Zucchini Noodles w/ Basil and Hemp Nut Pesto & The Benefits of a completely raw meal

by Julie on October 6, 2010

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This summer I was able to create and photograph many recipes for you.  It is now October and I still haven’t shown you this wonderful raw zucchini noodle dish that I ate all summer long and will enjoy as long as I can find zucchinis and some basil.  I can usually find these ingredients most of the year-how about you, can you locate these goodies in your local market?

I hope so cuz this dish is a little addictive if I do say so myself.  It is soooo easy to prepare and there is no cooking required- don’t you love that?  If you make a large batch of the noodles, they keep well so you could have dinner on the table in a matter of 2 minutes or as long as it takes you to toss pesto on the noodles and make a quick salad if you wish a 2nd dish.  I rather like a simple tomato salad with this as it pairs nicely with the pesto.  You may be thinking that this is too summery to make now that autumn is approaching and comfort food is calling your name but perhaps have it along side a lightly warmed tomato soup or a lovely avocado slathered piece of sprouted grain toast.  The main thing is to have some raw food at every meal and this is a nice change from a salad or in addition to.

What you do need to make this though, is a spiral slicer.  It’s an inexpensive but invaluable hand slicer that even my 5 year old daughter can use.  It is possible how ever to make a fettucini noodle with a potato peeler instead but it will be a slightly different effect.  If you have a julienne peeler that could work too, but the spiral slicer is ideal and offers blades for three noodles sizes.  For this recipe and for the “prettiness” of it I peeled the zucchini but it isn’t really necessary to peel and it is very beneficial to consume the skin as it is rich in chlorophyll and beta carotene.

As with many vegetables, zucchini is loaded with dietary fiber and proteins as well as antioxidants, especially vitamin C for inflammatory properties, memory improvement and curing asthma.  If you have poor eye sight the Vitamin C and the high content of carotenoids (lutein) can help you here.  Zucchini is packed with the following nutrients essential for building and maintaining a healthy body; folate, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin B6, riboflavin, manganese (one of the best sources), magnesium, copper, folate, zinc, calcium, phosphorous, niacin, tryptophan and many others.  Consuming this useful high water content vegetable is beneficial for dramatically reducing symptoms of disease and reducing the rate of colon cancer & heart disease by as much as 55%.  It also reduces your risk of multiple sclerosis and inflammation (key cause of disease), while maintaining healthy bones, capillaries and improving your metabolism.   How’s that for an action packed vegetable?  It should really be a regular part of your weekly meals for optimal health if you can find it in your locale.  I haven’t even mentioned how healthy the pesto is.  The hemp nuts  and the other nuts add an excellent vegan protein along with good omegas while the basil is rich in flavonoids, which help to protect cells and chromosomes from damage especially by radiation and oxygen.  All in all, this is one healthy dish!

Raw Zucchini Noodles w/ Pesto
Yield: serves 4
2- 6 to 8 inch zucchinis, peeled if desired
pinch celtic sea salt
1 cup of basil leaves
3 tbsp raw hemp hearts
1/4 c pine nuts and or raw walnuts, or raw cashews
1/4c olive oil and bit for consistency
1 clove garlic crushed
pinch sea salt
Method
If using spiral slicer, trim both ends of zuchini straight so as to line up evenly and flush between the holder and the blade.  Begin winding and the spaghetti like noodles will form thru the openings on the blade.  Remove core and use for another dish.  For a fettucini like noodle you may use a potato peeler to peel the zucchini into wide strips.  Set noodles aside.
For the Pesto
Combine basil, olive oil, nuts, garlic and sea salt in blender or food processor and combine until and even consistency is achieved, scraping down the sides.  Add a wee bit extra oil if needed for consistency.
Toss the noodles with the pesto, season with sea salt and serve immediately.  Failure to do so may result in softer noodles and a watery residue as the zucchini loses it’s moisture-but it still tastes yummy!

This handy dandy spiral slicer cost about 50.00.  I think it has more than paid for itself with all the use it has received since I brought it home.  The kids love using it too!  They’ve used it themselves for thinly sliced apples tossed in cinnamon, thinly spiraled carrots that are yummy, firm pears, the list goes on.  It makes eating fruits and veggies way more fun when the kids can be a part of the prep and when the produce is more interesting to eat!

The benefits of a completely raw meal are astounding. You may not be a raw foodie nor even be contemplating it but now and again a completely raw meal does the body good.  If you find that you are a little bogged down with your daily “movements” a simple raw meal can make all the difference, and better yet an entire raw day if you can manage that.  Living foods are passed thru our systems with such ease and can assist in flushing resting toxins from your system.  The nutritional benefit of the live foods are fully present and are easily digested when raw.  It’s commendable to be vegetarian but all too often fancy vegetarian meals are made to replace the missing meat components and most vegetables are still fully cooked, thus losing the much needed nutrients.  Ever been to a vegetarian food bar?  Most everything is cooked except the token small salad bar along with tofu this and tofu that.  You are much better off eating a bigger part of your meal or your entire meal raw and gaining maximum benefits from your produce dollars.  I’m not suggesting you go 100% raw but by following an alkaline lifestyle and incorporating 70-80% raw in your diet you can enjoy some cooked foods with a large percentage of raw and will be sure to maintain an excellent balance of living foods which are thee force of life and energy.  Studies have shown that a diet rich in raw foods can reverse signs of aging and correct many symptoms of disease and cancer depending on the degree of progression.

