Pili Hunters: Pili Nuts

Pronounced “peel-y,” the pili nut is a rich, buttery tree nut that is wild harvested from deep within the Filipino rainforest. Its taste is unique, often described as a cross between a macadamia nut and a cashew nut, but with a stronger, more tender flavor.

Served in an activated (i.e. sprouted) form, pili nuts contain a wide range of beneficial nutrients. Containing the highest fat and lowest carbohydrate content of any nut, in addition to being full of essential vitamins and minerals, pili nuts are a perfect addition to an active, sustainable lifestyle.

Pili nuts are sustainably harvested from the pili tree, or canarium ovatum, a massive, beautiful tree native to the tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia. For centuries the pili nut has been a popular snack throughout Asia, typically served as a deep-fried, sugar-coated dessert. When Jason tried pili nuts for the first time while kite surfing in the Philippines, he fell in love with their rich flavor and was inspired to share them with the U.S.

Unlike commercially produced nuts, pili nuts are grown in rich, volcanic soils without any destruction of the natural environment or strains on its water supply. Our nuts are hand-harvested within the mountains of the Filipino rainforest. Local villagers gather nuts by climbing up tall trees and shaking down the ripe pili fruit to the forest floor. Next, they soak each fruit in water to reveal the hard nut buried inside, hand-shelling every nut with a single strike of a sharp machete.

The wild pili trees we harvest from are free of pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and genetic modifications. Pili trees are fertilized only with rich, volcanic soil; receive substantial natural sunlight; and are modified yearly by the ever-changing rhythms of the Filipino rainforest. There is no more sustainable, natural growing process for nuts.

Pili Hunters Products include:

Spicy Chili Sprouted Pili Nuts

If you like a touch of spice, our Spicy Chili Sprouted Pili Nuts is the way to go! We added just a small hint of local siling labuyo Filipino chili to our original recipe, resulting in an exciting, spicy twist to the pili nut’s buttery flavor.

The siling labuyo is a little-known chili pepper native to the Philippines. Similar to the Thai chili, it was once thought to be the spiciest pepper in the world. Many folk legends persist about the siling labuyo, and Filipino locals use it to treat sore throats, stomach problems, arthritis, and rheumatism.

Coconut Oil & Himalayan Salt Sprouted Pili Nuts

Our original recipe – coconut oil and Himalayan salt – started the U.S. pili nut craze! Our wild harvested sprouted pili nuts are lightly coated in extra virgin coconut oil and sprinkled with raw Himalayan salt.

All of our extra virgin coconut oil is produced in the same facility as our pili nuts, hand-extracted from fresh, organic coconuts without the use of any chemicals. Comparatively, the majority of the world’s coconut oil supply is produced in large, mechanized factories with little respect for the people and natural resources around them. Our coconut oil production is consistent with the rest of our business philosophy: Striving to minimize our environmental impact and work cooperatively and respectfully with local producers.

Our Himalayan salt is mined deep in the mountains of northern Pakistan, where millions of years of isolation from the outside world have ensured that no impurities exist within its chemical structure. In contrast to heavily refined table salt, Himalayan salt contains an array of trace minerals that can provide otherwise difficult to obtain nutritional benefits


Pili Hunters

Jason Thomas, Founder of Pili Hunters

While kite surfing in the Philippines, Jason Thomas - outdoor endurance athlete and founder of Pili Hunters - tried the delicious pili nut for the first time. He was so blown away by the rainforest-grown pili nut's rich, buttery flavor that he started sharing it with everyone he knew back home. Jason's mission became apparent: to introduce U.S. consumers to the nutritious, delicious, and sustainable Filipino pili nut.

Growing up in Barrow, AK, North America’s northernmost point, Jason worked on arctic construction projects, and he also hunted in the tundra and fished the open seas with Native Alaskans. After doing so, Jason set out to explore more of the world’s beautiful landscapes and its myriad cultures. He traveled extensively, from the frigid tip of Alaska to the warm beaches of Hawaii; from the desolate mountains of Patagonia to the most vibrant European cities; and from the dry Moroccan deserts to lush Southeast Asian jungles. During his explorations, Jason held several unique professional roles, including serving as a high-altitude mountain guide; an archaeologist’s assistant; a glaciology field hand; a commercial fisherman; a kite surfing instructor; and a rock climbing bum.

