Delicious Presto Pesto! A Vegan Pesto – Naturally Nut Free and Dairy Free 2

Fresh, delicious vegan pesto called Presto Pesto – naturally nut-free and dairy-free so it’s great for dairy and nut allergies!


Making your own vegan pesto is like making your own dressing. It sounds like about as much fun as pulling weeds. But…..when you finally get around to it, you realize it’s so worth it. In fact, it’s WAY easier than pulling weeds. So easy, this is my nine-year-old’s recipe, inspired by a trip to Bonefish. 


If you’ve ever been to Bonefish, they bring out a steaming loaf of bread along with olive oil and a teaspoon of pesto. My daughter loves that pesto so much, she decided to make her own using veggies from our permaculture garden. It was so good, we’ve made it on a weekly basis since she made it the first time. It’s perfect over pasta, spaghetti squash and with bread. We cut down on the oil by adding a little water to the mix. It’s so packed with flavor, a little goes a long way.


We made a how-to video for you demonstrating how to make this vegan pesto called Presto Pesto.  But first, we made this cute intro.



You’re probably wondering…..What’s a permaculture garden? What’s this katuk, moringa and cranberry hibiscus she’s talking about?  


A permaculture garden isn’t really a garden at all! It’s more of a mini food forest designed to look like a garden. And it’s really great for people that suck at traditional gardening, like myself.


The pros


Many of the plants are perennial edibles – meaning they live all year round. They may die back in the winter, but typically come back to life in spring – so no re-planting. With a lot of these plants, if you cut the top of the plant off and stick it in the ground somewhere else, it will start growing. That’s my kind of gardening.

They’re super nutrient dense. If you missed my post about moringa, you’ve gotta check it out. They’re successfully feeding starving populations with this stuff.

No buying fertilizer or soil. Some of the excess you grow, you chop and drop. In a forest, as plants die, they fall to the floor and fertilize the new plants. Same premise here. You drop some of your yield and it fertilizes the new stuff and builds new soil. You also can plant edible cover crops like beans and peas. They add nitrogen to the soil but you can also eat them.

No more throwing veggie scraps away and having stinky garbage! Veggie scraps get composted down to build new soil.


The cons


You typically won’t grow a ton of traditional veggies. Some can be integrated, but they won’t be all lined up in little rows. Here’s why this is actually a pro. Let’s say you’ve got a whole row of carrots. And along comes a carrot munching caterpillar. He gets to the row of carrots and is like, “Saweeeeeet!” He starts munching, and when you come out in the morning your carrots look like they’ve been hit by a nuclear bomb. Now in permaculture, he might smell some carrot and be like, “Saweeeeet!” But as he’s caterpillaring over to the carrot, he hits an okinowan spinach and is thinking, what the hell is this? He gets all confused and says, “Screw it. I’ll go over to the neighbor’s garden where I know there’s a whole row of yumminess.”

If you like rows and order, this aint yo’ thang. In a forest, there’s no lines and rows of all the same plant, it’s every plant for herself. What’s going to make it, makes it. In a permaculture design, same premise. We plant companion plants that play well together and we don’t cry over plants that don’t make it. It’s all about variety.


No permaculture garden?  Don’t worry. You can make this Presto Pesto!


Don’t worry. We don’t expect you to have moringa, katuk or cranberry hibiscus in your garden just yet. But maybe this pesto will inspire you to check it out!  In the mean time, feel free to use some kale or spinach.  It will be perfect for this recipe.



Fall in love with this vegan pesto like we did – it’s rich, cheesy from nutritional yeast and has just the right hint of tang from fresh lemon.


Presto Pesto
Serves 12
A delicious nut and dairy free pesto - perfect for pasta, dipping or spaghetti squash.
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Total Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
  1. 3 cloves garlic
  2. 3 cups packed spinach and/or kale
  3. 1 cup packed basil
  4. 1/4 cup olive oil
  5. 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  6. 1-2 Tbsp water to thin (without adding more fat and calories)
  7. Juice of 1/2 fresh lemon
  8. Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  1. Blend all ingredients in a small blender or food processor until smooth.
  2. Serve over pasta or spaghetti squash, or with bread for dipping.
Florida Coastal Cooking & Wellness
Presto Pesto – a Nut Free, Dairy Free, Vegan Pesto
Nutrition Facts
12 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 50.7
Total Fat 4.6 g
Saturated Fat 0.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 19.1 mg
Potassium 63.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 1.5 g
Dietary Fiber 0.7 g
Sugars 0.1 g
Protein 1.4 g

Vitamin A 17.8 %
Vitamin B-12 13.3 %
Vitamin B-6 48.1 %
Vitamin C 6.5 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 3.5 %
Calcium 1.4 %
Copper 1.1 %
Folate 4.3 %
Iron 2.6 %
Magnesium 2.3 %
Manganese 6.6 %
Niacin 23.8 %
Pantothenic Acid 10.2 %
Phosphorus 0.7 %
Riboflavin 54.4 %
Selenium 3.6 %
Thiamin 60.6 %
Zinc 2.5 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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