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Lemon Balm and Basil Pesto | Raw

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pesto-in-a-jar-480Lemon balm… oh my dear lemon balm. You were such a mystery to me for so long, but not anymore.   You see, long, long ago (about two years) ago, I planted a small little herb in the flower bed up against the house.  Last year as the flowers and greenery started to take shape, I would religiously weed them, feed them, and sing to them.

This year, my flower bed went bonkers with growth. These “green” things kept popping us, and just like last year, and I held my ground in plucking them out.  Then one day, poof! There was this huge green plant in amongst the flowers.

Darn weeds!

I bent down, to extract the weed, and as I found the base of the plant and was ready to pull it out, I got to thinking to myself… “Hmm, I think I remember planting a herb in here, but I can’t remember what it was or what it looked like.” That is when I turned to my Facebook group and asked them to help me identify it. Between all of you and with a final confirmation from the owner of the local nursery, I found that it was …

Lemon Balm! Not a Weed!

Last year, I kept uprooting it, thinking that it was a weed… now I cringe at all the lost herbs that I had composted. After some further research, I have found out that it is an aggressive herb that happily reseeds itself and will take over a garden in the blink of an eye.  And trust me, it is doing just that. It grows as if to say, “I am here to conquer the world!!”

So, I went to work on creating recipe after recipe in which I could use it up, but then I found out that I can’t eat very much of it myself.  It is known to slow down the thyroid even further if you have hypothyroidism issues. (raises hand) That would be me. It has so many incredible health benefits that I would love to use it for, but I will have to limit my intake, not eliminate, just limit.

Just like any other wonderful green herb, pesto came to mind.  Lemon balm doesn’t have a robust flavor to it, so you have to be careful with what you pair it with, or the flavor can easily be lost.  If you want to learn more about lemon balm, please click (here)… after a quick read there, do some Googling and really get the full picture. I hope you enjoy this recipe. Many blessings, amie sue


yields 1 cup


  1. In a food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, combine the lemon balm, basil, cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, water, garlic, and salt. Blend until smooth.
  2. With the food processor running, drizzle the olive oil in and process until fully incorporated.
  3. Refrigerated pesto should last anywhere between 5-7 days in the fridge and can be frozen for 3-4 months.
    • The best indicator of freshness is the color of the leaves., if they start to turn from green to brown, it’s time to retire it.
    • To increase the shelf-life, completely cover the surface of the pesto with olive oil before sealing the container.
    • If you plan on freezing the pesto, fill ice-cube tray cavities up and freeze.  Once frozen, pop them out and transfer to a freezer-safe container, which allows you to remove single servings as needed.
  4. To serve: Use as a great spread on crackers or sandwich, add a dollop added to Cauliflower Mash, or tossed with zucchini noodles.

2 thoughts on “Lemon Balm and Basil Pesto | Raw

  1. Jenarihealth says:

    Oh this sounds delightful as I love Pesto. But now I will have to wait till next summer when my lemon balm and basil start to produce again. They are all frozen beyond repair now. LOL I like to make my pesto with walnuts and brazil nuts for medicinal purposes, but I bet the cashews give it a nice flavor. Thanks for the creativity, Amie Sue. These green herbs will sure help keep you healthy.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Nancy,

      I managed to snag one last harvest off my lemon balm “bush” (stuff grows fast and big hehe) right before the snow fall. What a blessing this herb is. It is ready and willing to share its abundance. And yes, I can see the benefits of the walnuts and brazil nuts… I always look for ways to rotate ingredients… each nut brings it own nutrients and flavor. I hope you had a wonderful holiday… gearing up for a new and exciting year on this end. :) Blessings my friend, amie sue

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