By Jade Robins, ND
I’d love to say that I am the healthy equivalent of Rachel Ray or Paula Deen in the kitchen, skilled in mincing, dicing and caramelizing to perfection; but that would be an exaggeration. With the exception of Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, simplicity is key for this girl!
When recipe hunting, I have a few requirements that must be met. The first is that the recipe must be allergen friendly, low carb and nutrient dense, while still maintaining GREAT flavor. And don’t forget, quick and easy to prepare! That’s a tall order… some may even say unachievable. Ye of little faith!
While my taste buds change now and then and I tend go through “food phases”, there are two foods that I cannot picture my life without…. avocado and basil. These are a constant staple in my diet, making this recipe the perfect marriage of two of my favorite things (while still meeting all aforementioned pre-requisites)!
While it is nearly a universal acceptance that avocados and basil are delish, we cannot forget the abundance of their health benefits.
Avocados are an outstanding source of healthy fat. When you stop to consider that every cell in our body is wrapped in a lipid bilayer, we start to understand the importance of feeding our cells the healthy fats required to maintain them. Gone are the days of the low fat craze. Our bodies absolutely require fat. Of course, not all fats are created equal, but suffice it to say, avocado is not one of the bad guys.
They are also a rich source of potassium, containing more potassium in a serving than a banana, as well as Vitamins K, E, C, folate, B5 and B6.
Basil also touts a long list of health benefits including blood sugar maintenance, liver protection, stress management, and immune boosting. It is also full of powerful antioxidants and a great addition for reducing inflammation. Studies show that basil has anti-cancer effects and is cardio protective. Added bonus: It is considered a natural aphrodisiac.
Zucchini Noodles with Creamy Avocado Pesto
- 6 large zucchini, spiralized
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 ripe avocados
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 3 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- Cracked black pepper, to taste
- Spiralize your zucchini and set aside on paper towels so that any excess water is absorbed.
- In a food processor, add avocados, basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, lemon juice and sea salt and pulse until finely chopped. Then with the motor still running, add olive oil in a slow stream until emulsified and creamy.
- Drizzle olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat then add zucchini noodles, cooking for about 1 to 2 minutes until tender.
- Add zucchini noodles to a large bowl and toss with avocado pesto. Season with cracked pepper and a little Parmesan (if you tolerate dairy)
Voila! Serve and enjoy!
In the (modified) words of Meghan Trainor “You know it’s all about the BAS-il, bout the BAS-il, no treble”. Kitchen dance parties are highly recommended! Don’t forget to make memories… one of my favorite parts of visiting my grandma growing up was her impromptu kitchen dance parties while cooking us dinner!