We are sure you have heard of zucchini taking the place of pasta and we imagine you thought you were doing a good thing for yourself; saving calories and eating your vegetables like your mama told you to. But did you know that is actually a fruit and you are doing so much more for your body than saving calories?
Zucchini has so many health benefits! One medium zucchini has over 50% of your daily need of Vitamin C. This keeps your immune system healthy and helps fight off respiratory problems. The anti-inflammatory properties keep your lungs open and clear.
One cup of cooked zucchini has over 15% of your daily need of potassium, which can reduce blood pressure. That is often more than you will find in a multi-vitamin. It is a good source of Vitamin Bs including Folate, Vitamin B-6, and Riboflavin. All which helps support a good metabolism. Plus it is mainly water, yet has a good amount of fiber to keep you feeling fuller longer without that bloating feeling often associated with fibrous vegetables.
Eating it not the only way to get benefits. Because of zucchini's anti-inflammatory properties, you can place a slice over your eyelids to reduce puffiness. So next time when you are thinking about making pasta, reach for zucchini instead!
We love this recipe because of the creaminess and flavor. It is a delicious dairy free option using Nutritional Yeast. You can read about the benefits of Nutritional Yeast here from an earlier post. You can pour yourself a nice glass of red wine and have a pasta night, knowing you are doing something so good for your body, while having a great tasting meal!
2 large zucchini
1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for 1 hour and then drain
3-4 T Nutritional Yeast
1 tsp. paprika
Juice of 1/2 lemon
3/4 - 1 cup vegetable broth
2 T olive oil
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Add-ins: Sundried tomatoes and basil or anything you like
1.) To make the sauce, place soaked and drained cashews in a food processor or high-speed blender. Add lemon juice, paprika, and 3 T of Nutritional yeast. Process and add in the vegetable broth until you get the desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste and if needed the additional tablespoon of Nutritional yeast. Set aside.
2.) Using a spiralizer**, make "pasta" with your zucchini and set aside.
3.) Heat olive oil in a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onions and garlic until soft, stirring frequently so not to burn the garlic. Place zucchini and saute until soft.
4.) Pour enough sauce to coat the zucchini and add sundried tomatoes. Toss so it is well incorporated. Remove from heat and sprinkle with basil. You will have leftover sauce you can use for another dish too!
**You can purchase a spiralizer here