Kale Pesto with Pumpkin Seeds, Vegan

Inspired by Pesto alla Genovese, this easy pesto tastes just like the authentic Italian. It’s even better, because it’s perfect for alternative diets. A snap to make in a food processor, no one will guess it’s Paleo, Vegan, free of common allergens like dairy, cheese, and GMO’s. It tastes wonderful on Zoodles, salads, stir-fries, or as a dip with veggies. Basil is not only tasty, it is rich in vitamin K, flavonoids, and natural oils that nourish and protect from radiation or harmful bacteria. I love pumpkin seeds, a true superfood with 3 key ingredients for sexual health: 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, 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! (Nutritional yeast is inert, candida-safe, and does not contain processed free glutamic acid. It is very different from another “natural flavor” MSG, which is toxic, made with GMO bacteria. There’s great debate and much misinformation about nutritional yeast. I have not found any clear evidence that it is unhealthy, and the world expert Dr. Russell Blaylock doesn’t return my emails. Anyway it is optional.) Makes about 2 cups pesto. Try it!


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

Kale Pesto with Pumpkin Seeds, 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.
  3. Enjoy!

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

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