With 15 pounds of deep-fried pili nuts and a dream, Jason returned to the U.S. He spent the next few months driving from beach to beach in his swiftly aging pickup truck, surfing and passing out pili nut samples at west coast natural foods stores.

After quickly selling out of his pili nuts, Jason realized he was on to something. However, selling a deep-fried food just didn’t align with his personal philosophy of healthy living. Jason then returned to the Philippines to develop his own healthy pili nut recipe.

Jason forged a strong relationship with the locals, and they combined Jason’s love for the pili nut’s buttery flavor with his lifelong passion for nutrition. Shortly after, Jason started Pili Hunters, a company catering to outdoor endurance athletes, because the pili nut's extremely high oil content makes them a great energy source for long distance events. In addition to powering outdoor endurance athletes, pili nuts have become a favorite healthy snack of individuals following the ketogenic diet (i.e., keto diet) because of the nut's high fat to low carbohydrate ratio.

From selling his first batch of pili nuts out of the back of his pickup truck to now offering an entire pili nut product line both online and in select retailers, Jason’s spirit of adventure is front and center in everything Pili Hunters does. We hope you enjoy the pili nut as much as we do - and that you join Jason on his mission to share this delicious and nutritious nut with the world!

Working Closely with Filipino Communties

At Pili Hunters, we have formed strong, ethical relationships with the communities that enable us to bring our delicious, activated pili nuts to your door.

In many of the Philippines’ rural communities, poverty drives villagers to turn to illegal logging and poaching to support themselves.

By purchasing pili nuts, we provide members of these communities with an environmentally friendly job - and a stake in the preservation of their natural surroundings. Unlike other rainforest-grown products, pili nuts rely on the health of the environment rather than its destruction; their cultivation encourages all involved to protect these gorgeous rainforests.

While the economic temptations of deforestation will always exist, our sustainable nut collection provides a valuable incentive for hard working rural communities to continually rely on these time-tested, non-destructive harvesting practices.





Coconut Oil & Himalayan Salt Single - Pili Hunters - Certified Paleo, KETO Certified, PaleoVegan - Paleo Foundation
Spicy Chili Single - Pili Hunters - Certified Paleo, KETO Certified, PaleoVegan - Paleo Foundation

Pili Hunters

Baked Tempura Zucchini Fries

Pili Hunters

Roasted Red Pepper + Kale Pili Pesto

Pili Hunters

KETO Fat Bombs

Pili Hunters

Pili Nut Tostones

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Interested in the Pili Hunter Affiliate Program?

Register for the Pili Hunter Affilitate program here!

About Us : 

Established in 2010, The Paleo Foundation was first organized for the purpose of improving the tolerability of the paleo diet, and to help adherents easily identify products that met its basic tenets.  Since then, thousands of products have been certified through the Certified Paleo, Keto Certified, and lab -tested Grain-Free Gluten-Free certification programs.



100% of  Paleo Foundation revenue is generated through certifications.  We do not accept donations, corporate sponsorships, or financially benefit from the sales of any certified products, product giveaways, or partnerships with industry contacts or retailers for the purpose of maintaining the integrity of an impartial certification standard. 

Certified Paleo logo Certified Paleo:

Each certification program has a different set of standards.  Certified Paleo is the Paleo Foundation’s first, most popular, and highest level of certification for Paleo-compliant products.  Certified Paleo Products are products that contain Paleo ingredients, but may have some 21st-century processing or packaging methods allowing for shelf stability.


Grain Free Gluten Free Certified LogoGrain-Free Gluten-Free: 

Grain Free Gluten Free Certified products are gluten-free and do not contain any grains of gliadin competitive residues.  All Grain-Free Gluten-Free products have undergone two rounds of audits, including lab tests, and a final review to become approved for the Grain-free Gluten-free Certified Program. 



Keto Certified LogoKeto Certified: 

The ketogenic diet is a restrictive, demanding diet that can be difficult to maintain, and tolerability of the ketogenic diet is the single most important factor limiting individual acceptance for initiation.  Therefore, improving the tolerability of the ketogenic diet is crucial to preventing diet discontinuation, warranting further investigation into methods for improving palatability, improving the availability and convenience of foods that are compliant with the ketogenic diet, as well as addressing cultural and social acceptance.

The Keto Diet product market may be in a unique position to improve tolerability, especially in social and cultural environments that typically feature carbohydrate-rich “special occasion” types of foods. In 2016, the Paleo Foundation launched the world's first Keto Certified program for products with standards that were developed for adherence to a classical ketogenic diet.