Looking for an easy way to liven up your meals? Add a fresh sauce! Let me introduce you to my latest favorite—this refreshing cilantro and hemp seed pesto. It’s made simply with fresh cilantro, hemp seeds, garlic, optional jalapeño (for some heat) and olive oil.
Even if you typically don’t love cilantro, there’s a strong chance you’ll enjoy this sauce. My husband is typically in the “no cilantro” camp, but he kept going back for spoonfuls of this pesto.
I’m using the term “pesto” loosely here, since traditional basil pesto is made with basil, pine nuts and Parmesan. Instead of pine nuts, I used hemp seeds, which are high in protein and key minerals, including potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron and zinc.
When blended, the hemp seeds become so nice and creamy that this sauce tastes complete without cheese. This nut-free and dairy-free pesto would be great with basil as well.
This recipe is inspired by a cilantro-hemp sauce that I enjoyed at True Foods Kitchen in Kansas City. They serve it on their “Ancient Grains Bowl,” which is topped with sweet potatoes, onions, portobello mushrooms and avocado. Naturally, this sauce goes well with all of the above, as well as almost any meal with Mexican-inspired flavors. You’ll find more ideas below!