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