Pumpkin Seed Basil Pesto, Vegan

Inspired by Italian Pesto alla Genovese, this easy pesto tastes just like the authentic original. A snap to make in a food processor or small blender, no one will ever guess it’s Paleo, Vegan, free of common allergens like dairy, cheese, and GMO’s. It tastes wonderful over Zoodles, salads, stir-fries, or as a dip with veggies. Basil is not only tasty, it is an anti-oxidant rich in vitamin K, flavonoids, and natural oils that protect from harmful bacteria. Pumpkin seeds are a true superfood with 3 key ingredients for sexual health and libido: phosphorous, magnesium, and zinc. As you know, kale is a top nutrient-dense food, especially high in iron, vitamin K, and antioxidants.

This recipe is super-flexible. For example, if you don’t have pumpkin seeds, you can use any nuts, such as walnuts, cashews, hemp nuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, pine-nuts, etc. Substitute any leafy green instead of kale, such ar chard, spinach, or collards. Lemon juice and nutritional yeast are optional, for that aged Parmigiano Reggiano flavor without cheese!

(BTW the optional Nutritional yeast is completely inert, candida-safe, and does not contain processed free glutamic acid. It is very different from that other “natural flavor” MSG, which is toxic, made with GMO bacteria. I use nutritional yeast often, even though there’s great debate and much misinformation about it.) This recipe makes about 2 cups pesto. Try it!


Basil, Pumpkin seeds, and Kale make a nutrient-rich dynamo of a health snack!

Pumpkin Seed Basil Pesto, Vegan



  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch fresh kale, in coarse chunks (or spinach or chard, or...)
  • 2 large handfuls fresh basil, cut coarsely
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, or any nuts, soaked and toasted if possible (See All About Nuts)
  • 1/2 teaspoon unprocessed salt
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional for a cheese taste)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (optional for an aged cheese flavor)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


  1. Turn on the food processor (11 cup or larger) with the "S" bad running. Drop the garlic down the tube for instant dicing. Easy!
  2. Add all the other ingredients except olive oil, and begin processing. You may have to stir them downward several times to process all the leaves. Lastly, pour the olive oil slowly down the feed tube while processing, for the creamiest pesto. You can also make this in a small size blender.
  3. Enjoy!

If you like this recipe, you’ll LOVE this article by Thrivecuisine with even more luscious kale recipes!

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