Who doesn’t love pesto?! It’s so easy to throw together and adds a flavor punch to so many dishes. I love to use this pesto to toss it with zoodles, top grilled chicken, and mix it with roasted sweet potatoes. It’s also dairy-free, so if you’re needing a little more flavor and diversity to your Paleo or Whole30 lifestyle, this pesto is where it’s at!

If you’ve been following my blog for some time, you probably already know that I’m obsessed with leafy greens. They have essential vitamins and nutrients that can support your liver and boost your mood. They are also more diverse than we give them credit. Different types of leafy greens can support different bodily functions.

Today, we’re looking at cilantro and parsley. You may think of them as a garnish, but they are SO much more. Take a look.

Why You Should Eat More Cilantro

Cilantro is a great source of vitamin K, folate, and potassium. It also contains some calcium, iron, and magnesium. Cilantro also has high antioxidant action and can protect against oxidative stress.[1] Some studies also suggest that cilantro can help lower blood sugar levels, making it a good addition to recipes for those with blood sugar management issues.[2]

Don’t be deceived when people tell you cilantro can detox your body of metals. Yes, cilantro is a chelating agent, meaning it can bind to metals including, mercury, aluminum, and lead, and remove them from your body. However, this bind is pretty weak. So, most often, cilantro binds to metals and then places them in other areas of your body.

This can be harmful or beneficial, depending on where the metal is deposited. Sometimes, cilantro can surface metals that are deeply stored and move them to a more superficial area where they can be more easily removed.[3] Sometimes, that doesn’t happen and they are deposited in a less desirable place.

So if you’re worried about the metal levels in your body, it’s probably not a good idea to down pounds of cilantro. If you suspect you have heavy metal toxicity, it’s best to work with a qualified health care practitioner who specializes in metal detoxification. 

The Benefits of Parsley 

Did you know parsley is related to celery? While that’s a cool fact, it’s not what we’re talking about today. Instead, let’s talk about all the things parsley can do for you. It’s an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin K1. It also has some folate, iron, copper and magnesium. Here are some other cool things you can find in parsley: 

  • Limonene: A volatile oil that can support liver function. [4]
  • Eugenol: An oil that has high antioxidant and antimicrobial activity. [5]
  • Apigenin: A bioflavonoid that has anti-inflammatory properties and may be effective at reducing high cortisol levels.[6
  • Luteolin: A flavonoid with antioxidant properties that can help protect cells from damage.

Good stuff, right? Vitamins, antioxidants, and flavor! Those are all great reasons to get more of this stuff. And a great way to start is making this pesto!

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 cup packed basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 t sea salt
  • 3 T olive oil

Paleo pesto recipe

Here’s what you do:

  1. Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse.
  2. That’s it! Enjoy! 

Add this to your recipe box:

Dairy Free Pesto with Cilantro and Parsley
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  1. 1/2 cup packed basil leaves
  2. 1/4 cup parsley
  3. 1/4 cup cilantro
  4. 1/4 cup pine nuts
  5. 1 garlic clove
  6. 1 T lemon juice
  7. Zest of 1 lemon
  8. 1/4 t sea salt
  9. 3 T olive oil
  1. Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse.
  2. That's it! Enjoy!
Candace K. Nutrition https://candacekennedy.com/

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RECIPE: Dairy-free Pesto | Paleo, Whole30, Low-Carb