Brazil Nut Pesto

Blog / Recipes / June 28, 2019

Brazil Nut Pesto

Pesto is one of my favorite sauces. It’s delicious, colorful, and nutritious — and best of all, it couldn’t be easier to make. Just blend the ingredients in a food processor and you’re done!

Yet while millions of people love pesto, few of us would think of it as a health food. True, most of its calories and fat come from healthful, whole foods like olive oil and parmesan cheese. But most prepared pestos contain them in such large quantities that we should enjoy it only in moderation. (We all deserve an indulgent treat sometimes, right?)

Good news, though! I’ve created a pesto that packs an uncommonly big nutritional punch — and it’s good for your bones, too! 

How? Well, I started with all the elements of a classic pesto. Then I tweaked it with some bone-friendly additions that also boost the flavor profile. Sesame seeds and tahini add calcium (they’re two of the most calcium-rich foods on the planet). And Brazil nuts contribute selenium. 

Not familiar with selenium? Not a lot of people are. Yet it’s vital for maintaining optimal health. 

Selenium is an essential trace mineral — meaning that although it’s essential for your health, you need only small (trace) amounts of it. Some of selenium’s many amazing abilities: it supports healthy bone development, regulates proper thyroid function, and helps rid the body of toxic metals. Just one serving of this pesto covers your entire day’s requirement!

Enjoy this video we made to guide you through our super-simple recipe. Dinner will be ready in no time!

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Brazil Nut Pesto

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 279 kcal

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add more oil if needed.

Recipe Notes

Since pesto contains just a few ingredients, the quality of those ingredients really matters if you want the best flavor! If you can, choose an organic olive oil and real parmesan. Trust me — your taste buds will thank you. 🙂

Ingredients

  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese*
  • 1/4 cup brazil nuts
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil extra virgin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • *Vegan? No problem! Just substitute cheesy-tasting nutritional yeast, which is also high in B vitamins!
Nutrition Facts
Brazil Nut Pesto
Amount Per Serving
Calories 279 Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 40%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 4mg 1%
Sodium 116mg 5%
Potassium 201mg 6%
Total Carbohydrates 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Protein 6g 12%
Vitamin A 29.1%
Vitamin C 14.4%
Calcium 15.8%
Iron 10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Brazil Nut Pesto Final Thoughts

I hope you love this rich, savory, bone-healthy pesto as much as I do! Enjoy it over pasta, with vegetables, on crackers, or as a dip. Let me know what you think of it in the comments. And if you find other ways to enjoy it, please share that, too!

Author: Monica Straith, BS

Comments
Michele
Michele

Pesto should be made with basil not spinach.
Also one need one Brazil nut a day only to get the required amount of selenium. It is very easy to have to much selenium and become toxic.

Blaire AlgaeCal
Blaire AlgaeCal

Hi Michele,

Thanks for sharing your feedback! This pesto recipe certainly isn’t traditional but it is nutritious and delicious! Feel free to swap out the spinach for basil if you prefer to 😊 Keep in mind, this recipe makes 4 servings, so it is well within the safe selenium consumption limits. You can read about the wonderful health benefits of selenium here.

If you have any questions, please call our Bone Health Consultants at 1-800-820-0184 or email [email protected]. We’re always here to help! ❤️

– Blaire @ AlgaeCal

ANBERIYA HANIFA
ANBERIYA HANIFA

Is there a substitute for Brazil Nuts. Would Cadjunuts or peanuts, Thanks

Blaire AlgaeCal
Blaire AlgaeCal

You can definitely switch up this recipe, Anberiya! You could try peanuts or even almonds. 🙂

– Blaire @ AlgaeCal

J Co
J Co

No Basil in the pesto? We Italians like our basil which is the classic pesto. Though this sounds and looks like it could be good, I’m not so sure of the spinach factor. I’d prefer the basil.

Blaire AlgaeCal
Blaire AlgaeCal

Not to worry, J! Feel free to use basil instead of spinach 😊

– Blaire @ AlgaeCal

Roseanna
Roseanna

Olive Oil is not good . It’s very high in fat. Especially not good for people trying to reverse heart disease . Cheese is another no, no. Pritikin has a well researched paper on the perils of olive oil.

Blaire AlgaeCal
Blaire AlgaeCal

Thank you for sharing your concerns, Roseanna! Olive oil and cheese can be healthy in moderation – moderation is key! If you’re interested, we have an informative article on dairy here. Having said this, you can always adjust this recipe to suit your personal dietary needs 😃

– Blaire @ AlgaeCal

Nancy
Nancy

Cold pressed evoo is not processed, it’s pressed. It is extremely healthful.

Blaire AlgaeCal
Blaire AlgaeCal

It certainly is healthy, Nancy! Super tasty too 😄

– Blaire @ AlgaeCal

Jean
Jean

Not a healthy or bone healthy recipe. Processed oils are liquid fat, dairy is not conducive to bone health and raw spinach is high on the oxalate scale.

Patricia
Patricia

Every food has yin and yang. You can replace the spinach with kale or collard greens. Look for non-dairy yogurt and organic olive oil with coconut oil. I enjoy playing with food and will try this pest with brazil nuts.Thank you for your creativity.

Lucinda
Lucinda

Part of the bone healthy part is the Brazil nuts, which are high in selenium – ! Lucinda

Megan AlgaeCal
Megan AlgaeCal

Hi Jean,

Thank you for sharing your concerns!

Feel free to swap ingredients to your liking! For example, if you’re sensitive to oxalates, you can replace the spinach with basil. Having said that, most people don’t need to worry about the oxalates in leafy greens like spinach, which are actually packed with bone-healthy vitamins & minerals! You can learn more about oxalates & bone health here. Olive oil can be healthy in moderation, and to reap the most benefits go for an organic, cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil. We also have a great article on dairy and bone health if you’re interested here. 😊

-Megan @ AlgaeCal

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