Zoodles with Pesto
ZOODLES WITH PESTO
FOOD AS MEDICINE:
Zucchini is an excellent source of manganese, vitamins C, A, and B, and antioxidants, particularly lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants are especially beneficial in protecting against age-related macular degeneration cataracts. The manganese, zinc, and B vitamins in zucchini help maintain blood sugar metabolism support. The pectin form of soluble fiber found in zucchini, D-galacturonic acid, helps balance insulin metabolism and blood sugar levels. The slow moving fiber acts as a gel to decrease the breakdown of carbohydrates into sugar, aiding to curb blood sugar level spikes. The combination of antioxidants and fiber help cool and soothe the body and decrease inflammation. Research shows that zucchini has the ability to retain their antioxidant qualities with various cooking techniques. Raw, frozen, roasted, and sautéed preparations all have a strong presence of healthy nutrients when eaten in its whole food form.
2 large zucchini
For the pesto:
½ cup pine nuts
2 cups fresh basil
2 cloves garlic
juice of 1 lemon
½ cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
¼ cup olive oil
sea salt and black pepper to taste
filtered water as needed
- Using a spiralizer, make the zucchini into long noodles. Alternatively, you can use a vegetable peeler to create long, flat ribbons. Set aside.
- To make the pesto, place the pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until they resemble coarse crumbs. Add the basil, garlic, lemon juice, parmesan and a pinch of sea salt and pulse until roughly combined. With the food processor running, stream in the olive oil and pulse to desired consistency, adding water 1 tablespoon at a time as needed. Season to taste with the salt and pepper.
- Spoon about ¼ cup of the pesto over the zucchini noodles and toss to combine. Serve with grilled chicken or a 4-6 oz serving of protein for a balanced meal. Reserve leftover pesto for a quick and easy sauce option or freeze in ice cube trays to use later!
Makes 4 servings
Nutrition facts serving: 169 Calories, 14g Fat, 8g Carbohydrates, 5g Protein
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