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Arugula Sunflower Seed Pesto

Arugula Sunflower Seed Pesto

arugula sunflower seed pesto for seed cycling

Traditional pesto with basil and pine nuts is delicious when it’s homemade. It’s hard to find a store bought that captures the freshness. The set back I hear from everyone in making homemade is the cost of pine nuts.

A bag is typically $10 if you haven’t looked into it. That’s one big plus of this Arugula Sunflower Seed Pesto. Not only is it quick to prepare, sunflower seeds are very cost effective.

Also, if you happen to be a woman proactively working on your hormone health there are some benefits to adding this into your monthly meal planning. That’s because sunflower seeds can potentially help balance hormones and boost fertility.

The theory behind this is a growing trend called, seed cycling. It involves eating flax, pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower seeds at specific times during your menstrual cycle to balance either your estrogen or progesterone hormones. According to seed cycling, sunflower seeds are best eaten during the 14 days leading up to your period, during the ovulation and luteal phases to help increase your progesterone hormones. 

Aside from budget, simplicity, and health, this particular style of  Arugula Sunflower Seed Pesto is just plain good!  Use this recipe as a spread, mixed with pasta, or as a topping on a gluten-free black bean burger.


  • ¾ cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ cup fresh oregano
  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 fresh lemon
  • 2 TB Romano cheese
  • Salt + pepper


  1. Add all pesto ingredients to food processor until combined.
  2. Keep refrigerated.

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