Flavour is everything when it comes to enjoyment of food, but it’s particularly important when trying to make healthier choices that both taste great and nourish you. The catch is that adding flavour to low FODMAP meals can be challenging, so sometimes you need to get a bit creative. That’s where this Low FODMAP Basil Pesto Dip comes in handy. It adds a good burst of flavour while also adding small amounts of legumes and fibre to your diet, all in a low FODMAP way.
Why I love using dips to boost flavour
I love using dips as a flavour-boosting strategy because they’re incredibly versatile…
- You can use them in their original form as a dip with crackers, bread or vegetable sticks when you want a healthy snack.
- You can use them as a spread on sandwiches instead of mayonnaise or cheese.
- You can spread them on toast before topping it with eggs or other vegetables (e.g. avocados, tomato, cucumber). Some dips make a great pizza topping too!
- You can stir them into meals such as soups, pasta sauces or even rice and veggie combos to boost the flavour.
This Basil Pesto Dip can be used in all of those ways.
But my favourite way to eat this dip is spread on toast and topped with fried eggs and tomato. I also really enjoy it stirred into a fresh vegetable sauce for pasta – just stir in 2 tbsp per serve at the end of cooking.
Homemade is healthier and can be made low FODMAP
The bonus of making a basil pesto dip instead of regular basil pesto isn’t just that it’s more versatile, it’s also healthier. The oil content is lower, which means there’s less fat to irritate sensitive tummies. And less fat also means less kilojoules. Also, the butter bean base makes it higher in fibre and protein. Plus, using butter beans gives it creaminess without needing to add parmesan cheese, which is important if you need to avoid dairy as well as FODMAPs.
But don’t be concerned about the use of butter beans in this recipe. Yes, legumes are high in GOS in large serves, but a ¼ cup serve of canned butter beans is low FODMAP. That means you can still enjoy a couple of tablespoons of this dip without exceeding the FODMAP threshold.
The best ways to enjoy this low FODMAP basil pesto dip
- Serve as a dip with low FODMAP bread, crackers or vegetable sticks (e.g. carrots, zucchini, cucumber).
- Make simple and healthy appetisers by spreading on low FODMAP crackers and topping with a slice of fresh tomato. If you can eat dairy, try adding shaved parmesan, crumbled feta or mozzarella.
- Use the dip as a ‘flavour enhancer’ by spreading it on sandwiches or toast before adding other toppings. It adds lovely flavour to chicken sandwiches and goes extremely well with poached or fried eggs.
- Add 2 tbsp (per serve) to a pasta sauce, rice dish or soup at the end of cooking.
Apart from the flavour, versatility and nutritional aspects of this dip, I also love that it can be frozen – that’s one of the advantages of using legumes as a base instead of dairy. This means you can keep some in the freezer to add flavour to your meals whenever you need it.
So why not make up a batch of this Low FODMAP Basil Pesto Dip today and start getting some flavour into your meals. Or better yet, make a double batch to have some now and freeze a good stash for later.
Other dips that you might like to try instead:
If you’d prefer a different flavour, you might like to try one of these other low FODMAP dips:
- Carrot, Cumin and Chickpea Dip
- Roasted Eggplant Dip
- The Smoothest Hommus Dip
- Roasted Pumpkin and Walnut Dip
An incredibly versatile way to add flavour to your meals, this low FODMAP basil pesto dip will make your meals both more interesting and healthier.
- 1 cup packed basil leaves (and I mean seriously packed!) – you’ll need a big bunch of basil
- 400g can butter beans, drained and rinsed very well
- 2 tbsp (40ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp (20ml) lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- Pack the basil leaves in the cup by pushing them down and then continuing to top up the cup several times until it’s so full that you can’t keep the basil in the cup anymore. Note: picking basil leaves and filling the cup is the most time-consuming task of this recipe, but the rest takes only a few minutes. Once you’ve completely packed the cup, wash the basil leaves, then squeeze out most of the water and put the basil into a food processor bowl fitted with the chopping blade.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor and blend. Every 45 seconds or so, stop the processor and scrape the sides down. Keep blending until all of the basil is finely chopped and evenly mixed throughout the dip (this will take a few minutes).
- The dip can be refrigerated or frozen in small containers for later use.
- This recipe is suitable for a low FODMAP diet, provided that the recommended serving size for this recipe is not exceeded.
- This recipe is naturally gluten-free and dairy-free. However, if you have an allergy to any of these items, or have coeliac disease, please check the labels on any purchased ingredients to ensure they are safe for your requirements.
- Butter beans are low FODMAP at a serving size of 1/4 cup. It’s best to use canned butter beans and ensure that you rinse them thoroughly before using.
Low FODMAP Portion
- Serving Size: 1-2 tbsp