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Kale and Sunflower Seed Pesto

Looking for the ultimate pesto sauce to accompany, well…. most things actually?!

This pesto is fresh, crunchy, insanely delicious and boy does it pack a nutritional punch!!

Kale provides a good dose of vitamins and minerals such as iron, potassium, calcium, folate and vitamin A.  Kale, being a cruciferous vegetable containing the bioactive known as sulforaphane, has one of the most powerful conversations with your genes. Sulforaphane ‘switches on’ Nrf2, the master conductor of your genes involved in anti-oxidant and detoxification pathways.

What do these genes help with?

By activating these genes, you reduce cancer risk, promote longevity, reduce risk for poor vascular health, promote oestrogen balance, assist with weight management and more.

Olive oil contains healthy monounsaturated fats.  Olive oil is rich in the bioactive known as polyphenol. Polyphenol is a non-nutrient compound that forms part of the phytochemical family. This bioactive has antioxidant capability which means it ‘switches on’ the genes that help to remove damaging free radicals in our body that result in oxidative stress and cell damage. It also contains compounds which help reduce chronic inflammation. Now we can see why olive oil is so beneficial for vascular health, heart disease, arthritis, cancer and even diabetes.

Sunflower seeds nourish the body with vitamin E, magnesium and manganese. They are a great source of healthy fats and fibre. These seeds have been shown to decrease inflammatory markers, improve blood glucose levels as well as cholesterol levels.

I keep this kale pesto in an air tight container in my fridge for a few weeks and I use it with almost anything and everything- eggs, a wrap, a dip with vegetable crudité, fish and a whole lot more.


Ingredients (yields 4-6 portions) 

 ½ clove garlic
¼ cup sunflower seeds
2 cups roughly chopped kale
½ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese + extra 2 tablespoons
Salt and pepper to taste


 1 Wash the kale well and remove the leaves from the tough stems.
2 Roughly chop the kale leaves up until you have enough for 1½ cups.
3 Grate some parmesan cheese, until you have enough for a bit more than a ¼ cup.
4 Add the kale leaves, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, sunflower seeds and parmesan cheese into a blender or food processor and blend until the ingredients combine into a paste, still leaving a slight seed crunch.
5 Season the pesto to taste, mixing in an extra tablespoon or two of parmesan cheese to heighten the texture.

Nourish yourself to the sunrise.

Cooked with love,
Sunrise by HM

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