Sun Dried Tomato Pumpkin Seed Pesto

by Susan on September 28, 2009

When we eat a raw food diet, it is important to pay attention to the nutrients we are getting. Honestly, when we eat any type of food we should be paying attention to the nutrients we get. The funny thing is that when I was eating the SAD (Standard American Diet) I never had anyone question the nutritional value of my food. It was horrible! Seriously, I could eat cake and cookies all day.

Now that I am eating a high raw diet, I pay more attention to what I am putting into my body. As you know, green drinks are a staple for me as are many other wonderful vegetables and fruits, nuts and seeds. I also incorporate grains with my flat breads, in their whole, natural state, sprouted to be at their nutritional best. I also incorporate foods that I know pack a nutritional punch. Pumpkin seeds are one of these foods.

Pumpkin seeds are a great source of Magnesium, which is the fourth most plentiful mineral in your body. Your bones are where you will find 50% of it. The rest of it can be found in your organs and tissues, with 1% in your blood. Magnesium is involved in over 300 of your bodily functions! Not only does magnesium help keep your bones strong, it supports your immune system. It regulates your blood sugar, helps make sure that your blood pressure is normal, supports your nervous system and your metabolism. On top of all of that, Magnesium helps protect against diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.

With pumpkin seeds you get all that Magnesium and they are a great source of B vitamins and protein (19 grams in a handful). It makes sense to include them in your diet. This Sun dried tomato pumpkin seed pesto is a tasty, easy way to make sure you are eating these little beauties. It is also another recipe that can be used more than one way. Today I will show you how to turn it into a great appetizer. Tomorrow, a main dish with zucchini noodles!

Sun Dried Tomato Pumpkin Seed Pesto

  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 C Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1/4 C Olive Oil
  • 1 t Lemon Juice
  • Pinch Salt (optional)
  • 1/2 C Basil Coarsly Chopped
  • 1/3 C Sun Dried Tomatoes Coarsely Chopped

With food processor running, drop in cloves of garlic. Let process until garlic is chopped. Scrap down sides of the processor. Add pumpkin seeds, olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Process until very well combined and you have a pesto consistency. Add chopped basil. Process until well combined. Add Sun Dried Tomatoes and process until combined.

To make appetizer: Place 1 slice of tomato on plate. Top with pesto. Sprinkle Pine Nut Parmesan on top. Sprinkle with Honey Balsamic Vinegar. Place basil leaf and sun dried tomato for garnish.

Pine Nut Parmesan

  • 1/2 C Pine Nuts
  • Pinch Salt

Process pine nuts in food processor until a coarse meal is achieved. Be careful to not over process or you will have pine nut butter!

Honey Balsamic

Add 2 T Raw Honey (or agave) to 1/4 C Balsamic Vinegar.

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

VeggieGirl September 28, 2009 at 12:36 pm

You couldn’t have created a more perfect pesto – sundried tomatoes and pumpkin seeds have such incredible flavors and textures; and their nutritionals aren’t bad either 😉


Susan September 28, 2009 at 1:37 pm

Thanks so much, I always love getting your comments!


evergreen September 28, 2009 at 1:30 pm

All your recipes look so amazing. I love your blog and wanted you to know I nominated you for the Kreativ Blogger Award. Thanks for sharing your creativity with us!


Susan September 28, 2009 at 1:37 pm

Thanks! I so appreciate it!


Gloria September 28, 2009 at 2:54 pm

Great idea – I haven’t used pumpkin seeds in a while. I love making walnut basil pesto to dollop onto tomatoes – that was a big hit at the last potluck. It’s nice to see a fresh spin on traditional pesto.


Sandra September 28, 2009 at 8:21 pm

Great photgraphy and culinary ideas for eating raw thanks!



Susan September 28, 2009 at 8:31 pm

Thanks for stopping by!



