Pesto Zucchini Noodles

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As summer is quickly approaching, I am finding myself less inclined to crave warm foods.  This has presented a unique challenge in attempting to get creative in my cooking beyond the typical salad.  There are many raw foodists out there who are able to come up with creative meals year round, so why couldn’t I?

The best part about this meal is that it wasn’t planned.  I didn’t go to the grocery store with a list, I simply got creative with what was in the fridge.  I could have grilled up the zucchini as I normally do but I wanted to enjoy this dish RAW.  I hope you enjoy this wonderfully clean vegan and raw recipe.  I know that my entire family did (even those who are historically not excited about eating my “super healthy” food).

Raw zucchini provides unadulterated benefits that run the gamut most beautiful green foods provide such as preventing cancer and lowering blood pressure and cholesterol but zucchini is uniquely high in manganese.  Manganese is great for your metabolism, strong bones, and protecting against oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress is a large term that often gets thrown around along with free radicals, but what does that really mean? Free radicals are all around us, pollution, chemicals, etc. its enough to drive one mad.  The good news is that mother nature has provided us a way to fight back, so don’t stress! Whole foods, fruits and vegetables contain anti-oxidants that reduce and counteract the free radicals that we are exposed to on a daily basis.  It is important to make a concerted effort to ensure that our diets are rich in these anti-oxidant dense foods.  Sometimes this takes a bit of creativity and planning, but can be accomplished and with great benefits to you and your family’s health!

Make this lovely delicious recipe that not only your taste buds but also your body will enjoy and thank you for!

What you will need:

– 2 large zucchinis

-2 cups fresh basil

-1/4 cup almonds (raw or dry roasted)

-Juice of 1 lemon

– Salt and pepper to taste

1. Peel the zucchinis into ribbons using either a mandoline or a vegetable peeler. I used a vegetable peeler and it worked great.  Set aside.

2. Place the lemon juice, basil, almonds, and salt & pepper into a blender or food processor and pulse until it is a pesto consistency.

3. Mix the pesto on the zucchini noodles and enjoy on their own or place on top of a bed of romaine for a heartier salad!

ENJOY!!

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Mango Coconut Ice Cream

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I love mangos.The best mangos I have ever eaten were in India.  You buy them from a fruit vendor and they are warm from siting in the hot sun.  You then go about squishing the whole mango until it feels much like a water balloon and you break a small hole in the top and drink the mango like a delightful sticky sweet mess.  SO GOOD.  In india they also make a fabulous mango and yogurt drink called mango lassi.  I found myself craving mango lassi, so I came up with this recipe for a vegan mango coconut ice cream.

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Before we get to the good stuff, I also wanted to provide you a bit of information about the nutritional benefits of mangos. Mangos are a great source of vitamins A,C,K and vitamin B6  and also contain potassium. There are also recent studies showing that they prevent cancer, relieve stress, and help to reduce body fat! (see sources below) — OK now back to the good stuff —

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe mangos chopped (you may use frozen if desired)
  • 1/4 cup filtered water
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbs raw sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups of coconut milk
  • 1 cup chopped pineapple (optional)

1. Place your water, lemon juice, cinnamon, and raw sugar in a pan over medium heat and bring to a boil.

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2. Lower heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Take off of the heat and set aside to cool.

3. Once the mango mixture has cooled a bit (10-15 mins) pour the mixture into the blender and add the coconut milk.

4. Blend until smooth. Add the pineapple and pulse 2-3 times (this will give you pineapple chunks in your ice cream)

5. Taste the mixture to make sure it is to your liking! (Not sweet enough? Add a touch of raw sugar or stevia and pulse again.)

6. Place the mixture in the refrigerator for one hour to set.

7. Place the mixture into your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s directions.

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8. ENJOY

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Mango Benefit Sources: http://humansciences.okstate.edu/nsci/index.php/component/content/article/1-latest/56-nsci-research-finds-health-benefits-in-mangos; http://www.thebatt.com/2.8485/texas-a-m-researchers-discover-mango-health-benefits-1.1283355