Natural Health and Wellness for the Whole Family

Creamy, Cleansing Sunflower Seed Dressing

By Sarah Axtell, ND February 6, 2012

My husband is doing a 21-day cleanse right now, consisting of a daily smoothie with a couple scoops of professional-grade detox protein powder and an Anti-Inflammatory diet (essentially gluten-free, dairy-free, alcohol-free, caffeine-free and sugar-free).  I am breastfeeding right now so the last thing I want to do is mobilize toxins into my milk! A good time to do a detox for a mama or mama-to-be is prior to conception and once breastfeeding is finished. With that said, I am following the diet for the most part but am not doing the smoothies with the cleansing powder which includes liver cleansing herbs and supplements.

You may be thinking, what are you eating? A lot of fresh organic produce, legumes, plenty of nuts, seeds, nut butters, avocados, coconut milk, quinoa, and brown rice. I’ve always enjoyed a nice hearty salad for lunch- one that won’t leave you lingering for some bread on the side. A filling salad always has lots of greens and then a fat and a protein. Walnuts and avocados are my favorite options for that satisfying fat. And leftover tempeh from last night’s dinner or whatever bean I have in the pantry or fridge (chickpeas, black beans and edamame are my favorites). You could also add slices of turkey or leftover chicken to your salad. My recent favorite addition to my salads are beets. Chris is eating a lot of beets on his cleanse because beets are particularly liver-cleansing. Not only are the beet roots full of cleansing compounds, but the beet tops are also rich in nutrients!

I recommend making your own dressing to avoid commonly added sugars, flour (wheat), and preservatives. Time-saving tip-make a lot in advance and store in a jar in the fridge. Then just pour it on as needed. You can make a simple vinegarette with olive oil and balsamic vinegar with a little dijon mustard mixed in. Tahini, lemon juice, and rice vinegar is also a delicious dressing option.

I recently made this Creamy Sunflower Seed Dressing, adapted from one of my favorite food blogs- www.noursingmeals.com. This site has a lot of healthy, whole foods recipes.

Creamy Sunflower Seed Dressing

The raw garlic and lemon juice make the dressing particularly cleansing. Garlic retains its most potent medicinal properties (being anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial) when it is raw. This dressing can be a dip too- paired with raw veggies and/or rice crackers.

  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds, soaked for 4-6 hours in water
  • 1/2 cup water (more if you want a thinner dressing, less if you want a dip)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp Bragg’s liquid Aminos (or tamari sauce)
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Place the sunflower seeds in a bowl and cover with water. Soak for 4-6 hours then drain and rinse. Place seeds into a blender or food processor with water, lemon juice, salt, pepper, Bragg’s, and garlic. Blend on high for 1 minute until creamy and smooth. Then add the herbs and blend. Pour into a glass container and store in fridge.

Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health practitioners with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.


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