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Superfood Pesto (dairy-free, paleo, primal)

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If you grow herbs, you are probably overwhelmed with basil at this time of the summer.  As I have been staring at my ever growing basil bush, I keep saying “I need to make pesto”.

And I continue to pinch of the flower heads and wait….

Procrastination?  Busy?  Lazy?  Probably a mixture of all of the above.  Not sure…just need to make the pesto!

I make pesto every summer.  I keep some in my fridge and freeze the rest for use throughout the winter.  I find it so nice to add a little summer flavor to foods.  I even add it to stews, soups, chilis, etc. to add a little ‘kick’.

This year, I wanted to try something a little different.

I looked around my kitchen, thinking.  I spied my Superfood Cabinet…yes, I have an entire ‘superfood’ cabinet…full of things like Reishi mushroom, chia seeds, goji berries, camu camu, raw cacao, maca and the like.  (note to self…need to write a post on superfoods!!!!)

I got to thinking…why not make a ‘Superfood Pesto’.

So…I ventured to the almighty Google for some ideas.  I found a recipe using nutritional yeast and hemp seeds!  I had both of those items so thought this was perfect!

This recipe is Paleo-friendly (meaning no grains, dairy or legumes) which is perfect as I am now working as a “Food Coach” at a local CrossFit box.

And, hemp seeds have always reminded me of pine nuts (which are traditionally used in pesto) so it sounded like the perfect swap.

This recipe, filled with rock star ingredients, sounded like a win to me!!

Basil is a very healthy herb to keep on hand.  It is anti-bacterial, anti-inflamatory and can protect your cardiovascular health.  It is also a great source of Vitamin K.

Nutritional yeast is high in protein and B vitamins.  Many vegetarians get their B vitamin supplements from Nutritional Yeast.  I always keep nutritional yeast on hand.  It adds a wonderful cheesy flavor to many foods.

Hemp seeds are the superfood produced by the plant that is related to the mulberry.  Hemp seeds contain all of the amino acids and all of the fatty acids necessary for human life.  It is easily digestible and is high in protein.

Camu Camu is an excellent source of Vitamin C.  Some say it has 30 times the vitamin C as oranges.

Superfood Pesto


  • 1/2 cup hemp seeds
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 3 small bunches or about 5 cups Basil fresh; keep the stems on
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper freshly ground
  • 1 cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 tsp camu camu optional
  • 1 - 2 cups Olive Oil


  • Add all ingredients, except oil, to a food processor.
  • Slowly add oil.
  • I added 1 cup and then added some more to improve texture. (maybe 1 1/4 cup)
  • This was a very thick mixture and could use more oil. But, I decided to wait until I used the pesto to add any more oil.

 Now, I will say this made a thicker, pastier pesto than I am used to.  I decided to keep it thick and save in the freezer.  I always save my pesto by freezing in ice cube trays for easier use later.

When I use it, I add the amount of olive oil needed to make it the texture I want.

I will say that because there is none of the usual parmesean cheese, it is lacking in the salt factor.  I do add salt when I make it but not too much.  I would prefer to salt the final dish I am using the pesto in than to end up with too salty pesto.

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Superfood Pesto (dairy free, paleo, primal)




World's Healthiest Foods

Superfoods, by David Wolf

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