Pesto - Primal, Paleo, Kid Friendly and Clean Eating

Stupid nut allergies have prevented me from trying a number of foods over the years that look, smell and no doubt taste amazing.  Pesto was one of the things I had wanted to try for years, but as it contains pine nuts it’s been a no go.

I had a moment of genius (or madness, I can never really tell the difference) and figured that I could replace the pine nuts with something else, after a little trial and error I found a combination that worked.

My taste tester assures me that the flavours are in the same balance as normal pesto made with nuts the only difference is the texture of the sunflower seeds, I suppose I have to take his word for it because I don’t fancy the hospital trip that I would get if I checked.

If you don’t have to avoid nuts sub the sunflower seeds for the same amount of pine nuts.



½ clove garlic, chopped

3 handfuls fresh basil leaves, picked and chopped

1 handful sunflower seeds, very lightly toasted

1 handful Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

3tbs olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste


Pound the garlic with a little pinch of salt and the basil leaves in a pestle and mortar, or pulse in a food processor.

Add the sunflower seeds to the mixture and pound or pulse again.

Turn out into a bowl and add half the parmesan.

Stir gently and add olive oil just enough to bind everything together.

Season to taste, then add most of the remaining cheese and oil to your taste and preferred consistency.

The finished pesto should look shiny and a little creamy.  Add a little oil at a time so you don’t drown everything else.

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