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Meal TypeDressings & Sauces

Protein Power Pesto

With the help of Nutiva’s raw hemp seeds, we revisited our Wild Pesto recipe to make it even easier to add protein and EFA’s into our meals. This cilantro heavy version is great for someone that tends to run hot or has inflammation. If you find you run a little cooler, have cold hands or feet, spice it up with some fresh ginger or cayenne or add in chopped fresh leeks or scallions.


  • 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, walnuts or sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup Organic Shelled Hempseed
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 3 'glugs' extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • grey sea salt to taste


  1. In a food processor, add your nuts of choice + hemp seeds, garlic and EVOO. Once everything is ground down together well, scrape the sides to make sure all the seeds get incorporated. Next, add your cilantro, lemon juice and salt and a little more olive oil if it’s a little dry. Blend until everything is combined. Add more lemon, olive oil or salt if needed.
  2. Makes about 2 cups and keeps in the fridge for over a week.

If you know us, you know that we LOVE us some pesto, especially the kind packed with medicinal herbs like dandelion leaf and holy basil. As of late, we’ve been diving into the world of Ayurveda and nutrition which has brought new light to old ideas and ways of being in our kitchens.

Protein is something a lot of people think about when creating a balanced meal, but we might not always see the whole picture. Our body needs protein for so many important functions like building new cells, maintaining healthy tissues, skin, hair and nails, hormonal function and of course energy, to name a few.

We need protein in every meal and when we don’t get it that’s when the sugar craving starts. Let’s be real. We’ve all had that 4PM craving for a latte and a chocolate croissant even though we know we’re gonna feel like crap on our way home from work. Don’t. Do. It. What you’re body was probably telling you was that you didn’t eat enough protein at lunch or didn’t have a complete plant based protein—grains with beans, grains with eggs or dairy, beans with eggs or dairy, yogurt with nuts or seeds.

Getting enough protein also means our body is able to convert the fats we eat into essential fatty acids, or EFA’s. Think of EFA’s as your ‘juicy factor.’ If your cells aren’t juiced up with healthy fats your skin starts to get dry, you get inflamed and your nerves are literally dried out! I’ve noticed a big difference in my energy levels and the way my hair and skin feels simply by making sure to get protein with every meal (mostly plant based) and adding EFA’s daily.

E F A ‘s   D A I L Y
Dosage: 3-8 TBS depending on your constitution or how dry you tend to feel.

The easiest way to do this is by adding one tablespoon of olive oil on every meal. For breakfast I’ll drizzle extra EVOO on my pesto + egg toast, make sure my salad for lunch has plenty of oil and for dinner, a little extra drizzle on my soup. Pretty simple to do and definitely delicious!

T R Y  T H E S E
Hemp Oil
Flax Oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Evening Primrose
Black Currant Oil

What’s your favorite way to use pesto?

About the Authors: The Great Kosmic Kitchen

Sarah and Summer first met in college, where they laid the foundation for The University of Central Florida’s very first community garden. After being introduced to the world of plants, they both set out on journeys to deepen this connection. Together they studied permaculture at The Regenerative Design Institute in Bolinas, California and Herbalism at The Florida School of Holistic Living in Orlando, Florida. Summer then ventured to Vermont to apprentice with Rosemary Gladstar, which led her to study at The California School of Herbal Studies in 2013.  During this time Sarah interned at Herb Pharm in Oregon, apprenticed at Tassajara’s Zen Kitchen, and then went on to study Amazonian plants in the Peruvian jungle.

Currently, they both live in Northern California and are continuing to deepen their studies with the Ayurvedic Clinical Foundations program at the Dhyana Center in Sebastopol. In gratitude for these immersive experiences, Sarah and Summer share the wisdom they learn along the way.  The Great Kosmic Kitchen showcases the art of incorporating plants, traditional preparations, and sacred rituals into daily life.

Made With Nutiva

Organic Shelled Hempseed
Organic Shelled Hempseed

The world’s most nutritious seed, hemp is rich in protein, with the perfect ratio of omega fats, and a delicious nutty flavor

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  1. Teri says:

    Can I use a blender if I don’t have a food processor??

    1. Nutiva Team Nutiva says:

      It’s definitely worth a try! Let us know how it works.

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