Cultured Pumpkin Seed Pesto

This recipe turns regular pesto into a cultured one that has probiotics, while pumpkin seeds add nutrients such as zinc and magnesium. Cilantro and other herbs have antioxidants that quell inflammation. Delicious tossed with pasta, grilled chicken, or as a dip for crackers.


  • 1 cup (240 ml) raw pumpkin seeds, soaked for 3–4 hours with a pinch of sea salt
  • 1 bunch cilantro, basil, arugula, or a mix (2 cups packed, 480 ml), lightly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) fermented brine from Classic Sauerkraut, Perfect Pickles, or Giardiniera
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) lemon juice
  • ½ cup (120 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • Food processor


1. Drain soaked pumpkin seeds and place into a food processor. Pulse a few times to chop the seeds.

2. Add in your herbs or choice, garlic, fermented brine, and lemon juice. Process for about 30 seconds.

3. With the processor running, slowing pour in olive oil until everything is mixed well and a thick consistency is formed. You can add in a bit more olive oil to adjust the consistency to your liking.

4. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Note: Soaking nuts (sprouting) removes phytic acid, which is found in all nuts (seeds) and will greatly help digestion and absorption of nutrients contained in them.

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