Speaking of the wonders of greens, I've been doing a little more research on the heavy-metal detoxifying properties of cilantro. The herb’s chelating effect was discovered by accident by an acupuncturist and doctor, Yoshiaki Omura, when he discovered an increase in his urinary mercury after eating a traditional soup with cilantro (Omura & Beckman, 1995). A really exciting thing about this study is that Omura used cilantro in reasonable dietary amounts to assist his patients in detoxifying heavy metals. Based on this finding, a number of recipes for “Cilantro Chelation Pesto” can be found on the web. I’m a big fan of pesto (on anything and everything except pasta), so I’ve tried several recipes and offer my own below.
Cilantro Chelation Pesto
1/3 cup each Brazil nuts, walnuts and pumpkin seeds, soaked overnight and drained
4 cloves garlic or 2 stalks green garlic
2 cups packed fresh cilantro (stems OK!)
2/3 cup organic extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons dulse powder
sea salt to taste
Process the garlic in a food processor until fine. Add the nuts and seeds and chop fine. Add the cilantro and dulse and process until fine. Drizzle in the olive oil with the motor running until a smooth paste forms. Taste and season with salt as desired. 2 teaspoons daily is a good dose. Some sources recommend daily use for at least 3 weeks as an annual fall detox for mercury, lead and aluminum.
Here is a great way to enjoy spring’s darling bunches of baby carrots and consume a number of heavy metal detox supporters at the same time. Adapted from 101Cookbooks.com.
1 cup almonds, ideally soaked overnight and drained, or raw
½ cup cilantro
1 med clove garlic, peeled
½ jalapeno pepper, seeded and deveined
¼ tsp sea salt
1 raw pastured egg yolk (save the white to make coconut macaroons later!)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 bunch baby carrots, cut lengthwise
1 bunch pencil-thin asparagus, stalks trimmed, cut into 2 inch segments
Squeeze of lemon
Toast almonds in a large skillet over medium heat in a splash of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Once deeply golden, remove from heat and set aside. Make dressing by combining cilantro, garlic, jalapeno and salt in food processor or blender. Drizzle in olive oil while pulsing, continuing until dressing is creamy, vibrant green. Bring 1” of water to a boil in a large pot, salt generously and add carrots, wait 15 seconds, and add asparagus. Cook for just 30 more seconds, allowing veggies to retain some bite. Drain and run under cold water to stop cooking. Dry vegetables in a salad spinner or with a kitchen towel. Coarsely chop the almonds. In a large bowl, toss vegetables and almonds with a generous splash of dressing. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add lemon juice, and serve topped with remaining almonds.