I have never been able to grow anything in my garden. I have not really even tried but when we moved into our new apartment, we discovered it came with a little veggie patch, it’s pretty tiny, so I don’t think I can grow much in it but I decided to try my hand at growing some herbs since I figured they would be easy enough. A few months in and my basil bush is completely out of control! it’s grown so huge. I initially only wanted herbs to have for the odd bits and pieces and as food props for my blog photos, I didn’t expect my basil (or my parsley) to grow so huge. I genuinely can not use it up and now with this lockdown covid 19 situation I’m not even able to share my herbs with anyone! Needless to say, I’ve been making lots of pesto. I shared a sneak peek of this recipe on Instagram and I have discovered that people are very very passionate about pesto (who would have known) I am not that passionate about my pesto, I use a simple veganised basic recipe that I think works quite well, but please use whatever pesto recipe you like. All this recipe is is pesto mixed with avocado. I love adding the avocado because it helps balance out the strong pesto taste which means my toddler is much more likely to eat it. Pesto on its own, even the vegan one, can be too strong for me so I much prefer this version. Since I have lots of basil I will probably be trying a few different pesto variations including a cashew pea versions that my friend sent to me.
Ive also had a few people comment over the years that feel very strongly about pasta and how pasta is apparently a very bad thing to eat. Personally I am not a fan of processed white flour in general but since I do not have any gluten or wheat issues, my favourite pasta is actually wholemeal pasta. I also enjoy spelt. Durum wheat semolina flour used in pasta is actually quite different to flour used in bread, it has a much lower gluten concentration so it is less likely to create a digestive upset, keeping it wholemeal also lowers the amount of gluten. White pasta is pretty devoid of nutrients so I don’t use it but wholemeal is a great source of complex carbohydrates, quite a lot of fibre and different vitamins and minerals including iron, manganese and b vitamins. My pasta of choice is usually whole-wheat or wholemeal spelt pasta. If you are sensitive there are so many different pasta varieties on the market you can choose whatever pasta you like, including many healthy gluten-free options. Complex carbs such as those found in whole-wheat pasta or other wholegrains/pulse kinds of pasta are essential fuel for the brain. While the rest of the body may be able to use other nutrients like protein and fat, the brain can not. That is why a diet rich in complex carbohydrates is recommended for people with depression and anxiety as well as fertility. The brain regulates our female hormones and if inadequate glucose is supplied to the brain, it will down-regulate the production of female hormones to conserve energy. This is why some women lose their periods and stop ovulating on very low carb diets. While processed and sugary carbohydrates are horrible for health (including brain health) complex carbohydrates are incredibly good for us on many levels. I know people have very strong opinions in this matter and that’s totally ok, but as a scientist with a strong interest in women’s hormone and mental health, I feel the need to outline what the science says on the matter. You can read my article on how carbohydrates affect womens hormones here: https://hazelandcacao.com/how-carbohydrates-effect-womens-hormones/
Equipment you will need
|Vegan Avocado Pesto Pasta|| |
- Pasta of choice ( I used wholewheat or wholemeal spelt)
- 2 cups tightly packed basil (stems removed)
- 4 TBSP pine nuts (or nuts seeds of choice)
- 2 cloves garlic
- juice 1 lemon
- 4 TBSP nutritional yeast
- salt to taste
- 3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
- 3-4 TBSP water or as needed
- 1 large avocado
- Cook pasta according to package instructions
- In a food processor combine all pesto ingredients (except avocado) and process until smooth and creamy like pesto. Adjust seasoning and consistency by adding more water if needed. Once the pesto is to your liking, add the flesh of 1 avocado and blend again.
- Once pasta is cooked, drain water and pour pesto avocado sauce over pasta and mix to combine. Serve with cherry tomatoes and any other toppings you like.