Banting Recipe: Homemade Basil Pesto

If you’re at home with an injured knee, what do you do? Make pesto of course!

I want to use I Hit Hard to share with you all some of my favourite low-carb high-fat recipes, including this pesto. Nutrition is super important to me as a martial artist, and food has always been a big part of my life – for good or for bad.

Pesto goes with so many different things, and it’s the perfect thing to whip up if you’re stuck at home and need something to make quick and easy meals with. When I lived on the Isle of Wight, my mum used to make wild garlic pesto from the garlic in our garden. She brought me up to experiment with recipes, and what she has taught me plays a key role in how I’ve curated my diet to compliment my training.

My favourite pesto recipe is actually one that my dad created. He’s totally into doing things by hand, so there are no blenders involved in this recipe!


  • 1 1/2 cups (360ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 90 grams (three 30g packets) fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 100g of parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 50g pine nuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Atlantic sea salt

(I find coarseness of pesto to be a matter of taste, so if you would like to cut anything more finely or coarsely, go ahead, it’ll lend a different texture and taste to what you make.)

I’ve been on the “Banting” low-carb high-fat diet for around a year now, and it has turned my life around. This is the ideal diet to tackle my insulin resistance.

Going “Banting”, I’ve given up sugar, drinking alcohol, wheat, rice and all other major carbs (yep, that includes bread!). Since then, my energy levels have remained consistent, I no longer experience bouts of dizziness or bloating, and I’ve experienced a fantastic ability to train harder and more frequently without feeling too rundown.

Serves 20 (21g per serving)

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: none

Total time: 15 mins


  1. Wash the basil leaves with water and pat dry with a kitchen towel before you chop them.
  2. Chop the basil leaves finely and put into a large bowl.
  3. Use the fine grate on your grater to grate your parmesan, and add this to the basil when you’re done (how many times can I use the word ‘grate’ in a sentence?!).
  4. Pour the pine nuts onto your cutting board and chop using a large kitchen knife. I prefer them to be coarsely chopped, but you may want to cut them more finely depending on your preference. Stir the chopped pine nuts into the mixture.
  5. Finely chop the four cloves of garlic and add this to the bowl, too.
  6. Then measure your olive oil (I used a cup measure) and pour it into the pesto. Mix the olive oil into the pesto and adjust the amount depending on whether you prefer your pesto more “wet” or “dry”.
  7. Finally, sprinkle the sea salt into the pesto and mix thoroughly.
  8. To serve, use alongside any dish or use as a cooking sauce (the possibilities are endless…)!
  9. Best when fresh. Store in a sealed container in a dry place away from direct sunlight.

Nutritional information per 21g serving:

Calories: 178

Fat (g): 18.1

Carbs (g): 0.4

Protein (g): 2.2

Sugars (g): 0.1

-If nutritional posts are something you’d like to see more of on I Hit Hard, leave a comment letting me know!-

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