We love everything pumpkin this time of year, and the seeds are no exception. They’re tasty little things for sure, but they also pack a punch of nutrients. They contain impressive amounts of heart-healthy fats, protein, magnesium and zinc. For a great way to extend the joy of these powerhouse seeds, try using them instead of pine nuts in this pesto recipe. After a quick spin in the food processor with garlic, basil, parsley, olive oil and nutritional yeast, you’ll have a vibrant dairy-free pesto to use on pasta, pizza and veggies – or mix it with a little avocado oil mayo and use it as a sandwich spread.
Vegan Pumpkin Seed Pesto
In small sauté pan over medium heat, toast pumpkin seeds 4-6 minutes, stirring occasionally until they begin to brown slightly and pop. Remove from pan and cool.
In food processor using S blade, combine pumpkin seeds, nutritional yeast and garlic and pulse on and off for about 20 seconds, or until seeds are mostly ground, but not too fine.
Add basil, parsley, lemon juice and olive oil and continue pulsing on and off until seeds are fully ground and all ingredients are combined. Scrape down sides as needed. Add salt to taste. Taste and adjust as desired.
Store pesto in tightly sealed container in refrigerator until ready to use.
Pro tip: Pulsing achieves a thick, paste-like consistency. Add a few drops of water to thin out, if desired.