This lemon balm pesto is a delicious alternative to a regular basil pesto, and has so many low carb and keto uses!
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Did you see my recent post on low carb uses for excess fresh herbs? This recipe was created because my lemon balm plant went crazy in my herb garden, and the only recipe that I'd used it for so far was this tangy lemon balm vinaigrette!
Definitely time to use it in a new recipe, and after some research discovered that lemon balm pesto was a thing! Most pesto recipes use garlic, but I'm not a fan of it when raw, so I substituted some fresh chives (which were also overflowing!), and added some fresh oregano.
The only other change I made was to replace half of the pine nuts with slivered almonds. A half- cup of pine nuts contains 6.3g net carbs, whereas a mix of pine nuts and almonds contains 5.4g net – it's a small difference but they can add up!
How to Make Low Carb Lemon Balm Pesto
Remove the leaves from the lemon balm and oregano, and place the leaves in a food processor. Discard the stalks. Roughly chop the chives and add them to the other herbs.
Next, add some shredded Parmesan, pine nuts, slivered almonds, about four tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, and lemon juice.
Process until smooth. If the mixture is too dry, add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and process again. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer to a container and store (covered) in the fridge for up to a week.
Uses for Lemon Balm Pesto
- With low carb pasta instead of regular pesto
- Spread on low carb toast with avocados and tomatoes
- As a pizza sauce on low carb pizza dough
- Serve it over grilled shrimp
- Spread it into low carb wraps
- As a dressing for a salad
- Place the herbs in a food processor together with the shredded Parmesan, about four tablespoons of the extra virgin olive oil, pine nuts, almonds, and lemon juice.
- Process until smooth. If the mixture is too dry, add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and process again. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer to a container and store (covered) in the fridge for up to a week.
1.3g net carbs per serving of two tablespoons
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Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 2 tablespoons
Amount Per Serving Calories 146Total Fat 14gSaturated Fat 2.4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 38gCholesterol 4mgSodium 124mgCarbohydrates 2.3gNet Carbohydrates 1.3gFiber 1gSugar 0.4gProtein 4g
Nutritional information for this recipe is provided as a courtesy and is my best approximation. I cannot guarantee completely accurate data due to variations in ingredients and cooking methods. Carbohydrates from sugar alcohols are not included in net carb counts as it has been shown that they do not impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.