Prebiotic Pesto

{ Featuring Green Tea }

This flexible recipe packs a prebiotic punch through ingredients like dandelion greens, green tea leaves, raw garlic and olive oil - some of our good gut bacteria's favorite foods. Dandelion greens are loaded with nutrients and have a bitterness that is well-tempered by classic pesto ingredients like tart lemon, buttery pine nuts, and hearty olive oil. The same goes for green tea leaves.

Did you know most of green tea's nutrients remain in the leaves even after you've brewed them? After you've steeped your green tea leaves 3-4 times, store them in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use in recipes like this one. Just keep in mind, if you use green tea leaves that haven't been steeped enough times, they will add more bitterness to your pesto.

To learn more about prebiotics and the connection between gut health and mental health, check out Green Tea on the Mind Part II.


  • 2 cups roughly chopped dandelion greens
  • 1 cup roughly chopped Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
  • 1 cup torn basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup thoroughly used green tea leaves (preferably Early Spring or Mid Spring for this recipe)
  • 2 cloves chopped or grated raw garlic
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts or both
  • 1 cup nutritional yeast or 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, plus more to garnish
  • The juice & zest of 1 lemon, plus more to garnish
  • 1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper


  1. Put all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and blitz until mixed but still a bit coarse. We want the pesto slightly textured so be gentle if using a blender, as it tends to quickly liquify. 
  2. If the pesto seems a little too thick and isn't mixing well, pause, scraped down the sides, and add a small splash of water or extra lemon juice.
  3. Give it a little taste and see if you want it more salty, tart or peppery. Add whatever you need to bring the flavor to your liking.
  4. Serve with a garnish of crushed pine nuts, a squeeze of lemon juice, some lemon zest, olive oil, black pepper, etc.  


  • This is a truly flexible recipe, meaning you can swap out any of the greens for other greens, like cilantro or kale, or even change the ratios. Just keep in mind dandelion greens and green tea are two of the top foods for the good bacteria in our gut, which is why we featured them in his recipe.
  • While you can enjoy this pesto with your favorite pasta, to make it a completely pebiotic dish, spoon it over grilled mushrooms & leeks (another two of our gut microbiota's favorite foods), or spread it over real sourdough bread ("real," meaning it was made with starter, not yeast). Check out 123 Dough, our favorite sourdough bread & sourdough pasta makers—that's right, sourdough pasta—who use clean ingredients and traditional methods for their bread. 
Written by Wild Orchard Info