New Bikini? Try Zucchini!

Summer is just around the corner and so is bikini season … Eeep! If you are anything like me – you enjoy food, that is putting it mildly. One of my most favourite foods to eat is pasta! Gulp, yep you heard me, carb loaded, belly bloating pasta.

(I am pretty sure i have Italian blood running through my veins) The only thing is, pasta … delicious as it is, is probably not the best option to eat before tomorrows pool party. Doh!

Never fear my foodie friends. I have a fabulous guilt free pasta STYLE recipe that is simply delicious and would have you believing that you could almost be eating the real thing … all without going straight to your hips. Imagine … pasta everyday … sigh.

Switch out your regular pasta for Zucchini pasta and feel the benefits. Zucchini is a low calorie, high fibre vegetable (well actually it’s a fruit), that we should all be adding into our diets. Check it out!

Fibre

  • Fibre helps keep our digestive systems healthy and our bowl movements regular. Good health stems from our tummy which can result in clearer skin, a flatter belly and improved energy levels.
  • Maintains healthy blood sugar levels
  • Lowers cholesterol levels by binding itself to the bile acids that the liver makes when it’s digesting fat, (sounds gross I know).
  • Helps our body to eliminate unwanted toxins
  • The combination of fibre and water found in zucchinis are perfect for weight loss. Helping to control our appetites, allowing us to feel fuller for longer periods of time. They also have low calorie count but still provide us with necessary nutrients.

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Vitamin C

  • The antioxidant properties of Vitamin C can help the body to fight free radicals that cause disease and illness
  • Works as a natural anti–inflammatory for the body
  • Strong immune booster
  • Can help people who suffer from asthma
  • Vitamin C and manganese in squash species like zucchini help keep our hearts healthy
  • Helps prevent high cholesterol
  • Together with Vitamin A promotes healthy vision
  • Promotes healthy hair and skin
  • Important for maintaining healthy collagen and connective tissue

Manganese

  • A mineral that can help the body metabolize proteins and carbs
  • Protects the body against oxidative stress that causes disease and illness
  • Essential for the production of an amino acid called proline, which enables collagen to form in the skin resulting in a healthier, smoother and brighter complexion. It also assists in our skins ability to heal.
  • Involved in the process of producing sex hormones and the synthesis of fatty acids and cholesterol.

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Potassium

  • Good source of electrolytes, helping to hydrate the body.
  • Helps to reduce blood pressure and maintain heart and kidney health
  • Keeps our muscles moving and our nerves working
  • Improves our overall bone health
  • A great stress buster for those who suffer from anxiety or unwanted stress (who am I kidding, all stress is unwanted).
  • Boosts metabolism and improves muscle strength
  • Maintains fluid balance in the body

If all these health benefits aren’t enough to have you making zucchini for breakfast, lunch and dinner then here is our bikini ready Zucchini Pasta as promised. It is delicious, nutritious and perfect for you plate this summer!

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Equipment

Ingredients- Zucchini Noodles

  • As many Zucchinis as required (sizes vary but usually about 1-2 medium Zucchinis per person).

Ingredients – Kale, Walnut & Chilli Pesto Sauce

  • 3/4 cup quality olive oil
  • 2 cup kale
  • 1 cup basil
  • 3/4 cup walnuts (or pine nuts)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 clove garlic (peeled)
  • pinch salt & pepper to taste
  • Optional: 1/2 hot birds eye chilli

Ingredients – Plating

  • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 1/2 red onion (finely sliced)
  • handful pine nuts
  • pepper to taste

Method – Zucchini Noodles

  1. Use you 8 in 1 Raw Slicer or Vegetable Spiralizer to make Zucchini Pasta.

Note: Peel Zucchinis first for a better presented dish.

Method – Kale, Walnut & Chilli Pesto

  1. Put all the ingredients into the Vitamix 2L container in the order listed and secure the lid.
  2. Select Variable 1. Turn the machine on and quickly increase the speed to Variable 7.
  3. Use tamper really well to press the ingredients into the blades.
  4. Blend for 30-60 seconds or until desired consistency is reached.
  5. Stop the machine.

Method – Plating

  1. Mix the Zucchini pasta, cherry tomatoes and as much pesto as desired and in a large bowl.
  2. Serve onto plates.
  3. Garnish with a sprinkle of red onion, pine nuts and a good crack of pepper to taste.

TIP: If you don’t like eating this recipe raw and enjoy a little more heat to your plate… i like to heat my pesto over the stove and saute my zucchini pasta along with the cherry tomatoes, onion and pine nuts   for 2-3 minutes or until tender, this gives the zucchini more of an al’ dente ‘pasta’ texture. Mix together and serve warm… Yum!

So go on … get your ‘kini on!

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