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Seasonal Recipes: Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

If you’re looking for a quick, simple recipe that’s packed with flavor and nutrients, this recipe is for you. As a part of our seasonal recipe guide we show you ways to maximize items when in season for all year long living. 

Who doesn’t love a fresh pesto sauce to dip veggies in or for a pasta dish? But unless you grow it yourself in your home or in a greenhouse, fresh basil can be hard to find in the winter, and when it is available it can be pricey. Here we swap out basil for sun-dried tomatoes for a pesto that’s still packed with flavor. You can use whatever sun-dried tomatoes you can find, either dried or packed in oil, although we chose to use ones packed in olive oil for the added heart healthy fats and to get more of that deep tomato flavor. Garlic gives this pesto another kick of flavor, but its benefits go far beyond tickling taste buds. Sulfur-rich compounds like allicin in garlic have shown to aid in reducing chronic inflammation and even have the potential to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Pair that with gut-healthy and fiber-rich walnuts, and you’ve got a real dose of food as medicine in this sauce.

are tomatoes anti inflammatory

Nutrient dense sun-dried tomatoes

Sun-dried tomatoes, and tomatoes in general, are high in Vitamin C. In fact just one cup of sun-dried tomatoes contains over 150% of your daily suggested intake of Vitamin C. They also contain moderate amounts of vitamin B6 which is needed for nervous system and immune health. Magnesium which is needed for healthy muscles and bones, a regulated nervous system and also blood sugar regulation is also present. And sun-dried tomatoes also contain a good amount of iron which is essential for blood cells. Iron is used to make the hemoglobin in blood cells which carries oxygen throughout the entire body. For more about the nutritive power of tomatoes, and for a delicious soup recipe, you'll want to give our Tomato Soup recipe a try or grab yourself some of our Tunisian Tomato ready made soup.

Pesto is a Mediterranean tradition

If you’ve read any of our articles on cleansing tips, you’ll know that we recommend a Mediterranean diet when coming off of a cleanse. That’s because this diet is high in fiber, opts for lean proteins, is full of healthy fats, and is free of inflammatory foods like conventionally raised red meats. Make this pesto recipe into a Mediterranean style meal by combining it with a protein-rich chickpea pasta, and veggies like broccoli, zucchini, and carrots. The flavors certainly won’t disappoint, and you’ll be following some of the principles that are Blue Zone approved for healthy aging


What you'll need
  • 2/3 cup walnuts (or any nut you have on hand)
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes (if not using ones packed in oil, soak in warm water to soften first)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (you can use the oil the tomatoes come in)
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 Tbsp water (if needed)
  • 1 tsp each salt and pepper

How to make it:

Simply combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until well combined. If the mixture is too thick, add a little more water and blend again. Serve on your favorite gluten-free bread or pasta and enjoy!

stephanie studied naturopathic medicine

About Author: Stephanie is the current fulfillment director and kitchen supervisor for Organic Pharmer. She studied Neuroscience at University of California, Irvine before studying Naturopathic Medicine for 2 years at National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon. She also spent 3 years studying East Asian Medicine at the same university.

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