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An Easy, Eco-friendly Vegan Pesto

April 23, 2012

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Here at Integrative Nutrition, we think it’s important to go green all year long. Keep yesterday’s Earth Day celebration going by finding ways to nourish your body in an eco-friendly way. This vegan, gluten-free recipe for Kale Pesto from IIN student Abby Hughes is so simple, yet delicious and healthy! It’s a perfect accompaniment to a grain salad or mixed vegetables. Now hit the farmer’s market for a fresh bunch of kale, and in case you missed it, be sure to check out our list of 60 ways to go green for some extra inspiration!

Kale Pesto

Vegan, Gluten-free


  • 1 bunch of lacinato kale, thick stems removed
  • 1 cup toasted hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • A few pinches of salt


  1. Bake the hazelnuts on a sheet tray at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Let cool.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the kale. Blanch for three minutes. Remove and place in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Remove and set on paper towels to absorb the water.
  3. Add the hazelnuts to a food processor and pulse until the nuts are coarsely ground.
  4. Add the kale to the processor and pulse until the kale begins to break apart. Drizzle in the olive oil while pulsing the blade, pausing to scrape down the sides. It’s important not to puree pesto. Instead leave some texture and body to it.
  5. Scrape pesto into a bowl and season with a few pinches of salt and stir. Once it’s seasoned properly, the flavor will really pop.

For more recipes from Abby, check out her blog Fig and Fork, her Facebook page, or connect on Twitter!