Our Avocado Spinach Pesto “Zoodles” dish is the perfect summer dinner meal, as it’s light, easy to make, and filled with seasonal produce. Children will also love this dish, as the “zoodles” are a fun way for them to eat their vegetables while still giving them nutritional benefits. Not only is this recipe filled with zucchini and spinach, but it also has avocados, which provide nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, potassium, vitamin E, B-vitamins, and folic acid. They also act as a “nutrient booster” by enabling the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients, such as alpha and beta-carotene and lutein, in foods that are eaten with the fruit (1). You can also use avocado as a butter or fat substitute, as it may help reduce dietary intake of saturated fat, calories, sodium, and cholesterol (2). So go ahead and enjoy this summer appropriate dish–it’s a great alternative to a heavy pasta dish and will leave you feeling fabulous.
Avocado Spinach Pesto "Zoodles"
- 2 garlic cloves
- ½ - 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 avocados
- 2 cups spinach
- 1 cup of basil, packed
- ¼ cup hemp hearts
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 8 medium-sized zucchini, washed and spiralized
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ cup cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- In a food processor add the garlic, lemon juice, sea salt and pepper, and 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 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
If you have a nut allergy, you can double up on the hemp hearts or use pumpkin or sunflower seeds.
Disclaimer: Triad to Wellness has provided nutrition communication services to Manitoba Harvest. However, we were not compensated for this post. All opinions are our own.
Calories: 160 calories, Fat: 12 grams, Saturated fat: 1.5 grams, Carbohydrates: 11 grams, Sugar: 5 grams, Sodium: 100 milligrams, Fiber: 5 grams, Protein: 5 grams, Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
(1) Avocado nutrition facts. California Avocados. http://www.californiaavocado.com/nutrition
(2) Avocados as a butter or fat substitute. California Avocados. http://www.californiaavocado.com/nutrition/smart-substitutions