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 cheese these days when a tablespoon of oil is getting firmly associated with a pound of guilt or fat? And it provides a nearly perfect ratio 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
  • Use with grilled or raw veggies - it is a fantastic addition to any kind of veggies
  • Use as a dip
  • Use as pasta sauce.

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

Light basil-kale pesto

I use Vitamix, the king of all blenders, and it 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.


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.
  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, place into the jar with tight lid.


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