In spirit of all things the color green for St. Patty’s day and the month of March - here is my recipe for raw pumpkin seed pesto. Very easy to make, and a perfect way to top off the weekend - healthy and delicious!
Raw Pumpkin Seed Pesto - Modified from The Edible Perspective
Use this flavorful, lightened-up pesto on pasta, sandwiches, wraps, tofu, veggies, crackers, and more. Tonight, I enjoyed my pesto over spinach linguini noodles. It’s very fresh and creamy!
Yield: 3/4 cup pesto
2 garlic cloves, chopped or minced
1/4 cup organic unfiltered cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup packed organic fresh basil, stems removed
1 cup organic spinach or kale
1/2 tsp spirulina
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional, adds cheesy taste, rich in B vitamins and protein)
1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp cracked peppercorns, or to taste
1. Add to food processor or blender: Spinach, fresh basil, pumpkin seeds, nutritional yeast, olive oil, juiced lemon, spirulina, garlic, salt and pepper.
2. Blend/Process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the bowl as needed.
3. You can add a bit more oil to achieve your desired consistency. Scoop into a jar or air-tight container. Will keep in the fridge for 1 week or so.
I’ll be posting new “Stuff I Love” weekly, stay tuned.
Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar - Being rich in natural minerals, vitamins and enzymes makes apple cider vinegar a great addition to any detox. The unique acids in apple cider vinegar can bind to toxins and help the body eliminate them more effectively. It’s important to buy an apple cider vinegar that is organic and unfiltered so that all of its nutritional value is intact. The Bragg’s brand is great. The hazy looking stuff that settles to the bottom is called “the mother” and it is the most nutritious part of the apple cider vinegar for its therapeutic benefits. Apple cider vinegar can also help to stimulate circulation and aid detoxification in the liver by breaking up mucus throughout the body and cleansing the lymph nodes to allow for better lymph circulation. A healthy lymphatic system can remove toxins from the cells in the body while improving immune system response. I add 1-2 tablespoons of Bragg’s ACV to hot water, adding organic maple syrup or raw honey, fresh squeezed lemon, and a few dashes of cayenne pepper, and drink a big warm mug of it anytime I’m feeling a cold come on, or when I have a full blown rotten bug, I’ll be drinking a few cups a day until symptoms completely subside. I no longer take cold medicines – bye bye Mucinex and Sudafed. This stuff works like a miracle to break up mucus, fight inflammation, clear sinuses and respiratory blocks, I promise you that. I also drink this as a detox tea to help digestion and rid toxins out of my body. ACV possesses antimicrobial and antiseptic properties - it works wonders!
Bragg’s Amino Acid - Bragg Liquid Aminos is a healthy alternative to Soy and Tamari sauce. No table salt or preservatives are added. Amino Acids are the building blocks of all our organs and tissues. They are also the building blocks from which different food proteins are constructed. When we eat a protein food, such as meat or soybeans, the natural hydrochloric acid in the stomach digests the protein, releasing the Amino Acids. They are the link between the food we eat and assimilation for our body tissue. Lack of adequate Amino Acids may make it impossible for the vitamins and minerals to perform their specific duties. Bragg’s Amino Acid tastes just like soy sauce, but it is not made from GMO soy, unlike the stuff you’ll get from your local sushi joint. But just like regular soy sauce, it’s high in sodium so don’t douse your food in it!
Organic Raw Maca Powder - Used to increase stamina, boost libido, and combat fatigue, maca root has long been regarded as a highly adaptogenic food. Navitas Naturals Raw Maca Powder is the raw and natural form of this special root – gently dried and ground to preserve it’s vitality and nutritional structure. With an earthy taste that is slightly nutty with a hint of butterscotch, maca is easily blended into superfood smoothies, chocolates, or mixed into flour for dessert recipes. I add maca powder to my smoothies when I need an extra kick. At a cooking demo led by my ayurvedic nutritionist & yoga instructor Donnalynn Civello, we had delicious cacao-chip cookies made with maca powder – absolutely heavenly (and feeling pretty revved up afterwards!)
Raw Honey – Unfortunately, most of the honey eaten today has been heavily processed. Like most foods that have been chemically refined, many of the healthful benefits have been reduced or eliminated. Commercial honey is often treated with an excessive heating process that can destroy some of the critical natural enzymes, vitamins, and minerals. That honey bear from CVS or the grocery store – I will bet your bottom dollar that honey is not real honey and contains zero nutritional benefit – just adds sugary sweet taste to your tea. Raw Honey is a miracle for allergies and respiratory ailments. Raw honey contains bits and pieces of pollen and honey, and as an immune system booster, it is quite powerful - especially if you are using raw honey to treat allergies, get honey that was raised closest to where you live, the closer the better since it will have more of exactly what you’ll need. As mentioned above with Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar – I now steer clear of traditional over-the-counter cold meds. Some tea and raw honey does the trick, naturally. Raw honey is the concentrated nectar of flowers that comes straight from the extractor; it is the only unheated, pure, unpasteurized, unprocessed honey. An alkaline-forming food, this type of honey contains ingredients similar to those found in fruits, which become alkaline in the digestive system. It doesn’t ferment in the stomach and it can be used to counteract acid indigestion. When mixed with ginger andlemon juices, it also relieves nausea and supplies energy.
Spirulina – Sprirulina supports brain and eye health, cardiovascular health, maintain healthy thyroid function, and boosts immunity and energy levels. Hawaiian Spirulina Pacifica thrives in ponds fed with 100% fresh potable water from Hawaiian aquifers and pure, deep ocean water drawn from 2000 feet below the surface of the Pacific Ocean. Read my “Green Smoothie” blog post to see why I drink a detox Green Smoothie with kale and almond milk every morning.
Nutritional Yeast – Nutritional Yeast is called the “vegetarians’ protein” as it is a rich source of protein and contains a number of other nutrients. Read my “Creamy Vegan Mac N’ Cheese” blog post – nutritional yeast gives my dairy-free Mac N’ Cheese a cheesy taste with huge nutritional boost of B vitamins and oh so much more. It helps give you glowing skin. Yes - It’s a lovely thing.
Coconut Oil – I cook and bake mostly everything with Coconut Oil – especially when I lightly sautee veggies. Coconut oil has been proven to stimulate your metabolism, improve thyroid function, and escalate energy levels, all of which help decrease your unwanted fat, while increasing muscle. The good fat in coconut oil also aids in the absorption of vitamins, minerals and amino acids. It also works wonders as a moisturizer for all skin types, especially dry skin – I lather it on my hands before bed and I love the way I smell like I’m in Hawai’i as I drift off to sleep. Also makes an amazing luxurious eye cream.