Adding herbs, spices, pesto, salsa and sauces to your dishes, is a wonderful flavour enhancer. It will turn a simple dish into something truly outstanding. Not only that, but herbs and spices offer us a mountain of health benefits. In this quick and easy pesto, we use Parsley and Coriander for both their unique flavours and abundance of nutrients. Pumpkin seeds are a favourite of mine and I use them every week in many ways. In my regular breakfast of Soaked Overnight Oats, as a simple snack or as an addition to a salad – I never make salads without seeds or nuts!
Pumpkin seeds are a good source of zinc, which is important for our immune system, essential for healthy skin, for cell growth and to aid the breakdown of carbohydrates. They are also an excellent sources of Vitamins E, and B. The vitamins in pumpkin seeds are helpful for sleep and can aid reduction of anxiety, tension and irritability.
Parsley is widely known to be highly nutrient dense and a great source of antioxidants. It is packed full of chlorophyll, a phytochemical found in all green plants that is unbelievably good for us with too many benefits to list! But it is very detoxifying and cleansing and helps balance blood sugars. Coriander, also called Cilantro, is one of the richest herb sources of Vitamin K, high in fibre, many vitamins and minerals, particularly Vitamin C. It is also known to help with an upset stomach and is anti-inflammatory.
There are many variations of pumpkin seed pesto. I have added nutritional yeast to mine for it’s wonderful cheesy flavour and its Vitamin B12 content- do make sure you get the kind with B12 added. Also known as savoury yeast back home in New Zealand and in Australia, don’t confuse this with brewers yeast. It is deactivated so won’t cause the problems other yeast can.
I keep half of this in the fridge and use it as a sauce for buckwheat or zucchini pasta, drop on to a huge salad and nibbles bowl for extra flavour or even use as a dip like hummus. I freeze the other half in ice trays and remove once frozen and transfer to an airtight container to store in the freezer, where it will keep for a good 3 months. I have used both a food processor and blender but I prefer the consistency I get from my high speed blender. A processor will work just fine if you don’t have a good blender.
There is no oil in this recipe, I simply add sufficient water to get the desired consistency, bit by bit.
This recipe is salt, oil and refined sugar-free
You will need a high speed blender or food processor for this recipe
Preparation Time: about 7 minutes
- 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- large bunch coriander leaves
- small bunch parsley
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 5-6 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon black pepper- to taste
- water as required, see instructions
- Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor, blend or pulse – don't over do it! We want a chunky sauce. Add 1/4 cup of water to start and drizzle in as it blends until you have it right.
- Taste, adjust seasoning with more pepper or lemon juice.