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Food As Medicine

Cleansing Cilantro Pesto

This pesto is full of cilantro, with all of its anti-oxidative, nourishing, anti-microbial properties. Cilantro also happens to pull heavy metals out of our tissues for elimination. Garlic has anti-microbial effect, and supports the immune system. The lemon zest and juice are brighten the flavor and lend lots of vitamin C (so very important in immune function)and anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting flavonols including limonene, an "inducer" of detox enzyme glutathione. Walnuts contain essential trace minerals and healthy fats; they also are a food source of glutathione. Pumpkin seeds contain magnesium, a cofactor for detox reactions in the liver, and zinc, an essential mineral for immune function. Olive oil pulls all of these flavors together in a healthful way.

I have often used a food processor to make pestos; this time around I felt drawn to make this deliciousness without electricity or power tools. Finely chopping and grating these ingredients resulted in a coarser pesto which delights the palette with individual flavors rising above the melange.


Cilantro: one bunch, finely chopped

Garlic: 2-3 cloves, finely grated

Lemons: the zest and juice of 2

Walnuts (or brazil nuts or almonds): 1/3 cup, finely chopped

Pumpkin seeds: 1/3 cup, finely chopped

Olive oil: 1/4 cup

Sea salt, to taste

Combine chopped nuts, seeds, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Stir in lemon zest and grated garlic until combined. Add lemon juice, stir, and then add olive oil. Lastly, add cilantro. Stir it all together, and enjoy on its own, with carrots or seed crackers, or on a salad. Personally, I like to eat a spoon of this a day as a cleansing tonic. Satiating and nourishing. Yum!


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