My thought is this. If we now know that this is a proven fact then why wait until you show symptoms of disease or you have cancer to begin a healthy regime.  Our bodies can do miraculous things but asking it to reverse cancer versus avoid cancer is an even more daunting task for it to over come.  Though it has been done many times, it takes a serious commitment by the patient and the guidance of an alkaline consultant with extensive experience over seeing a special juicing feast, armed with targeted supplements & protocols to be successful. I believe this to be the better option over chemo and radiation for fighting cancer.  I can count on every finger someone I know or am related to that currently has cancer or recently died of cancer.  Those that I know that suffer from a myriad of diseases are counted on all my toes and the toes of my children!  If you can recognize that our food and high levels of stress are the factors of disease then please consider what you eat.  It’s not rocket science to see that the hormone & antibiotic laiden meats & dairy, cooked and of course processed food of today is killing us.  We have the knowledge and the power to change our paths yet many of us just keep on eating the same old.  I’m here to share my knowledge and recipes to inspire you in considering a different way of eating and living that will reward you in ways you never knew possible.

Let me know if you try this noodle dish or if you have a favourite way of preparing these delicious noodles. If you are celebrating thanksgiving this weekend I wish you a special time with friends and family and hope that you enjoy a healthy and energizing meal together.

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Leslie October 6, 2010 at 9:26 pm

I absolutely love this dish -yummy! I am going to order one of those spiral slicers asap. I forgot about getting one and you have reminded me! Thanks Jules!

Kamela October 27, 2010 at 11:41 am

I’m so glad I found your blog via A Creative Mint! I love my food spiraler, too! A super awesome foodie secret that makes veggies more fun! Love the photos on your blog, too!

Cheers,
Kamela

Rona Bennett November 5, 2010 at 11:34 am

Ok, this is the first dish I tried and it was YUMMY! One of the girls that works in our office tried it and loves it too. I put organic tomatoes in mine. My husband ate his with parmesan cheese bread. Oh well, baby steps.

Julie November 5, 2010 at 7:43 pm

Hey Rona, glad to hear it! Those zucchini noodles are now my new favourite pasta. They are really great with a raw tomato sauce of blended garlic, fresh tomatoes & sun dried tomatoes, basil, olive oil and a wee bit of sea salt. Yum! I’m pleased for you that your hubby even ate the noodles, so way to go!-you’re half way there if he is open to trying new things. Thanx for your comment, and glad you made it home safe and sound.

Wendy January 7, 2011 at 5:47 am

You are my heroes! I have shared your blog with my family and friends and can’t tell you how much I appreciate this boost! Dr. Young is my mentor too. I have had amazing health benefits from this lifestyle and want to spread the word to help others. Again, many thanks for your beautiful, professional looking blog. How do you do it?

pierre marchildon January 13, 2011 at 2:21 pm

wow great job ladies, i have begun eating raw foods this summer and was amazed at the power of foods. Glad to see all the raw dish you have available on this site, ” let thy food be thy medicine and let thy medicine be thy food” Will read more here in a few days! Pierre

Julie January 16, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Pierre, thanx for the quote, it’s an excellent motto to adapt! Congrats on your raw journey!

Sylvia March 16, 2011 at 7:07 pm

I just happened upon this site and your beautiul photos have inspired me to try eating more healthy…. I tried this pasta recipe (the photo called me)… despite the fact that I normally truly dislike zucchini, I really love this recipe and the zucchini noodles – I’ve had this a few times this week!!! Thanks for all the great work!

Julie March 16, 2011 at 7:46 pm

Yay Sylvia! I love that you are inspired to eat healthy in part because the food I photograph looks so yummy and irresistible cuz that’s my number one goal! -to make healthy food look and taste better cuz it has a bad rap!
Thank you for you comment as it inspires me to keep on doing this thing I’ve become so passionate about! Glad you loved the noodles, do too! They keep well in the fridge once cut too!

Cristina July 9, 2012 at 5:08 pm

What are hemp hearts and where do you buy them from

admin July 11, 2012 at 11:54 pm

Hi Cristina, so sorry to inform you but Australia has banned hemp hearts/seeds/nuts from being sold in the country- (they are called all three names). They are one of nature’s ideal vegetable proteins full of amazing nutrients. If you come to America they are sold in most grocery stores since they’ve been popularized. They are a different strain from hemp (marijuana) that is used for smoking.

Sharon Matten April 10, 2013 at 8:57 am

I love the idea of using vegetables as “pasta”!! It’s healthier and great for the Gluten Free Eater. Can you please tell me the brand and type of spiral cutter you got – the “noodles” are cut so evenly it’s impressive! I can’t wait to try this. Thanks!!

