Pesto is a popular pasta dish that can be made with just four ingredients: basil, olive oil, garlic and pine nuts. But what if you’re vegan and don’t eat cheese? Fear not! There are plenty of healthy and delicious alternatives – here are five of the best.
Parmesan is often used as a topping for salads or bowls. For those who don’t want to omit this taste without sacrificing their health, there are plenty of substitutes that will give your dish the same flavor without the dairy. Read on for some healthier vegan substitutes for parmesan cheese in pesto.
Introduction to Pesto
Vegetable Pesto is a healthy alternative to the classic parmesan cheese. It’s made by combining basil, garlic, pine nuts and olive oil into a paste or sauce. The predominant taste comes from the pine nuts, which are rich in vitamin E. The pine nuts also contain an omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
Here are some of the health benefits associated with ALA:
• Provides heart-healthy fats
• Helps protect against heart disease
• Can help prevent cancer
• Effective for brain function and memory
Healthy Vegan Substitutes for Parmesan Cheese in Pesto
1. Tempeh: Tempeh is a meat alternative and is made from soybeans, which are naturally gluten free. It’s also lower in fat than ground beef. Because of its protein content, tempeh has both the appearance and taste of real cheese.
2. Edamame: Edamame, which is technically soy beans instead of beans, can be eaten like tofu or used as a substitute for cheese in vegan dishes.
3. Almond Butter: Almond butter doesn’t contain any dairy and has an amazing taste that can be enjoyed on toast with applesauce or sprinkled on salads and sandwiches.
4. Avocado: Avocados provide healthy fat and potassium to your diet and make a great snack all year round – try adding them to your salads for an extra boost of flavor!
5. Cashew Cheese: Cashew cheese is made from cashews (a nut) that are rich in protein, calcium, fiber and vitamins A & D, making it completely plant-based but still delicious!