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Avocado Arugula Pesto

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This homemade avocado arugula pesto is a great way to incorporate heart-healthy leafy greens and unsaturated fats into your diet. While traditional pesto typically calls for a combination of garlic, olive oil, pine nuts, and basil, I wanted a lighter, more refreshing flavor that would be fitting for the warm weather. By starting with avocado and lemon juice and adding arugula for a peppery kick, I was able to create a creamy, nutritious spread perfect for topping bean burgers or mixing with vegetable-grain salads at your next cookout. With leftover whole wheat rotini in my fridge, I decided to stir the pesto into a mixture of pasta and sweet peas for an easy weeknight dinner. As you can see, the options for using your pesto are endless. What is your favorite way to enjoy it?

Further Food Commentary:

As Colleen mentioned, this is a versatile recipe that can work with so many different meals. Using avocado in this pesto (along with olive oil) adds healthy unsaturated fats, which not only have heart-healthy benefits, they also help to provide a sense of satiety, or fullness, after eating. One avocado provides 30% of your daily folate needs- this is especially important for women thinking about becoming pregnant, or pregnant women, as folate is crucial for preventing neural tube defects. One avocado also provides 20% of your daily needs for vitamins C & E (healthy immune system & antioxidants). This pesto is a great, low-sodium sauce option that you could use instead of pre-made, bottled pasta sauce, which is often loaded with salt and sugar.


By Alex Lane MS RDN/LD

Avocado Arugula Pesto

  • Prep Time:5 minutes
  • Cook Time:0 minutes
  • Servings: 5

Ingredients

1 large avocado, sliced

◦1 ½ cup arugula, chopped

◦2 fresh garlic cloves, minced

◦1 teaspoon lemon juice

◦1 ½ tablespoon olive oil

Instructions

1. Place all ingredients in food processor, and blend to puree.

2. Use to top homemade bean burgers, toss in a vegetable and grain salad, or stir into whole wheat pasta.

Happy Cooking!

1. Place all ingredients in food processor, and blend to puree. 2. Use to top homemade bean burgers, toss in a vegetable and grain salad, or stir into whole wheat pasta. Happy Cooking!

Nutrition Information

Per Serving:  Calories: 82; Total Fat: 8g; Saturated Fat: 1 g; Monounsaturated Fat: 5 g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 1 mg; Potassium: 186 mg; Carbohydrate: 4 g; Fiber: 3 g; Sugar: 0 g; Protein: 1 g

Nutrition Bonus:

Vitamin C: 6%; Vitamin A: 2%; Calcium: 1%

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