ClickCease Vegan Pesto Recipe – Dr. Morse's Herbal Health Club

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Vegan Pesto Recipe

Vegan Pesto Recipe

In the spirit of the springtime plethora of wild edible weeds growing all around us, we’d like to offer you a simple and satisfying vehicle for enjoying your raw greens...PESTO! This delicious herb spread is a go-to seasonal food for most herbalists to revitalize the blood and awaken the  kidneys after the long, stagnant winter. Once you discover how easy it is to make, you’ll be a pesto-eating machine for LIFE!  

At Dr Morse, we hope to be your biggest cheerleaders and allies. We are extremely proud of our community for being so committed to healthy eating and detoxification! We want to continue to support you in living your best life so, for your eating pleasure, this article includes 2 recipes for pesto: vegan and vegan with nuts. This way you can indulge in nutrient rich pesto whether you are in detox mode or maintenance mode.  

Aromatic Pastes 

Pastes made with aromatic herbs, nuts, cheese, and oil have been a Mediterranean staple since ancient Rome.  

“One of the most familiar pestos originated in Genoa, Italy, in the province of Liguria. Made from basil, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and/or Pecorino Romano cheeses, Pesto Genovese is a traditional Italian sauce for dressing pasta. It is also delicious with fish, meats, vegetables, soups, and bread... 

“In 1863, Giovanni Battista Ratto provided what is believed to be the first modern recipe for pesto. It remains today [as] the known origin of pesto from his book, La Cuciniera Genovese. ~ Matthew Baron, The Complete History of Pesto.” 

Traditional pesto was made by crushing ingredients into a paste or pestare, meaning “to pound,” using a mortar and pestle.

Pesto was the food of the people as it was made using herbs that were easily grown in the garden, and did not include any spices which, at the time, were reserved for the upper class.  

It wouldn't be pesto without garlic, basil, cold pressed olive oil and lemon. What do all these ingredients support? Immunity! 

  • Allicin is an organosulfur compound produced when garlic is crushed. It is a powerful immune stimulant that also supports a healthy inflammatory response.* 
  • Basil’s essential oil content supports a calm state of being, which down regulates the fight or flight response, leading to less suppression of immune system function. It also helps to calm an upset stomach.* 
  • Virgin cold-pressed olive oil is high in polyphenols which have been shown to activate immune cells and support changes in cellular epigenetics.* 
  • Lemon, of course! Lemon is a powerful detoxifier, astringent, and acidosis modulator (check out our Lemonade fast). Here is an excerpt from our January Newsletter ‘20 highlighting lovely lemon: 

“One of the detoxification powerhouses, lemons are one of nature’s greatest gifts! The outermost layer (“zest”) contains essential oils like limonene & citral. The inner layer contains a variety of bitter flavone glycosides and coumarin derivatives, while the juice contains mainly sugars and fruit acids (citric acids). 

Lemons are one of the highest sources of Vitamin C, as well as vitamin B6, potassium, folic acid, flavonoids and limonene. 

Lemons are somewhat unique in the fact that while they are acidic, they convert to alkaline ash inside the body. Known for the ability to make you “pucker” due to their highly astringent nature, it is hard to find a better way to break up stagnant lymph than with lemon!”* 

Since the publication of Giovanni Battista Ratto’s La Cuciniera Genovese in 1863, the recipe for pesto has withstood the test of time, remaining relatively unchanged after all these years. With all its amazing immunological benefits, pesto is the definition of culinary herbalism, and speaks to the importance of preserving traditional herbal remedies from our past.  

We’ve got some traditions of our own here at Dr More’s Herbal Health Club. In the spirit of altering acidosis and supporting an alkaline diet, we’re taking this traditional recipe and making it our own by including a cornucopia of fresh spring weeds and ditching the cheese! Read on for a detox-friendly pesto recipe without nuts or cheese, and a general maintenance vegan pesto recipe to complement your daily diet between detoxes.  

Detox Food Combining 

If you practice Dr Morse’s detox and diet programs on a continual basis, you know what it is like to get through your days on fruit and veggies alone. If you are observing the detox diet recommendation level 1 we want to help spice up your daily food intake with our Vegan Seed & Nut Free Pesto recipe.  

Raw, cold pressed organic olive oil is in this recipe and is allowed at this level in moderation. We’ll be including arrowroot powder to help thicken the pesto in lieu of seeds or nuts.  

As for food combining, we recommend only eating this pesto with raw or cooked vegetable dishes and avoiding it with any fruits you eat throughout the day.  

Maintenance Meals 

Weedy vegan pesto is the perfect health food to keep in the fridge during your health maintenance periods in between detoxing and fasting. Additionally, you can up your pesto game by incorporating some of our maintenance formulas. Add some GI Renew #1, Kidneys & Bladder 1, Lymphatic System 1, and Endocrine Glands (all available in the Fab Four Kit) to your paste to boost your daily intake of our maintenance formulas.  

Vegan Pesto Recipes 

Yield: approximately 1 cup pesto 

Prep Time: 10 - 15 minutes 

Shelf life: 1 week in the fridge  

Detox Diet Recipe 

Vegan Seed & Nut-Free Pesto  


  • 2 cups fresh picked greens, herbs & weeds (see Pesto Prep Notes below) 
  • 1-2 large cloves garlic (peeled and crushed) 
  • 2-3 Tbsp cold pressed extra virgin olive oil 
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice 
  • 1 tsp arrowroot powder 
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt  

Maintenance Recipe 

Vegan Pesto with Seeds  


  • 2 cups fresh picked greens, herbs & weeds (see Pesto Prep Notes below) 
  • 1-2 large cloves garlic (peeled and crushed) 
  • 3 Tbsp nuts & seeds: sunflower, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, etc. 
  • 2-3 Tbsp cold pressed extra virgin olive oil  
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice 
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt   

Directions: Chop greens and crush garlic. Throw everything into a food processor and blend until creamy, adding extra olive oil if it seems too dry. Store in a mason jar in the refrigerator; float a layer of olive oil on the surface of the pesto to avoid browning.  

Pesto Prep Notes 

Greens, Herbs & Weeds 

Greens: basil leaf, mustard, arugula, garlic/onion greens, purslane. 

Herbs: blanched nettle leaf, dandelion leaf, nasturtium leaf & flower, spearmint leaf, lemon balm leaf, oregano, thyme, cilantro, rosemary leaf & flower (caution: strong flavor). 

Wild Weeds: chickweed leaf & stem, violet leaf, cleavers leaf & stem (just a dash as its pretty fibrous), wild onion (3 quarter leek), miners' lettuce, plantain leaf. 

When choosing the proportion of raw greens to put in your pesto, remember that the more basil you use, the more your pesto will maintain that true Italian pesto flavor. We recommend using 50% basil for a more traditional taste. 

Fresh nettle leaves are one of the most delicious and nutritious additions to an herbal pesto but be sure to blanch your leaves before combining them with the other raw ingredients. Some more sensitive folks can experience mild irritation in the mouth and throat if unblanched nettle is added to the pesto raw.  

Blanching nettle leaves: Put a saucepan of water to boil on the stove. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer. Use tongs to place your de-stemmed nettle leaves into the simmering water and cook for 2 minutes. Remove the leaves from the water and let drain before placing in the food processer with the other ingredients. 

*FDA warning: This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. 

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  • Donna Armstrong

    Looks good but maybe leave out the lemon:
    Vitamin C, nitrate high greens and fats in the stomach are a bad food combo for nitrosamine formation it seems.

  • Christina

    Thank You Dr Morse, My grandma would graze our front yard. It’s a nice memory.

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