Looking for a light meal when the Summer heat feels heavy? Our Avocado Spinach Pesto “Zoodles” dish is the perfect dinner option when the temperature rises and your idea of cooking something complicated is at a low. This recipe is so easy to make and is filled with healthy seasonal produce. Children will love this dish too, as the “zoodles” provide a fun way for them to eat their vegetables while giving them an abundance of nutritional benefits. This pesto even tastes great over your favorite traditional pasta! The Avocado Spinach Pesto can also be used as a dip or a sauce for chicken, fish or your favorite vegetables.
Don’t fall prey to a diet filled with processed foods and excess sodium; lacking fruits and vegetables. Our recipe is filled with so many key nutrients to help keep you healthy and increase your dietary vitamin and mineral intake. The zucchini found in this dish provides a great source of potassium. Potassium is a natural way to lower blood pressure, improve heart health and protect bone density. A diet rich in potassium has been shown to decrease blood pressureand can help improve digestion.
The avocados in our recipe not only add great taste and creamy texture, but also increase its nutrient content as well. Avocados offer dietary fiber, magnesium, potassium, vitamins A, C, E, K, folate, vitamin B-6 and more! Avocados are low in sugar and saturated fatty acids and are high in unsaturated fatty acids, making them beneficial for heart health. Consuming avocados may also increase the absorption of other phytochemicals in the body. Overall, this creamy fruit is a delicious and healthy addition to our pesto recipe.
Other pesto recipes do not incorporate spinach, but with the added antioxidants from this leafy vegetable, we knew it would be an ideal way to further increase the health benefits of this dish. Spinach is a good source of essential nutrients like carotene and ascorbic acid. Spinach is also an excellent source of antioxidants which are extremely beneficial in oxidation-related diseases. To keep oxidative stress at bay, it is important to include antioxidants in a healthy diet to help fight free radicals in the body.
Hemp hearts contain all 10 essential amino acids and are rich in protein. They also contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and the rare omega-6 Gamma Linoleic Acid (GLA). GLA has been shown to help improve cholesterol levels, inflammation, hormone balancing and heart health. Adding Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts is an easy way to add protein to your favorite foods, and we especially love them in this recipe!
In a food processor add the garlic, lemon juice, sea salt and pepper. Process for one minute. Add the avocado, spinach, basil, hemp hearts, and pine nuts to the food processor and mix for about 2 minutes, or until smooth and creamy.
In a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil and spiralized zucchini and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring often. Place in a large bowl when done. Slowly add the pesto to the "zoodles", mixing intermediately between batches. Top with cherry or grape tomatoes.
Serving size: 1 cup, Calories: 160 calories, Fat: 12 grams, Saturated fat: 1.5 grams, Carbohydrates: 11 grams, Sugar: 5 grams, Sodium: 83 milligrams, Fiber: 5 grams, Protein: 5 grams, Cholesterol: 0 milligrams