Zucchini Pasta with Pesto Sauce. Go gluten-free and enjoy the endless tasty possibilities with this zucchini pasta alternative. This recipe includes a pesto sauce, but you can easily substitute any sauce you like to spruce it up. Consider adding a tasty tomato meat sauce or olive oil and garlic … there is lots of room for creativity. Ponder adding, even more, veggies for a bigger splash of antioxidants, fiber and essential vitamins and minerals.
Most people think of zucchini as a vegetable, but it is really a fruit. Zucchini is part of the species called Cucurbita pepo, like its relative squashes and pumpkins. All summer squashes are members of the Cucurbitaceae plant family relatives, like spaghetti squash and cucumbers. Summer squash has a thin edible soft skin that takes little time to cook. This feature makes it a popular food for grilling on the barbeque, oven broiling or even eating raw.
The many health benefits of zucchini are worth mention. It is high in key antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin A, and carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. The carotenoids help to protect the eyes including macular degeneration and cataracts, and have anti-inflammatory properties. The skin of the zucchini plant is particularly rich in antioxidants and most people consume this part of the plant as well.
All varieties of squashes provide many important nutrients such as the B vitamins, zinc, magnesium and remarkably omega3s. There are very little calories per serving at only 36 calories per cup and it is low carb and low on glycemic index.
The other dynamo in this recipe is basil. Basil is an herb with potent antioxidant flavonoids and provides antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties. Basil has many culinary uses in recipes as well as medicinal properties. It can easily be grown in any garden or plant container. The tender basil leaves can be included as a spice in salads or recipes for enhanced flavor. The main ingredient in this pesto sauce recipe uses the basil leaves in their raw form and prepared in a blender.
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