Eco Mama September 29, 2009 at 12:30 am

This looks great–when will I learn not to come here when I haven’t eaten!! Thank you for sharing your incredible food adventures!
Eco Mama


Carole Hicks September 29, 2009 at 2:51 pm

This looks so yummy! We’re trying this tonight at our GNO Raw food party at my house! Thanks so much for this!


Marty September 30, 2009 at 8:22 am

Are the pumpkin seeds soaked or sprouted first?


Susan September 30, 2009 at 8:47 am

I did not but you can.


AJ October 2, 2009 at 5:57 am

This looks so yummy!
Can I just ask: how much does this recipe make?


AJ October 2, 2009 at 6:00 am

Oh, sorry, another question! :):
How much is a ‘cup’?
Thanks in advance!


Susan October 2, 2009 at 7:26 am

A “cup” is a unit of measure we use for baking. It is equal to 250 ml.


Nilam January 6, 2010 at 12:00 pm

turned out fabulous! thank u. love & light. xo


Rossana August 10, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Hello!I was wondering how long does this last in the fridge?I want to make a bigger batch.And another question: can I substitute basil with anything?Thank you.Love your recipes.


Susan August 10, 2010 at 6:29 pm

It will last a few days. You can freeze it. But it will change a bit. You could try parsley for the basil. It will taste very different.


Yanna September 16, 2010 at 4:47 pm

I just made it for lunch today. I loved it! Very easy and quick to make. Since you need to process only 1/2c of pine nuts for pine nut parmessan, i did it in a coffee bean grounder. Honey Balsamic was a bit too overpowering to me so Im gonna use less or none of it next time.


Susan September 16, 2010 at 4:59 pm

I actually love the honey balsamic but yes, a little goes a long way.


Laura-Jane December 17, 2010 at 6:31 pm

Woowooww I cannot wait to make this!! I don’t have any basil right now, so I shall have to bookmark/print and make it in future. Absolutely love your site, Susan!!


Ginny February 25, 2011 at 2:28 pm

What a yummy looking recipe! I’m always looking for soft cheese-like spreads to put on my raw crackers. Then I top them with sprouts and a drizzle of EVOO. That’s my favorite breakfast! My body is well-fed and happily-contented for several hours. Makes the best accompaniment to a cup of green tea. Thanks for the great recipes.


Sara August 18, 2011 at 10:08 pm

this was our very first recipe to try and WOW WOW WOW!!! :) this pesto is UNBELIEVABLE!!! :) i used what i had on hand, which was sprouted pumpkin seeds and fresh basil, and also added a few dashes of dried oregano and black pepper to the called for ingredients… OMYGOODNESS, we just can’t get over how tasty and wonderful this is, and so many uses for it! thank you so much for sharing this and all your other rawmazing adventures! we can’t wait to try the next one :) xoxo


Victoria March 12, 2012 at 11:19 pm

Wow-I just made this appetizer today and it was delish! I was unsure how the sweet and sour mix of the Raw Honey and Balsamic Vinegar would taste-but to my surprise I liked the punch it gives to the dish. I love all of the flavors. :)


Ann March 23, 2012 at 8:24 am

I made these for an appetizer potluck at work and everone loved them and asked for the recipe! My kids loved this too. I used Roma tomatoes for the “perfect” appetizer size and firm texture to hold the pesto! A total hit!!!!!!


Ursula May 28, 2012 at 4:45 pm



Sonja June 4, 2012 at 5:16 pm

Susan you are truly a genius — this is yet another of your recipes I have made that came out absolutely AMAZING!! I have your cookbooks as well, and it’s always fun to try and make my food at least look like yours (mine is never quite as pretty but close!) I have never made one change in any recipe for these incredible foods, there’s no need to — if people just follow exactly as you outlined they will NOT be sorry!

Quick question — I was searching for how to turn this into a main dish on zucchini noodles and cannot find it… just wondering how to thin it out to a paste, I really want to give that a try! Thanks so much for all you do for all of us!


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