Homemade Pesto

Since starting the low FODMAP diet I have always relied on being able to recreate my favourite dishes without onion, garlic and gluten, however as I already have a nut allergy it took me a while to realise that I could actually make my own nut free, and FODMAP friendly fructan-free pesto!

I thought having a nut allergy was challenging (I was diagnosed with having an allergy to almonds, among other nuts, while I was at university back in 2012), however following a low FODMAP diet on top has brought a new level of challenge to cooking and eating out! It’s not all bad though, I’ve always loved to cook and bake, and following the low FODMAP diet has given me an excuse to spend an entire day in the kitchen, making a mess and creating new recipes!

The pesto recipe below is really easy to recreate, and can be portioned and frozen for quick, tasty meals. It can also be adapted for dairy free diets (I’ve seen many vegan Parmesan alternatives in the supermarket,  but I am personally wary due to the amount of coconut – coconut is a tree nut and supposedly similar to almonds – and I don’t want to risk eating it in large portions)

The recipe for my pesto is below, I’ve made this a few times so I know it’s foolproof as it has always turned out deliicious despite the fact that I’m not particularly good at following recipes (I like to think I’m expert and throw ingredients in as if I know how much is needed). In order to make the pesto you will need some sort of food processor, I use a tiny Kenwood one that my mum handed down to me as she’d got an upgrade, but any sort of blender should do the job.

30g fresh basil
200g spinach
2 tbsp garlic infused oil
40g grated parmesan
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Place all of the ingredients into the food processor and blend… And that’s literally it! With my miniature food processor there are a few more steps, I add a handful/dollop of each of the ingredients at a time, and blend otherwise it all seeps out the top and makes a grand, green mess!

 I have served my pesto many ways, as it is a versatile and delicious concoction. I’ve enjoyed it on toast with mozzarella and tomato, in a pasta with courgetti and spaghetti topped with parmesan, or my personal favourite… I grill some mixed peppers (and sometimes tomatoes) by placing them on foil under the grill for about 5 minutes with a few drops of oil or until the skins appear chargrilled and serve with pesto pasta, some courgetti if I have any courgettes left in the fridge, a topping of parmesan and a sprinkling of basil leaves.

Let me know if you give this recipe a try, and how you decided to enjoy it, i.e. as a pasta, a toastie or other creative ways (I’m always looking for new ideas!)

Alice x

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