Author: Lily Mazzarella
"Superfood": an admittedly brilliant marketing concept that typically describes a nutrient dense food—one that usually hails from a far-flung corner of the world.
Well, locally grown, garden variety herbs like parsley, cilantro and basil are in fact "superfoods," we just don't usually eat them in appreciable quantities. Pesto changes all that. Add unexpected herbs and greens (like watercress, mizuni, ramps and even spinach), and sub out astronomically expensive pine nuts for zinc/magnesium-rich pumpkin seeds and you’ll have a superfood spread that makes your plain grains, proteins, and veggies instantly more exciting and nutritious.
Crazy Nutrition Facts
¼ cup serving of pumpkin seeds contains over 40% of our recommended daily intake of Magnesium, which fuels over 320 different enzymatic reactions in the body. Magnesium helps run cellular energy production, participates in formation of neurotransmitters, relaxes muscles and the mind, and helps keep blood pressure within healthy range. They also contain over 20% of the RDI of zinc, which keeps our immune systems healthy, and assists in the conversion of thyroid hormone to its active form.
We like GO RAW sprouted, organic raw pumpkin seeds—the low heat processing preserves delicate oils and enzymes, and a bit of sea salt lends a savory, cheesy flavor. You can currently find large bags of these at Costco!
½ cup serving of flat leaf parsley contains over 50% of our recommended daily intake of vitamins K and C, as well as substantial amounts of folate, iron, and vitamin A.
2 cups mixed herbs, packed: cilantro, parsley, basil….If you don’t have enough herb add spinach or other aforementioned greens
½ cup extra virgin olive oil (see our Skinny on Olive Oil post here)
½ cup Go Raw Sprouted Pumpkin Seeds
¼ lemon or lime
1-2 peeled garlic cloves, chopped
Pink Himalayan salt (Don’t add until you’ve fully mixed and tasted this! The pumpkin seeds are already salted)
Freshly ground pepper
Place herbs, pumpkin seeds, garlic, and a few squeezes of lemon juice into a food processor or blender and chop/blend for a minute or two.
While food processor or blender is running, drizzled in olive oil until you reach the desired consistency. Some prefer runny pestos, others thicker spread. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon over julienned zucchini "noodles" or spaghetti squash. Mix into quinoa, or serve as a dip with crudité. Add a dollop to your Green Emerald Soup for added deliciousness.
Freeze extra pesto in ice cube trays, and store cubes in a tightly sealed container. Add to soups, stir fries, etc.