California Avocado Basil Pesto with Zucchini Noodles
11 / 02 / 2016
Tasty & Good for You!
Step aside Alfredo, we found a new, creamy sauce we’re obsessing over: California Avocado Basil Pesto. We like to enjoy it over spiraled zucchini noodles. As Registered Dietitian Nutritionists and food lovers to our core, we firmly. support that the foods you put on your plate should not only be good for your body and support a healthy lifestyle, it should nourish your taste buds, too.
And that’s where the fun, flirty spiraled zucchini and velvety, smooth California Avocados come in to play.
Since over 75% of the fat in avocados is unsaturated (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats), they’re a great substitute for foods high in saturated fat, such as cream-based, often highly processed pasta sauces. In fact, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015 emphasizes making small dietary shifts such as replacing foods higher in saturated fats with foods containing good fats, like avocados.
And we’re all about supporting consumption of the good fats found in avocados. Swapping this California Avocado Basil Pesto for your standard cream-based pasta sauces is an avocado substitution done to perfection. Thanks to the avocado fat content, this vibrant, delicious sauce acts as a “nutrient booster” by enabling the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients such as vitamins A, D, E and K. Another great part of the avocado’s story is the fiber. Avocados are a good source of fiber (3 g per 50 g serving/one-third of a medium avocado) and are a great fresh fruit option to help boost fiber intake. Diets rich in foods containing fiber, such as some fruits and vegetables, may reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.
This fresh take on creamy pasta incorporates an element of fun with spiraled zucchini noodles. The “zoodles” are a simple swap from traditional pasta and easily add a couple extra servings of veggies to your day. Topped with nutritious “good” fats courtesy of California Avocados, this colorful, nutrient-filled recipe is one you’ll want to keep on hand. Rich in fiber (6 grams), satisfying unsaturated avocado fats (12 grams), potassium (1030 milligrams) and Vitamin A (1742 IU) this recipe also dishes up 100 percent of your daily needs for vitamin C (58 milligrams) at just 200 calories per serving! Don’t you just love it when such a creamy, flavorful dish offers so much good nutrition too? Plus this recipe is not only low in sodium, it’s cholesterol and trans fat free!
Perfect for a take-to-work lunch, as a creative element to your little one’s lunch box, or a simple, nutritious family-friendly meal, this elevated “pasta” dish may be on pretty frequent rotation in your kitchen. And trust us when we say, if you have any of the California Avocado Basil Pesto left over, you’ll want to keep it for spreading on sandwiches or using as a dip for veggies or whole grain crackers. Enjoy!
California Avocado Basil Pesto with Zucchini Noodles Recipe
It’s hard to believe this flavorful and creamy California Avocado Basil Pesto is entirely dairy-free! It makes a delicious sandwich spread and also adds a silky richness to fresh spiral zucchini noodles.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes
California Avocado Basil Pesto
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 ripe, Fresh California Avocados, seeded and peeled
3 cloves garlic
1 cup packed basil leaves
2 cups baby spinach
¼ cup pine nuts
1 lemon, juice only
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
¼ tsp. sea salt
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
As needed, additional freshly ground black pepper – Optional
Spiral Zucchini Noodles
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
8 medium zucchini, spiralized
As needed sea salt - Optional
As needed freshly grated Parmesan cheese - Optional
- Combine all of the California Avocado Basil Pesto ingredients in a food processor. Puree until smooth, set aside
- Next, add remaining olive oil to a large skillet, and heat over medium-heat. Add spiralized zucchini to skillet, sprinkle with a bit of optional sea salt if desired, and cook for about 2 minutes until zucchini softens
- Pour California Avocado Basil Pesto over cooked zucchini noodles and toss to evenly distribute
- Top with optional black pepper and freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if desired
Nutrition Information Per Serving (without optional ingredients):
Calories 200, Total Fat 16g (Saturated Fat 2g, Trans Fat 0g, Poly 3.5g, Mono 9g), Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 130mg, Potassium 1030mg, Total Carbohydrates 14g, Dietary Fiber 6g, Total Sugars 7g, Protein 5g, Vitamin A 1742 IU, Vitamin C 58mg, Calcium 68mg, Iron 2 mg, Vitamin D 0 IU, Folate: 129 mcg
% Daily Value: Vitamin A 35%; Vitamin C 100%; Calcium 6%, Iron 10%