This amazing pesto combines protein-rich pumpkin seeds and liver detoxifying cilantro into a delicious pesto that can be used as a dip for vegetables or a sauce for spaghetti squash.
Pumpkin Seed Cilantro Pesto
Makes approximately 1 cup
- 1 1/4 cups pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup packed fresh cilantro (approximately 1 bunch)
- 3/4 cup baby spinach
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 teaspoons chickpea miso paste (optional)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
To toast pumpkin seeds, heat a dry skillet over medium and spread pumpkin seeds evenly in the pan. Heat seeds for 2-3 minutes until they become fragrant and begin to pop.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine pumpkin seeds, cilantro, spinach, garlic, lime juice, miso, oil, salt, and pepper and process until smooth. Thin with additional oil, if desired.
Cook’s notes: Try parsley in place of cilantro, if desired. Sunflower seeds make a delicious substitution for pumpkin seeds.
Chickpea miso adds the savory umami flavor usually created by Parmesan cheese traditionally found in most pesto recipes.
To freeze, scoop into a freezable container leaving 1 inch of space at the top to allow pesto to expand as it free.
Labels: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Vegan, Paleo, 30 minutes or less
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Lisa Markley, MS, RDN is a dietitian, culinary nutrition expert, and co-author of The Essential Thyroid Cookbook: Over 100 Nourishing Recipes for Thriving with Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s. As a seasoned culinary educator and recipe developer, Lisa translates nutrition science to the plate using health-supportive ingredients prepared with peak flavor, seasonality, and nutrient density in mind. She shares her kitchen wisdom and food-as-medicine recipes to teach others how to harness the healing power of whole foods for vibrant health.
Recipe shared with permission from The Essential Thyroid Cookbook by Lisa Markley and Jill Grunewald, published by Blue Wheel PressTM. Recipes © 2017 by Lisa Markley, MS, RDN. Food photography © 2016 by Kenny Johnson.