Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Happy Meal - Raw Sweet Potato and Beet Noodles with Mint Pistachio Pesto

I am not exaggerating. This really is a happy meal. All the ingredients contribute to increased serotonin production, stress reduction and balanced brain chemistry.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that influences our mood, sleep, memory and learning, appetite, sexual desire  and certain forms of social behavior. Our daily diet has direct impact on our serotonin levels. Some foods decrease serotonin production and make us feel miserable. Others are beneficial and make us happy inside and out.


If you feel that your mood begins to swing you probably should consider increasing consumption of foods that are high in tryptophan, magnesium, and vitamin B6.

Beets are rich in calming magnesium, tryptophan and vitamin B6 that is necessary for the synthesis of serotonin and dopamine. In Traditional Chinese Medicine liver controls emotions. Congested liver is associated with anger. Beets are a perfect liver detoxifying food which allows for any emotional "congestion" to be released.

Just like beets, sweet potatoes are rich in tryptophan and help the brain to produce serotonin. They also help balance blood sugar and prevent sugar spikes. People with balanced blood sugar are less jittery and definitely less grumpy.

Pistachios are rich in vitamin B6 that is used by the body to boost levels of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA. GABA acts as stress reliever and mood elevator.  Pistachios also contain high levels of magnesium that is an anti-stress nutrient, par excellence.

Mint is a well known herb for its ability to boost mood and increase concentration. Add enough fresh mint so you can smell it while enjoying your raw pasta.

Olive oil is another ingredient that is known to increase serotonin levels and give you the sense of satiety.

Ingredients:
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 medium large beet
  • 1 Tbsp virgin olive oil

For pesto:
  • 1 cup raw pistachios, soaked over night
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • unprocessed salt and freshly grind black pepper to taste


Method:
  • Spiralize beet and sweet potato with a spiral vegetable cutter. Toss together in a bowl. Add olive oil and toss again to prevent beets and sweet potatoes from drying up.
  • To make pesto process pistachios in a food processor or a blender until coarsely ground. Add olive oil, lime juice, mint and garlic. Pulse to combine. You should receive a pesto that is not too thick and not to flowing. If necessary, adjust the amounts of ingredients to get it right. Season pesto with salt and pepper.
  • Transfer pesto to a bowl with your "noodles" and gently mix together. Serve right away and enjoy in good company.

In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique


P.S. Few days ago I made a large batch of mint pistachio pesto you can do the same to save time as it stores perfectly well in the fridge. This raw pasta sauce is perfect with beets, sweet potatoes and carrots. If you do not own a spiralizer, simply shred your root vegetable and use this pesto as a dressing. Add a bit more olive oil to make it more liquid.

Dominique Allmon©2013

*All the information in this article is for educational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.

         


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