Sunny Pesto Recipe

Looking for an interesting twist on an old favorite? This sunflower pesto recipe is sure to please. Plus, the fresh and delicious ingredients are good for you too!

You will need:

4 cups fresh basil, washed and stems removed
3 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
⅓ cup raw, hulled, unsalted sunflower seeds
½ cup unrefined, organic sunflower oil
¼ cup grated fresh parmesan cheese
Sea salt, to taste


  • You can use a blender or food processor, but for best results, mash up your pesto using a mortar and pestle. Toast the sunflower seeds in a cast iron pan over low heat. Move them around a lot and keep a close eye so they don’t burn. Remove from heat as soon as they start to brown and become fragrant.
  • Put the garlic and the oil into the mortar and mash it up with the pestle. Add the toasted seeds. Mash. Add the basil and mash again, using a twisting motion to tear up and bruise the leaves.
  • Move the pesto into your serving or storage container, add the cheese and sea salt and stir until everything is combined.

Use on pasta, bruschetta or anywhere else you might enjoy pesto. Freezes well.

Now, let’s talk about the benefits:

Basil boosts your immune system and helps protect against disease. It also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and can be used as a natural pain reliever. Basil is thought to protect your liver, heart and blood vessels and can be useful for helping to manage and prevent diabetes.

Garlic contains nutrients like manganese and vitamins A and B6. Benefits of garlic include immune system support, improving blood pressure and balancing cholesterol levels. Garlic also has anti-inflammatory properties.

Sunflower seeds are a significant source of vitamin E, manganese, magnesium and selenium, and just a small handful can help to make you feel full while boosting your energy. These seeds have an anti-inflammatory effect, and can help to protect your heart and lower your cholesterol levels.

Panaseeda™ Sunflower Oil is a healthy source of omega–6 fatty acids and supports a healthy heart. Sunflower oil is a great source of antioxidants, specifically vitamin E, which help to boost your immune system and are great for your skin. This oil can promote a healthy inflammation response and the unsaturated fat content can help to naturally boost your energy levels.

Sea salt is a healthy source of sodium, which helps your body to absorb calcium, produce bile, digest food and balance fluids. It’s essential for proper brain function and for the health of your liver, kidneys, blood and more.