for some cooked pasta and froze the rest in pint sized jars to use later. It was delicious!

The kids loved this pasta and it was super healthy.

33 comments

  1. That’s a pretty clever way to make pesto for those who have nut allergies. I can hardly imagine a day without nuts – so I expect I’d be eating sunflower seeds by the hands full.

  2. NerdTrails.com says:

    Will definitely give this a take to soon.

    http://nerdtrails.com

  3. Robin Stoddard says:

    I have a huge sunflower right out front ..tips on harvesting it???

    • I was told to let it dry on the stalk if you can. Birds were eating all of ours, so we cut the heads off and are drying them on screens. Once the back turns black and crunchy, you can work the seeds out of the head. We had to cut ours with a saw because they were HUGE!

  4. Lisa Johnson Cowell says:

    I have only made pesto a couple of times with walnuts. I don’t have a nut allergy, but am allergic to pine, so just stay away from the pine nuts, just in case. I have sunflower seeds, so I thought I would run out and make this right now…and then I remembered, I forgot to plant basil this year! I usually have a dozen different varieties to sell at farmers market, but for some reason, I totally spaced on it this year. I am going to have to start some and see if I can get it to live inside during the winter.

  5. Leslie Reynolds says:

    Wow! Yummy..

  6. […] readingย about a nut-free, homemade pesto sauce at Little Sprouts Learning, I felt inspired to try my hand at making this classic Italian staple. […]

  7. Andrea says:

    I’ve made pesto with walnuts, but obviously that’s not good for nut allergies. Sunflower seeds…awesome idea!

  8. Great minds think alike. I just posted our basil saving tips last night! I’ll have to try your sunflower seed version.
    http://wp.me/p46gNR-4b

  9. Sharon says:

    Now, I would really like to try and make this….pinning.

  10. Yavonna says:

    great job , your kids are learning so much.

  11. This recipe sounds wonderful … never thought of not making it without the pine nuts

    • I’ve never had pesto because I didn’t want to die, but now I can make it for myself. Good solution. I don’t know what pine nuts taste like, but it’s delicious with sunflower seeds. Someone should make both and describe the difference to me. He he ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. I love homemade pesto! Adding sunflower seeds is a great idea.

  13. chris says:

    This sounds great! I have so much basil that I would like to use, so I’ll definitely keep this recipe in mind ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing.

  14. Two pounds of basil must be an enormous amount! I’ve never tried sunflower seeds. Good idea. Your pesto looks delicious ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Terri Lowell says:

    I’m gonna have to try this, and soon! ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Mmm. I love the sunflower seed idea for pesto!

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