I’ve been playing around a lot lately with raw foods. I’m all about the fall comfort dishes, and piping hot pots of soup, but sometimes it’s fun to mix it up and try something different. I think one of the things I love the most about being vegan is the creative outlet it allows me to have when it comes to creating meals and food. There are endless possibilities with ingredients, spices and recipes and it makes me giddy with excitement thinking about them all.
This is how I’ve felt lately with raw food. I’ve been soaking seeds, nuts and beans like I’m going to run out of water, and I’ve had the dehydrator running several times over the last week. Sometimes you just need to shake things up a little to keep life exciting and food interesting, and that’s where I’ve been lately. I was in a bit of a rut, with no appetite and no desire to really cook, and after receiving some raw food books from a friend, it seemed like the perfect time to give them a try and start experimenting.
Raw foods add a health boost to the body because they are rich in enzymes. Cooking (heat) can destroy certain enzymes and deplete some of the nutrients in the food, while raw preparation leaves all these intact. With this recipe, not only are there the nutritional benefits from it being raw, but also from the Pumpkin Seeds. These little things are packed with nutrients including zinc, iron and healthy fats and are a great addition to salads, breakfast oats and just by the handful. And raw pesto of course. I have no desire to become strictly raw (I love my baked squash too much!), but it is a fun area of vegan food to experiment with, and this recipe was too good not to share. Enjoy!
Zucchini Noodles with Lemon Pumpkin Seed Pesto
- 1 cup spinach leaves
- 1 cup kale leaves
- 12 large basil leaves
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp hemp oil
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Juice of one Lemon
- Pasta or zucchini noodles for serving
Add all the ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. I don’t like my pesto too oily, but feel free to add extra oil if you prefer. Spiralize some zucchini or cook noodles and toss in pesto. Serve with fresh tomato and sprinkled with pumpkin seeds.