It’s time to celebrate all things summer with this bright, flavorful No-Oil Spinach Pesto Dressing recipe!
Probably the hardest thing I endured when starting my nutritarian lifestyle over 5 years ago were the oil-free, low-salt dressing options.
I tried a few recipes from Eat to Live, but at that early transition stage, my taste buds just weren’t recovered enough to enjoy those flavors–and I disliked almost every dressing recipe I tried.
My goal with Hello Nutritarian is to be the help and knowledge base that I so desperately needed in those early days adopting this lifestyle. And if there was one thing I was in desperate need of circa January 2013, it was a good salad dressing!
I’m so happy to share my favorite salad dressings here with you. These are the oil-free, low-salt dressings that I dreamt up to cure my cravings for bright, flavorful, savory flavors:
And I’m so, so happy to include this No-Oil Spinach Pesto Dressing recipe into that savory-dressing portfolio!
Turns Out These Pine Nuts Do Taste Different!
Pine nuts were the inspiration for this No-Oil Spinach Pesto Dressing recipe!
No matter what kind of pine nuts you use, according to Dr. Fuhrman, they are nutrient-powerhouses:
- high in vitamins K & E
- they contain phosphorus, zinc, non-heme iron, and manganese
- they have a distinctive type of polyunsaturated fat that has been shown to curb appetite in women by increasing secretion of satiety hormones
An appetite-curbing nut? Sign me up yesterday!
But, apparently, not all pine nuts are created equal.
Dr. Fuhrman goes on to explain the extra health benefits of specifically Mediterranean pine nuts:
- lower in calories than other pine nuts
- they have a more-favorable omega-3 to omega-6 ratio, almost ten times higher than other pine nuts
- contain high levels of cholesterol-lowering phytosterols
- have more than twice the protein of other nuts, including other pine nuts
Dr. Fuhrman explains how they look different, how they’re grown different and how their nutritional content is different than the varieties sold in the US.
So, I set out to see if they TASTED better too.
Once I saw Dr. Fuhrman’s Pine Nuts go on sale in his shop I grabbed a batch to put them to the test against the ones I normally find at Trader Joe’s (originating from Korea, Russia or Vietnam) or Costco (product of China).
In my very un-scientific taste-test, I used a sampling of Kirkland brand, Trader Joe’s and Dr. Fuhrman brand pine nuts and had my hubby, my mother-in-law and myself do a blind tasting.
Every single one of us preferred Dr. Fuhrman’s Pine Nuts!
So if you’re feeling like splurging on the “good stuff,” take it from me, it’s completely worth it in taste alone and the extra nutrition is an added bonus!
But you certainly don’t need extra-special pine nuts to make this No-Oil Spinach Pesto Dressing happen…
Use absolutely any raw pine nuts you happen to have available to you–this dressing is still going to taste amazing and be amazingly healthy for you too!
Bright n’ Light
There’s just nothing better than a good pesto dressing…
I swear it’s a instant mood-elevator!
And this nutritarian recipe ditches the health-derailing oil and dairy and just leaves you with the purest essence of basil, lemon and savory seasonings.
Spinach mellows out the finish and provides the loveliest vivid green–plus I’m a nutritarian, if I could, I’d throw spinach into everything (oh, wait, I kinda already do)…
Taste & Texture
This No-Oil Spinach Pesto Salad Dressing recipe has a classic pesto flavor profile but the consistency is decidedly that of a salad dressing.
If you want this as more of a traditional pesto-sauce consistency then you’ll want to reduce the liquids by about half.
Yes, It Does Look Like a Green Smoothie That You Can Pour All Over Your Salad
But I promise, it doesn’t taste like one.
A fact my five-year-old daughter found out the hard way when she snuck a taste-test from the Vitamix bowl before I could stop her–lol!
Okay, I fully admit that this pesto dressing could end up being the greatest fake-green-smoothie-prank ever but I’ll leave it up to you to ponder your next April Fool’s Day victim…
How to Use This Dressing
I’ve found the best veggie compliments to this dressing are crispy, crunchy and sturdy veggies like:
- red cabbage
And, of course, you can’t go wrong with the classic flavor combination of fresh tomatoes and basil!
If you make a batch of this No-Oil Spinach Pesto Dressing, be sure to give this No-Oil Pesto Baked Potato Kale Salad Recipe a try too–they were literally made for each other!
No-Oil Spinach Pesto Dressing
This bright, savory and easy-to-make dressing uses no oil and no nutritional yeast and is perfect over a fresh crispy salad with crunchy veggies!
- 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup packed baby spinach leaves
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 tsp. white miso paste
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- pepper to taste
Add all the ingredients into your high-speed blender cup and blend until smooth.
Stores well for 10 days in a glass Mason jar.
To make more of a traditional, thicker pesto sauce, reduce the water and lemon juice by half.
If you give this No-Oil Spinach Pesto Dressing recipe a try I’d love to know what you think–please leave a rating and comment below!