Zucchini noodles are a game changer if you have never tried them! They are nutritious, they make meals more fun and are so versatile.
During the holidays, it is inevitable that our accessibility to sweets and treats – aka our blood sugar – increases a bit more than usual. Enjoying time and treats with family and friends should certainly be cherished. In order to do so while considering the importance of our health, balancing our sweet intake with detoxifying foods and meals will help us feel nourished and healthy during the holidays.
Zucchini noodles will help us do just that! They are so nutritious, they are filled with antioxidants and are anti-inflammatory. Zucchinis do wonders for digestion. Zucchinis are filling and hydrating, encouraging healthy digestion and detoxification. Due to its high fiber content, zucchini has a cleansing effect on our digestive tract, especially the intestines. It acts as a mild laxative, cleaning the walls of the intestines and preventing carcinogenic toxins from settling in the colon.
The combination of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients in zucchinis is an excellent nutrient combination related to healthy blood sugar regulation. Metabolism of sugar in the body requires ample presence of many B vitamins, and most of these B vitamins are found in zucchinis including folate, B6, B1, B2, B3, and choline. Also important in blood sugar metabolism are the minerals zinc and magnesium, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, and all of these nutrients are contained in zucchini.
A fun way to enjoy zucchini is by using a spiralizer. For those of you who have never tried zucchini noodles, aka zoodles, they are made using a spiralizer – the machine responsible for uniformly slicing zucchinis (and other veggies such as cucumber, potatoes, or beets into thin bands). You could just as easily use a carrot peeler or mandolin to create flat, thin zucchini strips. There’s a few ways to enjoy zoodles in everyday dishes including spaghetti sauce or stir-fry. But during a holiday season full of treats and sweets or even on carb-ed out days (they happen to the best of us!), opting for a delicious serving of zucchini noodle pesto “pasta” is so detoxifying and nourishing.
- Serves 2-3 people
- 2 medium sized zucchinis (if using a spiralizer, the thicker the better)
- 1 bunch of basil
- ¼ cup of hemp hearts, almonds, walnuts or pine nuts
- 1/3 cup of olive oil
- 1 tbsp. honey (or ½ tbsp. maple syrup)
- Juice of ½ a lemon
- Salt & pepper to taste
How to make:
- To make the pesto, blend the hemp hearts, olive oil, basil, lemon, honey, salt and pepper in a blender or cuisinart until well blended. If more liquid is needed, add a tablespoon of water and blend until creamy.
- Make zucchini noodles using a spiralizer or a carrot peeler
- Add the pesto to the noodles until well combined.
- Top with protein of your choice to make it a balanced meal
- *The pesto freezes well. You can make a double batch and freeze half for when you are in a pinch and need an easy and nutritious meal.
By Joelle Mintzberg, a Holistic Nutritionist at our 99 Roncesvalles location.