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Reduced Fat Pesto


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This makes a fairly typical pesto, but it’s lower in fat and sodium than commercial ones. This is accomplished by lowering the amount of oil and leaving out the salt. It’s not a really difficult thing, but one that doesn’t seem to occur to commercial pesto makers.


  • 2 cups (80 g) fresh basil, packed
  • 3 tablespoons (27 g) pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup (25 g) Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil


Place basil leaves in small batches in food processor and whip until well chopped (do about 3/4 cup [60 g] at a time). Add about 1/3 the nuts and garlic and blend again. Add about 1/3 of the Parmesan cheese; blend while slowly adding about 1/3 of the olive oil, stopping to scrape down sides of container. Process basil pesto until it forms a thick smooth paste. Repeat until all ingredients are used; mix all batches together well.

Basil pesto keeps in refrigerator one week or freeze for a few months.

Tip: Serve over pasta or on toasted bread.

Nutrition Detail

  • 924 Calories (73% from Fat, 9% from Protein, 18% from Carb)
  • 24 g Protein
  • 84 g Total Fat
  • 12 g Unsaturated Fat
  • 48 g Monounsaturated Fat
  • 12 g Polyunsaturated Fat
  • 48 g Carb
  • 24 g Fiber
  • 0 g Sugar
  • 660 mg Phosphorus
  • 1704 mg Calcium
  • 408 mg Sodium
  • 2496 mg Potassium
  • 6420 IU Vitamin A
  • 24 mg ATE Vitamin E
  • 48 mg Vitamin C
  • 24 mg Cholesterol

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To divide this into as many portions as you want to use it:

  1. When you’re done preparing this, measure it with a good kitchen scale.
  2. Note the weight.
  3. If you intend to use it for, let say 10 times, divide its weight by 10 to know the weight of every portion you’ll be taking.

So for this recipe, if we assume the weight is 250g and you have decided to use it with 10 different meals, then you must weigh 25g for every portion.

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