Looking for a healthier take on pasta without the guilt? While you might only be familiar with gluten-free pastas on the market, you can quickly and easily create your own gluten-free and grain-free zucchini pasta at home. As you can see from the picture to your left, it even looks a heck of a lot like traditional spaghetti.
If you’re looking to give lower carb, paleo or a grain-free diet a try, this is definitely a must try recipe!
Zucchini Pasta with Fresh Marinara Sauce
Did you know that zucchini is a type of squash that’s much more versatile than just being roasted in the oven or sauteed on the stove top?
Zucchini actually makes a great replacement for traditional gluten-free pasta! It’s lower in calories and starches and higher in straight from nature nutrients. All you need to make noodles, or zoodles, from zucchini is an old fashioned vegetable peeler or a spiral slicer. What’s not to love? The traditional Italian pasta dish just got an all natural makeover! Sprinkle some healthy sea salt on top– Real Salt is my favorite– and you’re good to go!
While it’s the beginning of the fall season for many, it might be the start of the warmer season for some. Try pairing tomatoes with zucchini and olive oil, as in this recipe, for an amazing seasonal dish! Keep these tips in mind when tomatoes are abundant in your area.
Seasonal produce is the best kind of produce. It’s rich and plentiful in vitamins, nutrients, and minerals and the taste is out of this world fresh! With the start of the autumn season here in the U.S. and across the northern hemisphere, fall fruits and vegetables are being harvested.
One of the most versatile and delicious of the early fall harvest is the fruit that likes to hang out with the vegetables—the tomato. It’s a great low glycemic index fruit that can add a lot of fun and variety to a gluten-free diet. Not to mention it’s a nutritional powerhouse!
10 Tomato Tips for Your Gluten-free Diet
- Tomatoes are high in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. Lycopene is best absorbed when it’s eaten with a bit of healthy fat, such as olive oil or avocado. So don’t be afraid of incorporating fats with your garden harvest! They’re not the bad guys and can help your body absorb other beneficial phytochemicals more effectively as well.
- A small preliminary study on lycopene in tomatoes showed that lycopene from orange or tangerine colored tomatoes was actually better absorbed by healthy individuals than the lycopene found in deep red tomatoes. So don’t just load up on the reddest tomatoes you can find, but explore different varieties and beautiful heirloom tomatoes as well. (source: World’s Healthiest Foods)
- Store tomatoes at room temperature. Storing tomatoes in the refrigerator can distort the texture and flavor, creating subpar produce. These little red beauties have sensitive enzymes and are best consumed right away rather than waiting. So whether you buy tomatoes at your local farm market or you grow them in the backyard, try to use them when they’re fresh.
- If you accidentally forget and put tomatoes in the fridge, you can still recover the taste and texture that’s been “lost”. Try taking the tomatoes out of the fridge for a full 24 hours before you need to use them. Some of the enzymes can be reactivated in this time which gets them closer to how they were before accidental fridge time.
- Ripen an overabundance of green tomatoes fast by placing them in paper bags with the top folded over and closed. As the tomatoes ripen, the gases they give off will be trapped in the bag and will help the other tomatoes to become ripe faster. Don’t forget to check the tomatoes each day though, because rotting tomatoes in a brown paper bag aren’t good for anyone!
- According to Elaine Magee, MPH, RD for WebMD.com, tomatoes are a good source of potassium, which many people can have low levels of. Tomatoes may also protect against prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, and heart disease. (source: WebMD.com)
- High in vitamin C, tomatoes also boast a healthy source of other key vitamins including A, E, and several B vitamins.
- Some people can be sensitive to produce in the nightshade botanical family which includes tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, some peppers, and more. If you suspect you may be sensitive, it’s important to work with a qualified health professional to determine if nightshades are problematic for you. For more information on nightshades and the Paleo diet or autoimmune protocol, check out this list from The Paleo Mom!
- Enjoy local tomatoes in season from the farmers market or your backyard garden. Often it’s hard to determine how long tomatoes have been sitting in piles at the grocery store and you might be sacrificing on quality as well as vitamin content this way. If you do buy from the grocery store, try looking for tomatoes that are still attached to the vine as they might have slightly more antioxidant and vitamin content left in them.
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