- 2 Zucchinis
- 1 cup Cherry Tomatoes
- 1 cup Basil
- 1 cup Spinach
- 0.25 cup Pumpkin Seeds
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 1 Lemon
- 0.25, grated Parmesan Cheese
- 0.25 teaspoon Salt
- 0.3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Healthy, low-carb and nutritious zucchini noodles with pesto!
Zucchini is one of my all-time favorite vegetables. It’s safe to say that this item is always in my refrigerator.
Besides being a good source of dietary fiber, antioxidant vitamin-C and vitamin-A, zucchini is also very versatile.
It can be roasted in the oven, sautéed in a pan, steamed or even eaten raw!
Growing up in Germany, we would regularly go to authentic Italian restaurants and my dish of choice was pretty much always tortellini with pesto.
My mother used to tell me that pesto was healthy and a better option than tomato sauce.
So when I moved out on my own and attended college, I was eating Buitoni’s 3-cheese Tortellini with a store bought pesto sauce at least 3 times a week.
Thinking back on what my mother used to tell me, I thought I was making a smarter, healthier choice. I was wrong and the fact that my stomach always hurt after eating this meal should have been a warning sign.
Another big mistake I used to make is not reading the nutritional facts of the items I was buying. What was I thinking?
Anywho, now that I am aware of how much oil and sodium they pack into those jarred pesto sauces I am making my own and never looking back!
These raw zucchini noodles give my body all of the nutrients the zucchini has to offer.
Once the vegetable is not longer in it’s raw stage, most of the nutrient are killed off.
I love cooked vegetables but try to include raw fruits and vegetables into my diet as often as possible.
Make The Pesto
Making your own pesto is the easiest thing and you can pretty much use any greens your heart desires!
Traditionally, pesto is made with pine nuts and basil but I prefer adding a second type of green like spinach as the basil can be quite overpowering.
Pine nuts are expensive and also high in fat, I therefore use pumpkin seeds which are lower in fat and a staple in my pantry; walnuts are also a great alternative.
To make the pesto, add the basil, spinach, pumpkin seeds, chopped garlic, and the juice of half a lemon into a food processor.
Blend until combined. If you own a large food processor add the extra virgin olive oil slowly while it is running.
I only own a small food processor where removing the top to add an ingredient is required, if that is the case, add the oil in 3 batches at a time.
Similar to a salad dressing recipe, adding the oil slowly ensures that it is well incorporated.
Now, add the parmesan cheese and pulse a few times. Before you add salt, give it a taste to see if you need it.
To make this a vegan pesto, substitute the cheese for nutritional yeast, also known as the vegan's cheese!
Assemble The Dish
Toss the zucchini spaghetti with 1 to 2 tbsp of the pesto per serving.
You will have left over pesto that you can use with real pasta or spread onto some bread. The possibilities are endless!
Store your pesto in the fridge for up to 5 days.
As I always try to add color to my dish, I am topping this zucchini spaghetti pesto with raw cherry tomatoes and some more pumpkin seeds and cheese.
Hope you enjoy!
How do you make your pesto? Leave me a comment below!