Pesto with Zucchini Noodles

There are many things to love about summer….least of which is the abundant harvest available at our local farmers’ markets. My son Ben has recently embraced having his own garden and gifted us last week with a gorgeous zucchini! Torn between using it for a vegan lasagna or as “noodles” with pesto, we opted for the pesto to further take advantage of fresh basil available. If you haven’t made noodles with zucchini you’re missing out! Years ago we purchased a spiralizer which makes it super quick, easy, and fun to make noodles out of zucchini, carrots, sweet potato, beets, or whatever produce you wish to try! They were hard to source when we purchased ours years ago, but happily, they are available at many kitchen stores including our own local Apple Annie’s and The Kitchen Shop.

In addition to taking advantage of local produce, I wanted to include magnesium-rich foods. Magnesium is such an important mineral for so many reasons, and one that is deficient for many. Low levels of magnesium can contribute to fatigue, muscle cramping,  muscle weakness, diminished bone density, irregular heartbeat, asthma and more, so clearly, it’s important stuff!

While I’m personally a huge fan of topical magnesium in the form of a spray, gel or lotion, and also frequently take a powdered magnesium supplement in the evening, I strongly encourage seeking out magnesium-rich foods. This week’s recipe is not only easy (yay), tasty (or so we think), but it also includes a lot of magnesium-rich foods including leafy greens, pumpkin seeds and nutritional yeast. It’s the perfect summer meal as you don’t need your stove (if you elect not to first saute onion) to make this dish! Having said that, we had some leftover pesto so decided to thin out the pesto with a little almond milk and toss it with fresh pasta noodles….oh my, yum!

If you give this recipe a try we would love your feedback!

Pesto with Zucchini Noodles

1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted *don’t skip this step*
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1 cup packed fresh spinach leaves
3 cloves garlic, or to preferance
1 chopped onion = 1 cup, sauteed in 1 T oil of choice
3 T nutritional yeast
1/3 cup good quality olive oil
1 T fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon of salt

Lightly toast pumpkin seeds and set aside to cool. Saute onion until softened and translucent….you may even wish to lightly caramelize. We sauteed the onion in  1 T of coconut oil. Once seeds have cooled, lightly pulse in food processor. Add remaining ingredients with exception of olive oil. Once well incorporated, add olive oil in light stream with food processor running. Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference.

Create enough zucchini noodles to serve 3 or 4 people. We had to feed Dan so he counts as at least 2 servings! Of course you can always swap out zucchini noodles for regular pasta. This pesto would also be a terrific base for pizza, or even as a marinade.

Toss noodles with pesto, serve and enjoy!