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Graydon’s Cilantro Pumpkin Seed Pesto
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Graydon’s Cilantro Pumpkin Seed Pesto

This easy to make pesto is loaded with nutrient-rich ingredients that help support your skin. Keep reading to get the recipe and discover the benefits of each ingredient.

I love this recipe. Like absolutely LOVE IT! It’s one of my favourites and I make it on a regular basis. It’s loaded with ingredients that nourish the body and promote healthy skin. Back when I was a vegan chef, I learned about all of the amazing health benefits of cilantro and that’s what inspired me to develop this recipe. 

I use the term recipe very loosely here. This isn’t a precise measurement type of thing; it’s a handful of this, splash of that type of recipe. Every time I make it, it tastes a little different but no matter what, it’s always delicious! 


Cilantro* (one or two handfuls)
This powerful herb is loaded with vitamins A, C and K.(1) It’s also a great source of chlorophyll (the compound that gives plants their green colour), which has antioxidant properties.(2)

Lemon and lime juice (a liberal drizzle)
Every pesto needs acidity and freshly squeezed lemon and lime juices are the perfect choice. Citrus fruits like lemons and limes are high in vitamin C and citric acid. Citric acid helps your body absorb nutrients.(3) 

Freshly grated lemon and lime zest (a healthy pinch)
Don’t throw out those citrus rinds! The zest of citrus fruits is rich in bioflavinoids, which offer powerful antioxidant properties.(4) I find that adding citrus zest gives this recipe a delightfully pungent kick.

Pumpkin seeds (one or two handfuls)
I eat a lot of pumpkin seeds! Not only are they crunchy and delicious, they’re so rich in nutrients! Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of healthy fats, fibre, zinc and magnesium.(5) 

Garlic (two cloves, chopped)
The benefits of garlic far outweigh the risk of bad breath! Not only does it add flavour to recipes, it provides health benefits such as helping to fight the common cold.(6)

Ume vinegar (a few dashes)
Ume vinegar is made form Japanese plums. This fruity vinegar is made through natural fermentation and really adds a salty kick that makes any dish come alive.

Cayenne pepper (a sprinkle)
This capsaicin-rich pepper is bursting with antioxidants and is also thought to help digestion and boost the immune system.(7)

Dark maple syrup (a splash)
Instead of refined sugar, add a touch of sweetness with dark maple syrup, which is rich in minerals, including zinc, iron and magnesium.(8) 

Extra virgin olive oil (a drizzle)
A great source or dietary fats, extra virgin olive oil has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.(9)

Walnut oil (a drizzle)
This healthy oil is loaded with omega-3 fatty acid and is thought to boost skin health and reduce inflammation.(10)


1. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until well combined.
2. Taste and adjust accordingly.
3. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
4. Enjoy as a dip, spread, pasta topping or by the spoonful straight out of the jar.

    Watch the video

    I recently invited my friend, Dr. Sosa, over to make this recipe with me. As a trained medical doctor and a functional medicine specialist, Dr. Sosa had some great insight into what makes each of these ingredients so great!

    Check out the video to learn more about the health benefits of this recipe and see just how easy it is to whip up!


    *Not everyone loves cilantro as much as I do. Feel free to replace the cilantro with flat leaf parsley!


    What are antioxidants and why do you need them in your skincare routine? Click here to learn how they help the skin and how you can add them to your routine.


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