Prepared at home this simple mix packs small and brings a big taste

For big taste on the trail, this Mega Herb Pesto has good value for your money and its weight. Packed with fresh ingredients and low cost-alternatives to traditional pesto this is the perfect flavour punch to throw in your pack for a weekend adventure.

“I like this recipe because it cuts out all of the typical things people are allergic to and it is still delicious,” says Sydney Badger, from Taste + Balance who hosted a food workshop with Power To Be staff to help redefine our camping menus. “It is nut free, dairy free and is packed with flavour.”

Prepped in advance it is a great addition to your camping culinary repertoire due to its small size and big versatility. For weekend hiking trips, pair it with pasta and chickpeas. If you are car camping or boating, consider pairing it with a protein like chicken or tofu and vegetables.

Her tip? Don’t be shy with the salt. “The food is done when tasting it makes you involuntarily smile and nod,” she says. “And this is no exception!”

Setup and equipment
  • Food processor
  • Spatula
  • Tasting spoon
  • Container to collect your compost waste in while cooking
  • Container for your pesto
  • Small knife to help peel garlic
  • Fresh basil, 2 bunches
  • Fresh flat leave parsley, 2 bunches
  • Nutritional yeast, ½ cup
  • Sunflower seeds, ½ cup
  • Pumpkin seeds, ½ cup
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil, approx. 250-350 mL
  • Fresh garlic, ½ head

This recipe makes lots and the pesto freezes well!

Flavour adjustment tips
  • Too thick and pasty? Add a splash or two of water.
  • Tastes like nothing but seeds? The herbs aren’t coming through. Add salt.
  • Now you can taste the basil and parsley, but it’s still a bit ‘flat’? Add acid. (Sydney suggests a bit of lemon juice or balsamic vinegar).
  • Tastes too sharp or sour? Balance with a spoonful of honey.


  1. Take the herbs (softer stems included), nutritional yeast, seeds, and garlic, and toss into a food processor.
  2. Pulse a few times to break down the ingredients a bit.
  3. Get your oil ready, start the food processor, and while it’s running pour a steady stream of (good) olive oil until the consistency starts to look like pesto.
  4. Pause and taste. If it tastes super bland (likely), add a generous few pinches of salt and pepper. (Maybe even a dash of balsamic vinegar! Now you’re getting clever…)
  5. Blend again, add oil (or a tiny bit of water) again, stop again, taste again.
  6. This process is a dance! It’s finished when you decide it tastes good enough to stop fidgeting with it.
  7. Pack it up! Portion it up for a weekend adventure, or freeze portions to enjoy later.