This is a light and easy zucchini pasta with raw vegan tomato basil marinara is a dish that I have enjoyed preparing in the past for its simplicity and the easy availability of seasonal ingredients. It is great when you would like something quick and healthy without having to think too hard about it. It is literally slicing the zucchini and blending the sauce.
Now that I have tomato plants which are producing a few newly ripened tomatoes for me every few days and a healthy basil plant that gives me a giant handful of leaves every few weeks, I have really enjoyed putting them to good use. It’s really rewarding to be able to make something with ingredients that I’ve grown myself, and perfectly ripened garden tomatoes are one of the most amazing things I’ve ever eaten. Truth be told, most of them don’t even make it into a tomato basil marinara sauce. I eat them as soon as I pick them. 😉
Below is a breakdown of the health benefits for each of the main ingredients.
- High in fiber, which helps to maintain blood sugar and lower cholesterol. It also helps to keep the colon clean, which puts you at a lower risk for cancer.
- Good source of vitamins A & C, which prevent cholesterol from oxidizing in the blood vessels. This stops hardening of the arteries and heart disease.
- Vitamins A & C, along with the folate in zucchini, act as antioxidants, which additionally help to prevent certain types of cancers and reduce inflammation in the body.
- Men! The phytonutrients in zucchini can improve prostate problems. 😉
- Ladies! Zucchini is high in magnesium, which helps to stave off chocolate cravings (which are often a sign of magnesium deficiency).
- Source: http://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/8-health-benefits-of-zucchini.html
- Tomatoes are good for your heart! They have been shown to help lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides, and to prevent your blood platelets from clumping together. Tomatoes are one of the best foods for accomplishing the latter of those.
- Tomatoes are high in vitamin C and lycopene (an antioxidant). When tomatoes are cooked, you absorb more lycopene, but the vitamin C is destroyed. As humans cannot synthesize their own vitamin C, eat your tomatoes raw, and with a little fat, you can still boost lycopene absorption! If you eat the yellow and orange tomatoes instead of the red ones, you can actually absorb the lycopene better too.
- 1 cup of tomatoes also contains 24% of the DRI (daily recommended intake) of biotin – they are good for your hair!
- Source: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=44
- You might not always think of health benefits with regard to fresh herbs (admittedly, flavor is usually first on my mind), but basil has some great ones.
- Basil contains high amounts of compounts which may be useful in treating arthritis and IBS (inflammatory bowel disease).
- Likewise, it has also been shown to be beneficial with other types of inflammation and swelling.
- It has anti-aging properties, protecting against free radical damage in the liver, brain, and heart.
- It’s a great source of antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, potassium, magnesium and calcium (as all leafy greens are).
- Source: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266425.php
- 2 zucchinis, sliced or spiral cut into noodles
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup fresh tomatoes
- 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
- 3/4 cups water (for soaking - do not discard)
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves (pack loosely or tightly, depending how much you like basil)
- 1 TB first cold press extra virgin olive oil
- 2 dates
- 1 tsp garlic (probiotic upgrade: 1 pickled/fermented garlic clove)
- 1/4 tsp dried parsley
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 2 TB hemp seed
- 2 TB nutritional yeast (not raw, but non raw family members will find this vegan ingredient pleasant, as it has a cheesy flavor)
- Sprig of fresh basil
- Add the 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, 2 dates, and 3/4 cups water to a bowl and let them sit for about an hour (longer is fine if that is more convenient for you) so that they become soft and plump. Do not discard the water. It goes into the blender with the tomatoes and dates.
- Cut the zucchini into noodles (I use this tool: Spiralizer Tri-Blade Spiral Vegetable Slicer. You can also use a julienne peeler.)
- Sprinkle 1/2 tsp salt over the zucchini noodles and massage it in for a minute or two. Let it sit about 5 minutes or until they become pliable and more noodle like.
- Rinse zucchini noodles.
- Add all the tomato sauce ingredients to the blender. The sun dried tomatoes and their soaking water both go in. Blend until everything is smooth.
- Split the zucchini noodles in half and add to two plates.
- Top with the marinara.
- Add optional garnishes if you desire.
- A high speed blender works best for this recipes. If you have a Vitamix, you can even warm the sauce in the blender, which is a nice treat.
- I like the sauce because it is raw, but if you have someone in your house that is not ready for a raw marinara yet, you could serve them a cooked marinara over the zucchini noodles and it would still be a healthier alternative.