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Paleo Cacao Nib Pesto

Sometimes when I just want to add that little extra oomph to a side dish I crave a little bit of pesto.

Now I have had some Naturya cacao nibs for a while and I always just seem to nibble on them every now and then or sprinkle them over some coconut yogurt, and I even created my Paleo Blood Orange & Cocoa Nib Marmalade but I never seem to make anything savoury with them. So, that’s why I came up with this little gem of a recipe, this Paleo Cacao Nib Pesto is perfect drizzled over roasted sweet potatoes, white fish and even when baked with chicken! It’s a good little condiment to have in your Paleo pantry.

This pesto is not only delicious, it is super nutritious and you can make it in less than 5 minutes – all you will need is a food processor!

For a Vegan or dairy free substitution just replace the parmesan for nutritional yeast and add an extra 2 tbsp/30ml lemon juice and 1/2 tbsp/7.5ml of almond butter or tahini. Perfect!

Yields: Fills a 0.4L capacity jar

Preparation Time: 5 minutes


1/3 cup cacao nibs
1/3 cup macadamia nuts
1/3 cup grated parmesan
1/3 cup exra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic (peeled)
3 tbsp/45ml lemon juice
2 tbsp/30ml sunflower seeds
1 tbsp/15ml apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
100g fresh basil


  1. Place your cacao nibs, macadamia nuts, parmesan and olive oil into the bowl of your food processor. Pulse a few times before processing into a smooth paste, be sure to scrape down the sides regularly to make sure that the mixture processes evenly.
  2. Add your garlic, lemon juice, sunflower seeds, apple cider vinegar and black peppercorns and process until smooth. You will probably want to leave the processor running for a good 2 minutes and scrape the sides down as you go along.
  3. Finally add your fresh basil and pulse a few times before processing for no longer than a minute. Spoon out the mixture into an airtight container. Store in the fridge and consume within one week.

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