Calling all mint lovers out there! (And even if mint is on your yuk list, I recommend reading further as I have something for you, too!) This special keto-friendly sweet condiment has its source in the classic Italian condiment, pesto, which contains nuts, Parmesan, olive oil, and an ample amount of fresh basil (check my Keto Pesto Recipe).
However, this Sweet Keto Mint Pesto gives the word ‘pesto’ a completely new meaning! Thick, sweet, and rich, it’s the perfect condiment to lather on your keto muffins, cakes, cookies, bread, or use as a sweet dip. Oh, and it also makes an excellent companion to lamb meat!
The color shouts ”spring,” so be sure to whip up a batch and enjoy the fresh taste and the beautiful color!
How to make this 5-Ingredient Sweet Keto Mint Pesto
Making this condiment is super easy — and ridiculously quick! You just put all ingredients into a blender and blend until to the preferred consistency. My preferred consistency is smooth as butter (now, that’s a keto-friendly saying!)
For the best result, use a powerful blender with high speed.
But, that’s it, let’s take a look at how to prepare this smooth and sweet keto condiment:
Take a bunch of fresh mint.
Remove the leaves. Those you need for the pesto. This bunch made 1 slightly packed cup (240 ml) that weighs only 11 grams! However, it’s enough to lend wonderful mint flavor. This mint is quite a strong-tasting variety.
Transfer the mint leaves into a blender jar.
Add 1/3 cup (80 ml) raw blanched almonds…
…1/4 cup (60 ml) ricotta (this is goat ricotta here)…
…1/4 cup (60 ml) MCT oil or caprylic acid…
…and 20—40 drops of peppermint stevia. This particular stevia is my favorite. Don’t be distracted by the word “cookie.”
Close the lid tightly.
Blend until smooth.
Looks stunning and smells irresistible! Now, this is the color of spring!
I made keto muffins with quark and topped them with this mint pesto. Oh, what a fireworks of flavors!
How I came up with this easy keto sweet condiment recipe
To be honest, coming up with this recipe wasn’t a result of lengthy musing. Nope. I just suddenly and totally unexpectedly got hit by an idea of sweet pesto. Sweet pesto? Does there exist sweet pesto? Is it even possible to make sweet pesto, I mean, that it would turn out edible as well?
That was to be found out. I didn’t bother to google, but as a researcher by nature, I decided to do my own experimentation.
It took me a couple of weeks to get my hands dirty and my feet wet with the idea. I knew I wanted to use mint as a herb instead of basil, which is used in the traditional savory pesto.
I certainly needed to make other replacements as well. Instead of super-salty Parmesan, I had to find a neutral-tasting cheese that would fit a sweet condiment. Ricotta! Well, that sounded excellent.
My savory keto pesto recipe uses salted and roasted macadamia nuts. I certainly couldn’t use salted nuts in my sweet pesto, so I decided to try out raw macadamias.
And, instead of peppery extra-virgin olive oil, I needed to come up with a more neutral alternative. I was immediately thinking of MCT oil or caprylic acid.
So, now I had all the ingredients for the base: mint, ricotta, macadamias, and oil. However, the sweetener was still missing. My favorite sweetener, powdered erythritol, would certainly do the trick, but I wanted to try some other options as well. Actually, I had Peppermint Cookie Stevia and decided to experiment with it, too, to make sort of a Double-Mint Sweet Keto Pesto.
I first prepared the unsweetened base, took spoonfuls of the mixture, and placed them into small cups.
To one cup, I added some powdered erythritol, and to the second cup, I added a couple of drops of Peppermint Cookie Stevia.
The winner was clearly the version with Peppermint Cookie Stevia. Although powdered erythritol is an awesome sweetener, Peppermint Cookie Stevia was the perfect one for this recipe.
However, I wasn’t completely happy with the macadamias. Well, not only because they had expired and had a slightly stale taste, but macadamias just weren’t the perfect match with this condiment.
