Today, we're talking pepitas! A very powerful item for plant-powered nutrition. Did you know - just 1/4 cup of pumpkin seed provides 1/2 of your daily magnesium, a very important mineral and one of the most common dietary deficiencies. They are also a rich source of zinc and omega-3 fatty acids. A one-ounce serving provides about 8 grams of protein. Pumpkin seeds have phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors, so it's a good idea to soak them for at least seven hours, in filtered water with a little salt, to make them more digestible and the nutrients more bio-available. For this dish, place two tablespoons of seeds in a bowl, cover with filtered water, add 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and let sit covered at room temperature all day and they are ready to go for the evening meal. It's that easy to do with a bit of planning! If you want to soak large amounts of seeds to store in the pantry, you will need to dehydrate them after soaking. If you are interested to know how to get the maximum nutritional and digestive benefit from nuts and seeds, it's well worth checking out this important process. Nuts, legumes, seeds and grain are so nutritionally valuable, but this aspect of bio-availability is often overlooked.
The asparagus is super easy to include. Just cut into short pieces, leave the tops if they aren't too thick and halve the thicker stalks. Prepare the amount according to your taste! Asparagus is a super nutritious, very alkaline vegetable.
Pesto: For one serving, chuck a few very basic ingredients into a blender or blaster: a handful of fresh basil, a handful of fresh parsley, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons of soaked pumpkin seeds (or other nuts/seeds - pine nuts are the traditional item), juice of 1/2 fresh squeezed lemon, 2 small or 1 medium clove minced garlic, 2 tablespoons water, salt and pepper to taste.
Assembly: Boil your pasta (whole wheat here) and near the end of cooking, throw in the asparagus for two-five minutes, depending on the thickness. Drain and return to the pot. Mix in the pesto sauce, put on the plate, add a topping (here - milled cashews and nutritional yeast) and there you have it!