Cilantro is a powerful protector when it comes to preventing strokes and memory loss. It contains high levels of compounds called nitrates which is a natural way to treat high blood pressure and reduce risk of a stroke or heart attack. In scientific studies, nitrates have been shown to widen (dilate) blood vessels which lowers blood pressure.

Research has also shown that nitrates increase blood flow to areas of the brain involved in executive functioning. A study revealed that cerebral blood flow was 20 percent lower in patients with Alzheimer’s disease compared to those without dementia.

This healthy green pesto is made from a base of walnuts which makes it rich in heart healthy omega-3’s.

What’s In It…

  • 1 cup walnut pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups cilantro leaves, stems removed
  • 1/4 cup purified water (approximate)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon organic apple cider vinegar, unfiltered
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • Coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Hawaiian sea salt (optional or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin (optional – cumin gives the pesto a more earthy flavor)

How It’s Made…

  1. Put the walnuts and garlic in a food processor and grind them until they are fine.
  2. Add cilantro, 2-3 tablespoons water, and the remaining ingredients and blend.
  3. Blend in more water as needed until the pesto is more of a thick sauce.
  4. Taste it and add more seasonings to your liking.

Store your pesto in the refrigerator in a tightly covered container. Use as a dip, spread, and as a condiment to soups. I like adding a dollop to tomato soup and roasted butternut squash soup when serving.

Serves 16.


Karen Owoc

Karen Owoc is a certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist specializing in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation and lifestyle medicine. Her science-based approach to longevity, nutrition, and muscle health has made her the go-to source for health seekers and medical professionals alike. Karen's best-selling book on functional longevity, "Athletes in Aprons: The Nutrition Playbook to Break 100", and her transformative perspective have mended many minds, hearts, and spirits.

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