I still wanted to try a version with raw blanched almonds to see if that would turn out better. Almonds sounded like an excellent, nutty but neutral ingredient to provide some smooth richness to this sweet pesto.
I was pondering the amounts and decided to use the same amount of almonds than macadamias. The result was much thicker with almonds, and the taste clearly better.
I had used 40 drops of Peppermint Cookie Stevia, and the pesto was super sweet. However, it was full of flavor, and I totally loved its smooth texture and rich mouthfeel. So totally yum!
Here’s the recipe for you to enjoy:
- 1 bunch = 1 cup = 240 ml slightly packed mint leaves
- 1/3 cup = 80 ml raw blanched almonds
- 1/4 cup = 60 ml ricotta
- 1/4 cup = 60 ml MCT oil or caprylic acid
- 20—40 drops peppermint stevia
1. Place all ingredients into a high-speed blender.
2. Close the lid tightly and blend until preferred consistency. (The longer you blend, the smoother it gets.)
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Low Sugar, So Simple: 100 Delicious Low-Sugar, Low-Carb, Gluten-Free Recipes for Eating Clean and Living Healthy
Blanched Whole Almonds, 2 Pounds – Non-GMO Verified, Raw, Skinless, Unsalted, Keto, Vegan, Kosher, Bulk. High in Protein, Fiber, Vitamin E, Riboflavin. Perfect Snack. Great for Homemade Desserts.
NOW Foods, Better Stevia, Liquid, Peppermint Cookie, Zero-Calorie Liquid Sweetener, Low Glycemic Impact, Certified Non-GMO, 2-Ounce
Nature's Way Organic MCT Oil From Coconut, Non-GMO, Gluten-free, 14 g MCTs per serving, 16 FL Ounce
Premium MCT Oil from Organic Coconuts – Unflavored
|Nutrition information||In total||Per tablespoon|
|Protein||26.2 g||2.2 g|
|Fat||94.7 g||7.9 g|
|Net carbs||6.5 g||0.5 g|
|kcal||985 kcal||82 kcal|
Tips for variations
If you love just a hint of mint in your condiments, use just about 1/4 cup (60 ml) mint leaves.
And if you totally hate mint, there is a fabulous replacement for mint: lemon balm! Yes, lemon balm is often used in desserts (well, at least as decoration), so it’s a perfect ingredient for sweet pesto. In that case, replace the peppermint stevia with an unflavored sweetener. Other herbs worth trying is lemon basil and rose petals.
This pesto is very thick and paste-like. If you would like to have a thinner consistency, use more oil. Just be careful when adding it, as the pesto might turn too runny quickly. Add it by tablespoon (or even by teaspoon) and blend after each addition until you’ve reached the desired consistency.
If your stomach goes wild from MCT oil or caprylic acid, you can use extra light olive oil instead or replace part of the MCT oil with extra light olive oil. In any case, extra light olive oil is somewhat processed, so it shouldn’t be in your daily use.
Instead of stevia, you can use monk fruit drops. I haven’t found if there exists peppermint-flavored monk fruit, but you can certainly use unflavored variety and add a drop of peppermint oil to the pesto if you need more mint flavor.
It was a productive week with various projects ranging from linguistic tasks to Ketokamu activities. I made many new recipe experiments, but my biggest attention was on a keto webinar (in Finnish) I held on YouTube live on Tuesday.
A second thing that kept me busy was creating an April Fools’ joke for Ketokamu. We had a “product launch” for a new keto soup that contained canola oil, sunflower oil, textured soy, soy cream, corn starch, potato, monosodium glutamate, citric acid, carrageenan, sucralose, and other “yummy” stuff. We managed to scare our followers, but soon they realized that it was an April Fools’ prank, feeling relieved and finding it really amusing. Anyway, there was a link to our website where I told why we will never use those questionable ingredients in our Ketokamu products.
By the way, my 11-year-old son designed the imaginary soup package. It turned out really nice, and we had so much fun when creating it!