The last recipe I did was a cooked, more traditional version of sweet pesto pasta – but for those of you who like it raw, I offer you my uncooked interpretation. Zucchini, squash (and even eggplant and carrots!) can be shredded into thin, linguine-like strips. If you suffer from gluten allergies, want to shrink your carb-footprint, or just want a lighter, healthier dish – check this cheap and easy (just like me!) recipe:
WHAT YOU’LL NEED (serves 2):
- 1 med-large zucchini
- 1.5 cups fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 ripe avocado
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 clove raw garlic
- 2 dried black mission figs
- 1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbs nutritional yeast*
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- Using a vegetable peeler, shred the zucchini very thinly (using almost no pressure).
- In a blender, combine the basil, cashews, avocado, water, garlic, figs, vinegar, nutritional yeast, salt, and Italian seasoning. Save the black pepper for putting on top!
- Pour the pesto over the shredded “pasta”, mix, top with the pepper, and serve!
*Sometimes when I include Nutritional Yeast in a raw recipe, readers ask, “Is Nutritional Yeast actually raw?”.
The answer is no, it’s not raw. However, you NEVER want to eat raw yeast! Nutritional Yeast it is a really valuable supplement with a rock-star nutritional profile. So if you’re religiously raw – skip it. If not, it’s crucial – and tastes like yummy, nutty, cheesy goodness! According to Sundance Natural Foods:
Raised On Molasses
Nutritional yeast is grown on mineral enriched molasses and used as a food supplement. At the end of the growth period, the culture is pasteurized to kill the yeast. You never want to use a live yeast (i.e. baking yeast) as a food supplement because the live yeast continues to grow in the intestine and actually uses up the vitamin B in the body instead of replenishing the supply. (Brewer’s yeast is nutritionally the same but as a by-product of the beer-brewing industry it has a characteristic bitter hops flavor.)
It’s Good For Ya’
Nutritional yeast contains 18 amino acids (forming the complete protein) and 15 minerals. Being rich in the B-complex vitamins, it is vital in many ways and particularly good for stress reduction. The B-complex vitamins help make nutritional yeast such a valuable supplement, especially to the vegetarian. It is one of the rare vegetarian sources of B12.
One element of yeast is the trace mineral chromium, also known as the Glucose Tolerance Factor (GTF). This is necessary to regulate blood sugar and is important for diabetics and people with a tendency toward low blood sugar.