Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
Pesto lovers, where you at! This dip’s got ALL the flavour, without the dairy/preservatives/hotchpotch add-ins. Salty tomatoes, fragrant basil, creamy cashews… The perfect partner for your next cracker fest, or to make a pesto pasta sauce!
Yep, this super salty 5 Ingredient Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto is…
- Made with just 5 key ingredients, in under 5 minutes;
- 100% dairy free (who said pesto needed cheese?);
- A one bowl wonder (your food processor…);
- Full of lycopene, the colourful carotenoid and potent antioxidant found in tomatoes, which helps offset free radical damage from our environment, aging, and stress; and
- Will be your new favourite fridge resource – cracker topper, pesto pasta sauce, all-round taste-bomb-dolloper, which tastes insanely delicious on pretty much anything…!
I started out having this pesto spread on simple wholesome oat cakes, topped with sprouts, sauerkraut, toms, radish, and cucumber. Then we went wild and began spooning it over some Creamy Butternut Mac n Cheese (recipe coming soon…). Next, I’m thinking vegan pizzas, with this pesto as the base sauce. Oh, my tomatoes, don’t you love a versatile recipe!
Let’s get blitzing…
How to choose a cranking cracker
If you’re deciding to use this pesto in a cracker topping situ, it’s important to choose a high-vibing cracker as your base. Most crackers are full of not much other than refined white wheat flour, sugar (yes sugar?!), colourings, refined mineral-stripped salt, animal fats, and high-heat processed vegetable oils. Which means other than providing a convenient topping-base, there’s nothing much going for them from a nutritional perspective.
This however need not apply to ALL crackers! There are a bunch of great options out there, which means crackers can still definitely be on your menu. If you’re going for a wheat based cracker, something packed with seeds and whole grains is best (e.g. linseeds or sesame seeds on the ingredient list is often a good indication of goodness). Otherwise, brown rice crackers or cakes are always a good option, just check the back of the packet to make sure the flavour additives are natural (they’re often laden with sugar). Traditional rye cakes are also a great alternative, and lower in gluten than regular white wheat crackers. And finally, classic Scottish oat cakes are a fabulous and wholesome choice.
I’ve served this pesto on the Organic Super Seeded crackers from Nairn’s, a Scottish company who’ve been popping out oat cakes in Edinburgh since 1896. Not only do they taste great, here’s the ingredient list:
- Organic wholegrain oats (72%)
- Organic brown flaxseed
- Organic sunflower seeds
- Oat protein
- Organic sustainable palm fruit oil
- Organic tapioca
- Organic sunflower oil
- Organic chia seeds
- Sea salt
- Sodium bicarbonate (a raising agent)
I.e. pretty much all legit good stuff. The flax and chia seeds also mean they’re a solid source of omega 3 essential fatty acids (in balance with omega 6), which we need for optimal brain functioning, joint mobility, inflammatory control, and good mood.
I’m also loving, and highly recommend, Nairn’s regular organic, fine milled, and cracked black pepper oatcakes as alternative options too. Their lightly sweetened oat biscuits are also a great option for sweet treats, being 100% plant based (no animal fats), low in energy density (45 calories per biscuit), and with 40% less sugar than your average sweet biscuit/cookie. You can check out the ingredient details on their full range here.
If you’d like to read more about the benefits of oats themselves (an undercover, slow release, highly affordable superfood!), check out my previous Coconut Vanilla Porridge post here, and Classic Apple Cake post here. I’ve also included a detailed section there about whether oats are gluten free or not (note – in NZ they’re not, a protein called avenin is considered part of the gluten family, and is contained in all oats, ‘gluten free’ or not – gluten free oats instead refer to their processing having been undertaken without exposure to rye, barley, or wheat).
Back to our pesto, it’s so simple it goes without saying, you gotta make it! The addition of water at the end results in a creamy, moreish, dip, that’s hard to beat. And when you’re done spreading it on your crackers, try diluting it down with a little more water and stirring it through your favourite pasta. Sun-dried tomato pesto pasta for the win!
If you make this 5-Ingredient Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto, leave me a comment below, share a pic of your dipping goodness over on FB here, or post them on Instagram with the tags @begoodorganics and #begoodorganics. I love featuring your pics in my insta stories, so let my next shout out be for you!
Have a wonderful rest of your Friday, we’re hoping for a few more swims on Waiheke (and it’s Mila’s 3rd bday today!!).
Til next week, stay happy and well.
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And, if you’re interested in one-on-one advice, I have a small number of Naturopathic and Nutrition consultations available each week, either in person or via Skype – you can find more information on those here.
Please note – if you are wanting to meet any of the specific dietary requirements below, please read my recipe notes.
- 3/4 c sun-dried tomatoes dry
- 1/2 c basil leaves
- 2/3 c cashews
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 c olive oil
- 1/4 c water
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast optional
- Oat crackers or another wholesome alternative
- Or whatever else you fancy!
- Blend all ingredients except the olive oil until quite fine, with just a little texture remaining.
- Add olive oil slowly while blending until it is fully combined, then add water and blend again until combined.
- Serve with your favourite crackers and toppings, or water down to create a yummy pasta sauce or salad dressing. Stores for 1-2 weeks in the fridge.
- Make it nut free: use sunflower or watermelon seeds in place of cashews.
- This pesto also makes an excellent filling for sandwiches or wraps, or as the base sauce on a pizza - try it on my Green Protein Pizzas for a flavour explosion!
- It's also delish served with your favourite pasta and some roasted broccoli + spinach - my personal favourites on the store at the moment are these spelt spaghetti here and this red lentil penne here. Or even use it on top of your fav salad!