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Pumpkin Seed and Basil Pesto

Tue 25th Sep, 2018 - 9:14am by Emma Cockrell

This twist on a shop-bought Basil Pesto is dairy-free, making it suitable for those on the ‘Anti-Candida’ diet, or anyone with a dairy sensitivity. A grinder makes easy work of the preparation. However, if you are making this the traditional way, with a pestle and mortar, you may need to swap pumpkin seeds for pine nuts. These will be easier to crush by hand. Even if you are using a grinder, it is best to finely chop the basil leaves first, to get everything blending together well.

Basil is a sweetly pungent herb, rich in vitamin K, and also providing antioxidant-rich vitamin A, iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium, vitamin C and potassium. It also has been found to contain oils and flavonoids that protect the body from illness and infection.


Pumpkin Seed and Basil Pesto Sauce


  • One cupful of basil leaves – washed
  • 1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds – finely ground
  • One clove of garlic – crushed
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Lo-Salt and Black Pepper
  • Water for sauce


  1. Finely chop the basil leaves and place in a grinder with the ready-ground pumpkin seeds and crushed garlic
  2. Whiz to mix thoroughly.
  3. Add a little seasoning.
  4. Pour in some extra virgin olive oil, a tablespoon at a time until you reach your preferred pesto consistency. This can be placed in a clean jar with a lid, and stored in the fridge for up to a week.
  5. For the pesto sauce, take half of the pesto mixture and whiz in 1/4 cup of water, or slightly more to obtain a pouring consistency. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Use as a drizzle over salad, cooked quinoa or Cauliflower ‘Polenta’.