This makes an interesting change from the standard basil and pine nut, or pumpkin seed pesto, and it’s very easy to make. You can buy 1kg of sunflower seeds for around £3.99 as opposed to pine nuts which for the same weight, will burn £38.00 – £48.00 into your pocket. Ouch!
Sunflower pesto offers an incredibly fresh and zingy taste; perfect for serving on a summer’s day with cucumber.
Make a large batch, pop into separate freezer bags, and freeze for up to 6 months – enough to last you right through to next Spring! It’s great for a busy cook. Simply take your pesto out of the freezer and serve with cooked pasta and fresh Parmesan (leave out the Parmesan if you’re vegetarian) and freshly ground pepper. Alternatively, you can substitute the pasta for potatoes, even with rice, for a light supper dish, served with salad.
This pesto tastes grub-tastic! with the Leek, Cucumber and Emmenthal Cheese Flan. Find the recipe here.
This makes about 330 ml (10 fl oz) – enough to fill a standard sized cereal bowl
50g (1.75 oz) fresh coriander leaves
100g (3.5 oz) sunflower seeds
4 or 5 medium garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
8 tbsp olive oil
Juice of up to 2 lemons (use 1 lemon, then taste, and add more as preferred)
Salt (preferably rock salt)
Freshly ground pepper
1. Put all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor.
2. Whizz until they are well chopped and amalgamated. Take care not to process them too much or they will become too solid.
Blitz for a minute or two, until the ingredients are amalgamated.
3. Serve as a dip with cucumber or with cooked pasta or potatoes and salad. Grub-tastic!
WHY ARE SUNFLOWER SEEDS SO GOOD FOR YOU?
Mineral Content of Sunflower Seeds
Raw sunflower seeds come packed with essential minerals, and serve as especially rich sources of copper, magnesium and manganese. All three minerals support your metabolism, helping you produce energy to fuel your active lifestyle. Magnesium also supports cell communication, copper nourishes your nervous system and manganese aids in bone development.
Vitamin Content of Sunflower Seeds
Add raw sunflower seeds to your diet as a source of water-soluble B-complex vitamins, as well as vitamin E. The B vitamins work together to keep your metabolism healthy, and they also support other essential processes, including nervous system function and red blood vessel development. Raw sunflower seeds provide vitamins B-1, B-3 and B-9. Each ounce of raw seeds also contains 9.9 milligrams of vitamin E, or 66 percent of your recommended daily intake. Vitamin E offers antioxidant protection, which keeps your tissues free of damage, and also promotes healthy cell communication.