Pepita & Basil Pesto

Vegan, nut free & dairy free


To be honest, I never make traditional pesto anymore. You know the classic pine nut, parmesan cheese, garlic, basil pesto. It hasn’t happened in years. I stopped buying pine nuts year ago because they’re freakin’ expensive, and I rarely eat cheese because i’m mostly dairy-free (except for butter/ ghee, because hey, have you heard they’re a superfood!?). Over the years I’ve taken to making other kinds of pesto that I feel are possibly even more delicious. I like to use toasted or activated sunflower or pepita seeds in my pestos as they’re so much more affordable than nuts and have a subtle flavour which allows the basil to shine. I’ve also just started using avocado oil (rather than olive oil) in my pestos. I love its mild flavour and it has a whole host of amazing health benefits.

Health Benefits of Avocado Oil

  • Boosts nutrient absorption

  • Promotes healthy, faster growing hair

  • Treats skin damage and skin issues

  • Aids in the bodies detoxification

  • Lowers blood pressure

  • Anti-carcinogenic

  • Anti-inflammatory + more

This recipe doesn’t take up a lot of your time and it's super easy to make, simply blend, taste and eat!


  • 1/2 cup toasted or activated pepita seeds

  • 1 big bunch of fresh basil leaves (roughly 90g)

  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon

  • 1-2 tsp apple cider vinegar

  • Salt to taste

  • 3/4 - 1 cup Melrose Avocado Oil (or use a light cold-pressed olive oil)

  • Optional; 1 clove of garlic


  1. Add the basil leaves into a food processor and blitz to break down.

  2. Add all remaining ingredients (starting with 3/4 cup avocado oil) and blend until combined.

  3. Add in the remaining oil if you prefer your pesto runnier. Taste the pesto and adjust the salt to taste if desired.

  4. Scoop into a glass jar and serve with homemade crackers and/ or veggie sticks.

You can find even more delicious, gut friendly and vegan dips in my eBook GET SNACKED

or click here for my Cultured Golden Cashew Cheese