mac-nut kale pesto (vegan, raw)

by lori on January 5, 2012

hello friends!

lately Gary has been a little obsessed with pesto. I am also a fan of some good pesto. I have to usually make my own as the store bought ones contain dairy.

but that is no problem because that just means I can make my pesto any flavor I want and get to make it raw and dairy-free!

even better!  a plus side to making things yourself. I always get worried about buying things in stores especially canned sauces or spreads as they can contain too many ingredients that aren’t the healthiest. do you ever worry about the ingredients in your store bought canned items?

vegan dairy free basil kale pesto

Michelle and I have made a lot of sauces and spreads here on the blog. carrot cheez sauce anyone, what about beet hummus, or our pink kraut pepper dressing or our avocado miso dressing. the list could go on. we just love throwing things into a blender and seeing what happens. that usually is how most of our sauces are made.

gluten free crackers and homemade pesto

now the base of this pesto is from macadamia nuts which I know are expensive. we do not buy them that often and when we do it is a nice treat.

in addition to the lovely mac nuts I threw some kale in there for some additional health benefits. kale is one of my ‘superfoods’ so if I find a right recipe to add it to…I do. I tend to think to myself when making something saying, ” would kale be good in this recipe? umm, yes I think so or no. not really”.  who else out there tends to talk to themselves? I know I am not alone on that one.


macadamia nut dairy free basil pestothis mac-nut kale pesto is Gary approved!

he absolutely loved it over his pasta and he also uses it for his salad dressings sometimes. I kept going back for more pesto as well. I shall be making this again for him. and for me.

gluten free pesto pizzaI also made us a socca pizza one night and used the pesto as our base. it was delicious.

twin cakes bakery craker with pesto using our Twin Cakes plain jane crackers also are great with this pesto. since I made it on the thick side it was splendid with a little crunch from the cracker.

I know I have mentioned this a few months ago about me showing what I make for Gary. as I know some of you are interested in what Gary eats. does he eat like me? does he eat vegan or gluten-free? do I make separate meals for him? well I hope this year I do a better job of sharing with you from time to time what I make for Gary. for the most part he eats whatever I make him. I am very lucky in the sense that he is not a picky eater plus he loves vegetables! which makes cooking for me super easy! so I do not usually have to make a whole separate meal for him. sometimes I do make him something different that I do not eat. I shall expand on that at a later date.

I hope you love this super easy and healthy dairy-free pesto as much as we did.

for those of you who do not want to use macadamia nuts you may use pine nuts, cashews, or almonds. or a combo. all would be fine.

Twins Question: Do you like macadamia nuts? Are you a pesto lover? Have you ever made your own pesto before? Do you like seeing what others feed their significant others or family?

till next time,




{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

katie @KatieDid January 5, 2012 at 7:57 am

I always look for good raw unsalted macadamia nuts but can never find them! I might resort to ordering them online because I love them so much but don’t love salty nuts.
I get on pesto kicks where I did everything into it and spread it on any and every meal- it goes with just about everything. Gary is a lucky guy to have you cooking up most of his meals I would say!

Lori and Michelle January 5, 2012 at 8:37 am

same here Katie I do not like salty nuts, we usually try to buy our raw nuts online in bulk it tends to be cheaper at times.

Alex@Spoonful of Sugar Free January 5, 2012 at 8:47 am

LOVE LOVE LOVE Raw Pesto!!! Great idea of adding kale!!!
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Sophie January 5, 2012 at 8:52 am

That looks amazing! So excited to try it-recently bought some macadamias and have been wondering what to do with them!


Tonya January 5, 2012 at 9:06 am

I love mac nuts, but will probably try this recipe with pine nuts. Yes, long lists of ingredients on packages scare me. I went shopping with my sis-in-law and, God bless her, she was trying to make healthy choices. The good thing is, she asked me for help. She was shocked that I would turn every single item over and read the ingredients list. I explained to her about chemicals and high fructose corn syrup and what they do to your body and your waist line. She was shocked. She believed the healthy labeling and had no idea what she was putting into her body. Now I’m teaching her how to just eat real, whole foods.

Heidi @ Food Doodles January 5, 2012 at 9:14 am

Oooh, this looks delicious! I love macadamia nuts and pesto. I usually make a big batch of plain basil pesto in the summer and freeze it but I missed out this year and now I’m missing it :( I love the sun dried tomatoes in yours!
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the delicate place January 5, 2012 at 9:31 am

um i just wish macas weren’t so friggin expensive! i love them though and this looks like a great recipe. as for the canned stuff, i try to buy my stuff in glass jars whenever possible! i have made homemade pesto before but used the traditional pine nuts :)

Kris | January 5, 2012 at 9:43 am

WOW!!! This is going to be FAB on my grain free diet used to dip my veggies in!! Thank you gorgeous for your amazing recipes!!!!

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Lori and Michelle January 5, 2012 at 10:21 am

Tonya your sis-in-law should be very grateful that you were there to help because it can be scary at first! That is awesome that you are helping her out! :)

Lori and Michelle January 5, 2012 at 10:21 am

Heidi I need to start making large batches of pesto too :) we go through it fast!

Lori and Michelle January 5, 2012 at 10:22 am

for some reason our bodies do not seem to like pine nuts, it is weird. but every time we have some both of us just feel weird so we try to avoid if possible.

Lori and Michelle January 5, 2012 at 10:22 am

your welcome girl!! HUGS

Rebecca @ Naturally Healthy and Gorgeous January 5, 2012 at 2:04 pm

I love macadamia nuts but they are so expensive!
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Lori and Michelle January 5, 2012 at 2:19 pm

I know they are, it sucks. but they are worth it 😉

Nicky January 5, 2012 at 7:23 pm

Hi Girls,
You have NO idea how much I love your recipes. I discovered your blog a couple of months ago and am now addicted to socca!!!
I live in Sydney, Australia and have been making it whenever I have guests, or am invited somewhere and have to bring a plate…it’s also become my “go to” dinner. I found a small dish, perfect for one person/portion. I’ve been making socca “pizza” with kale pesto, tahini and topped with shredded greens and pepitas.

Thank you

Lori and Michelle January 5, 2012 at 7:26 pm

Nicky so happy to hear this!! Yay!!!

fartygirl January 6, 2012 at 9:22 am

OMG I love how chunky this is!!! Perfect topping for the socca!!!

Also – I don’t know how new this website layout is… but I love it too. I stopped stopping by because the old site took forever to load on my computer. This one – legit! Yay! Happy to be back in your world. :-)

Lori and Michelle January 6, 2012 at 10:07 am

we are glad you are back too! we are always trying to improve our site load time, hope to get it working even better soon.

hihorosie January 6, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Yum! I’ve heard of others using kale in pesto but I have yet to try it. And never thought to use macs…pinenuts are so expensive these days too. Anyway, I will have to give this a go sometime. You’re feeding that boy well! 😉
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little t January 7, 2012 at 8:56 am

Yummy yummy, all your recipes look great.
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Mac Man May 9, 2012 at 3:49 pm

I loved this recipe and will post it on my site to share with more people. I used fresh Hawaii macadamia nuts from They were delicious!

Lori and Michelle May 9, 2012 at 6:24 pm

glad you liked the recipe, but instead of sharing the recipe can you please just link back to this recipe. thank you

Nicole May 17, 2012 at 9:39 am

Hey, can you substitute pine nuts for macadamia nuts? I don’t have any of the latter so would want to use what I have on hand…

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