Sharon Matten
koshereveryday.com

julie April 10, 2013 at 9:33 am
Sharon Matten April 10, 2013 at 9:51 am

Thanks! I just ordered it…SO excited! I’ll keep you posted.

Sharon Matten
koshereveryday.com

Helen December 30, 2013 at 1:47 pm

I’m really loving your blog and working my way through your delicious recipes, this one is my favourite. I have been suffering from sinusitis for 3 months and no medicine is working so I am really pleased that I have found you girls, here’s hoping by de-acidifying my body I’ll be able to breath, smell, taste, sleep and go back to exercise again soon. Day 2 of the juice cleanse and I’m feeling the benefits already so many thanks and please keep up the great work, this website really does help!

Jennifer Reveles January 7, 2014 at 9:51 am

Looks tasty! This is a cold meal? Nothing cooked? Can I heat it? I’m a flight attendant and pre-pare all my food for 4days is there anyway I can spiral cut at home then transport? Maybe freezing? If not I guess I would have to carry a potatoe peeler. Alkaline eating is very hard to do on the fly. Any suggestions from a time would be greatly appreciated!

admin January 8, 2014 at 12:54 pm

Hi Jennifer, yes this is a cold meal like a salad. It keeps quite well when stored separately. Prepare the noodles and then the pesto and then pack them separately and keep chilled. Yes you could slightly warm this but as long as it’s not in a microwave which depletes the nutrients on impact. Best to enjoy cold or room temp by taking it out an hour before consuming it. This would be a great meal for travelling.Experiment with daikon radish, carrots and broccoli stems as well that also keep well once cut into noodles as long as they are chilled. The pesto will freeze well but the noodles won’t. I have to say the alkaline eating is only hard to do on the fly when you are new to it. I make many warmed vegetable soups that are alkaline and freeze them in portions and then just bring a salad or veggie sticks. This is a perfect way to eat alkaline:) This most recent lentil dish is a good one to take for lunch too. It will freeze well too! Magic Bullets are great too. Just pre-pack the cups with greens and a wee bit of apple or pear etc. but don’t blend and take them with you along with the base. Add water or coconut water, maybe slice open an avocado and toss in and voila you have a freshly blended smoothie! You can do it, it’s the right thing for your health especially with your position and long hours. All the best:)

Nickelle January 24, 2014 at 9:50 pm

I just recently found this site and have been browsing around. The recipe’s look mouthwatering and the photos of all the bright, intense, natural colors make me so hungry for something fresh and raw and alkaline. Although I’ve worked this past year on maintaining a healthier diet (I cut out fast food and processed, prepackaged foods entirely, and started eating organic and homemade) but lately I’ve noticed that while I did lose 30 lbs from changing my diet, my energy levels still haven’t improved, my stomach hurts to the point of nausea waking me up at 3 am, I have bouts of painful stomach aches and problems with irregularity, and I just generally feel kind of blah, heavy, and weighed down. I can feel it in my skin (if that makes sense) and I constantly feel dehydrated (even though I drink almost nothing but water).

I started realizing the importance of alkalinity recently (something i had read about briefly before but didn’t get into much when I was still new to eating healthier and didn’t want to overwhelm myself) and in the last couple weeks especially I’ve been acutely aware of how my diet is rich in heavy, acidic foods: meat, poultry, dairy, starches and grains (i.e. nightshades, rice etc.) and although my meat is local and organic, my dairy raw (milk) or low-heat pasteurized and my grains and nightshades organic, they’re all very heavy foods that take a lot of work to process and assimilate for nutrients. I notice I feel better when I have a smoothie for breakfast and eat fruit for dessert. Lately I’ve been craving apples so badly I could cry (I currently have no car and quick trips to the store aren’t so quick, especially since the natural food stores are further than Target and the local grocery) and the pictures of zucchini (probably my favorite vegetable EVER) made me salivate. Literally.

Sorry to have made this so long but I just wanted to say thank you for having a site with so much comprehensive information about alkalizing one’s diet and actually giving recipe’s and ways to DO this. I’ve seen other pages/places/people who recommend a “more alkaline diet” but then give either very vague guidelines on this or no information at all, leaving one to figure it out by one’s self. This is a huge help, having a place to start. I can’t wait to give some of these recipe’s a try and I noticed in one post a comment about a book being written (slated for a 2015 release) and I will definitely be looking out for it! I am more excited to (once again) revitalize my diet and my health. I’m learning new things about health everyday and having comprehensive and helpful information like this around helps encourage me to continue trying and growing.

P.S. The photos are always gorgeous!

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Disclaimer: The content on this site is not written with intentions to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatments. Our content is for information purposes only and should not be used to diagnose or treat health issues of any sort. Our information and statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Copyright Julie Cove and Yvonne Becker, 2009-2010. Please do not use or copy any information, recipes or photos without permission or without noting its origins on your blog or website.