Creamy avocado spinach pesto and the importance of healthy fats

This recipe has become one of my go to favorites to top zoodles, gluten-free pasta, salmon, chicken... just about anything! it's loaded with healthy fats from the avocado and the nuts. after having my gallbladder removed ten years ago my doctor told me to eat a low-fat diet. after noticing that my energy was depleted and that i was constantly hungry, i began instead to slowly up my intake of healthy fats. today i thrive off of a diet high in fat and here's why...


Let's talk healthy fats.

I am always looking for creative ways to add more healthy fats into my client's diets. The most important part of the day to incorporate healthy fats is in the morning for breakfast to keep you full until lunch, as well as for lunch to give you energy to beat the afternoon slump and keep you from reaching for sugary snacks and a cup of afternoon coffee. 

Avocado and nuts, such as walnuts and almonds, are my favorite healthy fats. Full of vitamin D, E, A and Zinc, healthy fats improve absorption of vitamins and minerals from other foods you eat as well.  A total win-win!

Blood sugar, feeling full and weight loss.

Including healthy fats in your diet will help to balance your blood sugar and also keep you fuller longer, both of which help with weight-loss. Many people who are trying to loose weight will limit their fat consumption or opt for “ low-fat” or “non-fat” food items (I am looking at you dairy). Not only does this not help, but can make loosing weight more difficult. We need to eat fat to slow the release of carbohydrates into our blood stream in order to balance blood sugar. Eating fat also increases feelings of satiation as the hormones gherkin and leptin, responsible for feeling full, responds to fat consumption.

Get your fats in with this creamy goodness.

So on to the recipe!  This sauce is killer and can be used in so many ways - to coat a pile of zoodles or your favorite gluten-free pasta (I like brown rice pasta or almond-based fettuccine),  topped over grilled chicken or shrimp, or as a delicious dip with veggies, crackers or tortilla chips.

Serves 4
1 avocado, halved and pitted
3 cups baby spinach
2 tablespoons almonds or walnuts
2 garlic cloves
Juice of 1 lime or lemon
½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil

Add the avocado, spinach, nuts, garlic, lime/lemon juice, sea salt, and chili flakes to a food processor. Process for 2-3 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides as needed, or until smooth and creamy. If it’s too thick add water, one tablespoon at a time. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add olive oil last and set aside. This sauce will last in the fridge for a couple of days, the lemon/lime keeps it fresh!