Kale, Hemp and Flaxseed Oil Pesto

Prep time: 5 mins Cook time: 8 mins Total time: 13 mins
Serves: 6

Kale pesto made with Omega-rich hemp seeds and flaxseed oil. Ready in 5 minutes! Feel free to substitute walnuts for the hemp and/or olive oil for the flaxseed oil if that’s what you have on hand. The pesto recipe is vegan and gluten free (see notes).


2 to 3 cloves garlic
3 cups packed kale (about 1 small bunch)
¾ cup hemp seeds or toasted walnuts
2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
¾ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
Red pepper flakes, optional (if you want to add some kick)
¼ cup flaxseed oil or extra-virgin olive oil (more if desired)
Entirely optional: ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese



  • Make the pesto: In a food processor, add the peeled garlic cloves and process until the garlic is minced. Add the kale, hemp seeds, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Turn on the food processor and drizzle in the oil. Process until the pesto reaches your desired consistency, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary. Taste and add more lemon, salt or pepper if necessary. (You can thin out the pesto with more oil, but if you’re serving with pasta, keep in mind that you can also thin it out with reserved pasta cooking water.)
  • Cook the pasta (optional): Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, according to package directions. Reserve one cup cooking liquid before draining the pasta. Let the pasta and pasta water cool for a minute to make sure the high heat doesn’t damage the flax oil pesto.
  • If you intend to have leftovers, transfer the amount of pasta you think you’ll be eating immediately to a serving bowl and mix in pesto with splashes of cooking water. Otherwise, you can mix the pasta and pesto together in your cooking pot, adding splashes of cooking water as necessary. Keep in mind that you have diluted the flavor a bit with the cooking water, so taste and add more lemon, salt or a drizzle of olive oil as necessary.


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Hemp Seed Pesto Raw

Hemp seeds are SO versatile and unlike cashews (or almonds!) no soaking time making them so nice for blending into things.



oz Hemp Seed


cup+leaves,+whole Basil


tsp salt


Freshly ground black pepper


tbsp lemon juice


clove garlic, minced (1 cloves if you?re not a garlic fan)


cup water (or less)


tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Recipe Directions for Hemp Seed Pesto Raw

  1. Place hemp seeds in a food processor fitted with the S blade. Grind till they?re powdery.

  2. Add basil and pulse to combine well.

  3. Add salt, pepper, lemon, garlic, and pulse again.

  4. With the motor running, add water in a thin stream, as if you were making a nut pate. Stop once in a while to scrape the bowl. Keep adding water until the pesto is still quite thick, but not pasty.

  5. Keep motor running, and finish the pesto by drizzling in the 2 tbsp EVOO. This isn?t necessary, but it?ll give the pesto a more traditional mouthfeel and flavor!

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