Cilantro Pesto with Pumpkin Seeds

A wonderful pesto that can be used not only with pasta but also as a spread in a sandwich, a hint of flavour to an omelette or any other idea that inspires you.

2 cups chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 scallion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
2 or 3 canned jalapenos, depending on desired heat
½ cup coarsely chopped pumpkin seeds
2 TBS water
1 TBS fresh lemon juice
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
salt and white pepper to taste

Chop garlic and let sit for 5 minutes to bring out their health-promoting properties while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Add olive oil a little at a time at end. You want the pesto to be blended yet not smooth. It is best with a little texture. Serve at room temperature. Do not heat it.

Why eat cilantro:

Cilantro seeds have a health-supporting reputation as a healing spice. The essential oils in the seed make it an effective carminative and digestive aid. It is traditionally referred to as an anti-diabetic plant in parts of Europe. In parts of Europe it is used for its anti inflammatory properties. Preliminary scientific studies provide support for Corianders antimicrobial properties, anti-anxiety action, and cholesterol-lowering effects. Its cholesterol lowering action is attributed to its ability to stimulate the conversion of cholesterol to bile acids within the liver, thereby improving the digestion of fat.

Serving Ideas:

  • The flavour of coriander seed compliments nicely with beets, onions, potatoes, and lentils.
  • Cilantro chutney can be made by combining 1 bunch chopped cilantro with 1/2 cup shredded coconut, 2 tablespoons fresh chopped mint, and 1/2 to 1 diced jalapeno pepper.
  • Use coriander seeds in a pepper mill and keep on the dinner table as an alternative to black pepper
  • Add ¼ teaspoon ground coriander and ½ teaspoon cinnamon to decaffeinated black tea for a delicious beverage.
  • Lightly sauté 1 bunch fresh spinach, 1 to 2 cloves fresh garlic, and 1 to 2 teaspoons coriander seeds, mix in 1 cup garbanzo beans and season with ¼ teaspoon ginger and ½ teaspoon cumin.