In the summer, you will find more zucchini in the produce aisle than you know what to do with. Gardeners, like me, who grow zucchini learn to become very creative with their bounty, or try to pawn off the squash on their friends and family.
Zucchini is a good source of the antioxidant group called carotenoids. Specifically, zucchini contain carotenoids Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Beta-carotene, which may reduce the risk of some cancers, heart disease and eye disease through their protective effect in the body.
Adding avocado to the pesto sauce adds an extra boost of antioxidants with Vitamin E, and also replaces some of the olive oil with medium chain triglycerides, which are more likely to be used for energy instead of stored as fat. Half of an avocado also provides 2.1g soluble fibre, which helps lower blood cholesterol, control blood sugar levels and keep you regular.
This morning, I walked over to the garden with my coffee in hand and picked 3 zucchini off my one lonely plant (and one tomato), and there is a lot more to come! I’d love to get some new ideas of what to do with all the zucchini that is growing fast, so please leave a comment to share how you use it.
If you grow or buy zucchini, or are one of the lucky recipients of this delicious vegetable, here is a great way to use them and get at least 2 vegetable servings in.
I paired a chicken breast with the zucchini noodles to round out the meal.
Creamy Avocado Basil Pesto with Zucchini Noodles
5 zucchini, large 5
1 avocado, pit removed 1
15 basil leaves, fresh 15
1 tsp salt 5 ml
½ tsp pepper, ground 2.5 ml
3 garlic cloves, crushed 3
3 T olive oil, extra virgin 45 ml
½ lemon, juiced ½
2 T parmesan cheese 30 ml
- Julienne zucchini lengthwise by hand or with a mandolin. You can also use a vegetable noodle-making gadget to make long spirals.
2. Place zucchini noodles in a colander with 3/4 tsp salt. Let sit for 30 minutes and drain liquid.
3. In a blender or food processor, mix together avocado, basil, 1/4 tsp salt, pepper, garlic, 2 T olive oil and lemon until smooth.
4. In a sauté pan on medium heat, heat 1 T olive oil and add zucchini noodles. Cook for 2 minutes. (You can also leave cold)
5. Add sauce and parmesan cheese to the pan and coat the zucchini noodles. Heat through.
6. Serve and enjoy!
Makes 4 servings.
Note: I chose not to cook the zucchini this time, which made life a lot easier in this heat wave we are having!
Adapted by Sine, E. (2013). Adapted from Paleo Cupboard. (2013). Paleo zucchini noodles with avocado cream sauce.
As you will see… Paulo’s chicken portion is much larger than mine!