Light basil kale pesto recipe

This basil kale pesto has very strong anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anti-ageing properties. It is not your traditional pesto, but this is exactly what makes it so special. You won’t find parmesan, Romano, or grana Padano cheeses in it. You won’t find much oil in it either. Who wants oil and cheeses these days when a tablespoon of oil is getting firmly associated with a pound of guilt or fat. And you know what? It provides near perfect balance of omega-3 to omega-6 oils, making it very brain friendly.  basil kale pesto

Its versatility is amazing:

  • Use it as a spread on pita or bread –
  • Add some water and make a salad dressing
  • Use on pizza
  • With grilled or raw veggies - it is a fantastic addition to any kind of veggies
  • As a dip.

As you can see, you can eat a lot of it because instead of traditional oil, basil,and cheese it contains kale, basil, sunflower seeds, which provide a lot of fiber. Fiber adds volume and mellows the taste. Traditional pesto would consist of nearly 100% fats, including saturated fats that we all should avoid eating in big volumes. This basil kale pesto provides 80% of calories from oil, and, to make things better, it provides only a third of the calories of the traditional pesto. The oil comes in the company of antioxidants, Potassium, magnesium, Calcium, Vitamins A and K, and many other beneficial minerals and vitamins.

This pesto recipe is vegan and gluten free.

Light basil-kale pesto recipe

I use Vitamix, the king of all blenders, and it still was not easy to mix this pesto. Next time I will try to blend sunflower seeds with water instead of soaking them because this will make blending easier. Somewhat runny pesto is easier to mix, and it should firm up as dry sunflower seeds soak water and expand. Soaking, on the other hand, makes it structure very smooth.

Makes 1 500 ml jar plus a bit more

  • 6 tightly packed cups fresh kale rinsed and drained (about 1 bunch)
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil or flaxseed oil
  • 1 cup toasted or raw sunflower seeds soaked in 1 cup of water
  • juice of 3/4 lemon
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 cup fresh basil or mix of basil with oregano or majoran, lightly packed
  • Salt to taste
  1. Soak sunflower seeds overnight in 1 cup of water. (Alternatively, blend dry seeds with water and expect somewhat runnier pesto that will firm up as seeds soak the water. Well, it's easier to get it out of the blender when it is runny, and no prep time is required! The trade in would be consistency, as I suspect your pesto will come out a little bit gainier that pesto with soaked seeds)
  2. Place kale into the food processor, add lemon juice, herbs, garlic and seeds and mix roughly. Periodically push the mixture down as it is not going to mix well. If it doesn't mix at all, add up to 1/2 cup of water.
  3. Blend well, tightly pack into the jar with tight lid.

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