Spring is here! Which means people start thinking about spring cleaning their homes – this year why not try spring cleaning your body too?!
I fancied a bit of pasta and pesto for my lunch but wanted to spruce it up a bit to make it more healthy and nutritious. I often do this by swapping half the usual spaghetti I’d cook with the infamous ‘courgetti’, except I don’t have any fancy spiralising gadgets so I just peel the length of the raw courgette creating ribbons. As I had a bag of spinach and half an avocado in the fridge, I searched for a pasta sauce recipe I could make and found this recipe. Which can easily be adapted depending on what ingredients you have, e.g. rocket/kale/basil instead of spinach, or by interchanging any nuts or seeds you have in. I used pine nuts in mine like a classic pesto but any variation would work wonderfully!
Whizz all the ingredients together in a food processor or blender with a crushed garlic clove and a squeeze of lemon juice, (no need for extra oil as we've used avocado which is rich in natural fats) until it reaches your preferred consistency.
Once your spaghetti and courgetti are cooked (note: I usually add the courgette ribbons in the last 5 minutes of the spaghetti cooking time left), mix with the fresh pesto until combined.
I then added a few fresh cherry and sun-dried tomatoes, finishing with a seasoning of salt and pepper. So delicious and so easy to make in a few minutes by whizzing up in the food processor, although because of the fresh avocado and garlic, the mixture will go brown and past its best so I’d recommend gobbling it all up immediately!
Courgette: high in vitamin C, folate and potassium; help regulate blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol; contain magnesium which may contribute to lower risk of heart disease and stroke.
Avocado: rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and potassium; protects risk of stroke, heart disease and high blood pressure; anti-inflammatory properties lubricate joints therefore reduce arthritic symptoms; source of ‘healthy fat’ which is thought to boost fertility.
Spinach: high in vitamin K, iron and antioxidants; maintains healthy bones and may be protective against risk of prostate and ovarian cancers. When eaten raw it is best consumed alongside citrus as it helps absorb more iron and calcium.
Tomatoes: contain vitamin C, beta-carotene and lycopene; support heart health by strengthening the walls of blood vessels and reducing cholesterol; remove free radicals so reduce risk of cancers such as prostate and breast cancer; help protect eyes and skin.
Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy!
My name is Helen Davison and I'm a NIMH registered practising Medical Herbalist based in Ramsbottom, Lancashire. I've had a keen interest in herbal remedies since my early teens and would experiment creating my own balms and bath bombs using natural ingredients, which prompted me in discovering and pursuing a career in Western Herbal Medicine.