Zoodles ‘zucchini noodles’ (also known as ‘Courgetti’ ) with delicious home-made pistachio pesto is a quick, simple and delicious lunch or dinner.
Hello spiralized ‘zoodles’ hype train, let me hop aboard because boy oh boy do I love ya! They have completely revolutionized my zucchini eating and helped me incorporate the ingredient more into my diet. Which is perfect considering the plethora of zucchini health benefits!Having said that: along with a Zoodles recipe, I’m also going to pop in a few health benefits and reasons why you should be adding more Zucchini / Courgette into your diet!
What is Zucchini/ Courgette?
Because Zucchini looks a lot like an odd cucumber, lots of people assume that they have a similar taste and although they are both part of the ‘summer squash’ family (which also includes melons and, not surprisingly, cucumbers!), the taste and texture are completely different.
It’s also worth noting that Zucchini comes as either green or yellow skinned, although very similar in taste. The nutritional values of each differ slightly but, in general, they are very similar and both are chock-a-block with health benefits.
Why you should add more Zucchini to your diet?
Okay so first I think it’s worth mentioning the non-nutritional reason. And, although it is debatable – I think Zucchini is a delicious ingredient to add to your cooking.
Whilst the actual flavour is very subtle, they carry flavour extremely well. Whether oven cooking with spices or frying in sauce, I think zucchini does an excellent job at being integrated into SO many meals.
That’s not to mention using it as a raw ingredient! This can be perfect for salads, canapés and – of course – as a pasta/spaghetti alternative!
It’s worth noting that ‘zoodles’ can be prepared as a raw or cooked ingredient.
Moving on to Zucchini health benefits:
- Very nutrient dense with 100g containing only 17kcal, rich in various minerals and vitamins, particularly Vitamin A & C.
- Full of antioxidants – In particular, ‘carotenoids’ which can be beneficial to heart health, eyes and skin etc.
- Rich in fibre – Which is good for your gut health but also can benefit heart health as they can help reduce cholesterol.
- High water content but low in calories – so great for adding volume to meals, without too many additional calories and for keeping you fuller for longer.
And that’s just to name a few of their benefits. They are also apparently talked about being a good anti-ageing ingredient, good for eye health and could even help prevent certain cancers.
So it’s definitely time to add zucchini into your diet right now!
Now, Why eat Zoodles particularly?
To be honest one of my favourite ways to use zucchini is as a pasta alternative. Like with zoodles! Not only does it look and taste delicious but it’s also worth mentioning that it is a brilliant low-carb alternative to pasta.
This can be particularly beneficial in stabilizing/lowering blood sugar and insulin levels.
Plus this recipe of zoodles with pistachio pesto is so incredibly delicious, filling and can be made in under 10 minutes! You simply need to prepare the zoodles, blitz your pesto ingredients and mix. Voila! Perfect for when you’re low on time.
I have actually left the zoodles raw for this recipe, as I think the texture and taste are perfect as is.
However, here are some tips for cooking zoodles, if wanted:
- To keep the zoodles/ courgetti from being too watery the best method is to salt them! – Zucchini is 95% water so they can easily become very watery when cooking. To fix this issue simply toss your zoodles with a little bit of salt and leave for 20-30 minutes in a colander over the sink. The salt will bring out some of the excess water. You can then give them a gentle squeeze to get rid of any loose liquid and then dry them off with a bit of paper towel and they are ready to cook!
- To pan fry, simply heat some oil in a pan over medium heat and gently fry for around 5 minutes. ( be warned though. This does still have some slightly ‘mushy’ results but it’s never bothered me).
However, as I’ve said before. This recipe doesn’t actually require cooking the zoodles at all and the taste is just as good – plus you can avoid adding any unnecessary salt to the dish.
Without further ado, time to make some zoodles with pistachio pesto, a great raw vegan meal!
What you need for these Zucchini noodles with pistachio pesto:
- courgette /zucchini
For the pesto:
- olive oil
- pistachios, you could also use pine nuts if you prefer
- salt and pepper, to taste
I chose to make this pesto with the avocado as a base. You can also make it a pistachios basil pesto, by replacing the avocado with basil leaves.
Use a spiralizer to create ribbons of zoodles. There are various types of spiralizers available that all do the same sort of job although can massively affect ‘shape’ of the zoodles.
Alternatively, you can cut the courgettes in long very thin strips or use a vegetable peeler. Set the spiralized zucchini aside.
To create the pistachio pesto, mix the avocado, garlic, cilantro, olive oil, pistachios, and lime juice and zest. Season to taste.
Mash well or blend them in a food processor/blender. I like the pesto very smooth, so I blitz it quickly in a hand-held blender.
Combine the zoodles with the pistachio pesto. Sprinkle some extra pistachios and a couple of cilantro leaves.
Enjoy your zoodles!
This dish is best enjoyed fresh, served as soon as it is prepared. I like how the raw foods bring a bit of a crunch and a fresh feeling to this dish.
'Zoodles' With Home-made pistachio Pesto
- 2 zucchini
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 tBsp olive oil
- 1 lime juice and zest
- 1 tBsp cilantro
- 1 tBsp pistachios *
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Use a spiralizer to create ribbons of zoodles.** Alternatively, you can cut the courgettes in long very thin strips. Set aside.
- To create the pistachio pesto, mix the avocado, garlic, cilantro, olive oil, pistachios, and lime juice and zest. Season to taste. Mash well or blend them in a food processor/blender.
- Combine the zoodles with the pistachio pesto. Sprinkle some extra pistachios and a couple of cilantro leaves.
Enjoy your zoodles!