Taking some time off sugar has given me a great excuse to go back to basics, and cook even more meals from scratch.
And by ‘from scratch’, I mean from scratch – sauces, dips, dressings, the works.
So far I’ve mastered homemade salsa, bbq sauce, and even a butternut squash puree (which ended up cooked into a tasty chicken lasagne!)
Sure, it’s been time consuming, but considering the time I’d spend scrutinising sauce jar labels in the supermarket aisles otherwise, I’d say it’s been worth it.
I’m convinced that since I started learning to live life sugar free, I’ve become more cynical. Am I the only one who mistrusts nutritional info labels? Some of them are really hard to decipher!
Let’s take my (former) favourite fat-free natural yoghurt. The back of the carton read ‘Ingredients: Fat-free natural yoghurt’. Er, does that mean the milk came out of the cow fat free? When I looked at the sugar content compared to the full fat version, it was enormous! It didn’t take much of an internet search to teach me that anything that claims to be fat free, is probably sugar full.
So, although I’ve yet to find a store-bought pesto sauce which contains added sugar (thank goodness!), I’ve developed a bit of a habit for just making my own anyway. I mean, at least I know exactly what’s going in it. And, to be honest, I could do without frowning at yet another nutritional label – they’re starting to give me a headache!
Homemade avocado pesto with chilli and rosemary
- 1 avocado, roughly chopped (seed and skin discarded)
- large handful fresh basil
- 1 sprig rosemary (leaves detached)
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- large handful curly kale
- 50ml rapeseed oil (add up to 25ml more to aid mixing as needed)
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
Place all of the ingredients except the oil in a blender and begin to pulse the mixture. Gradually drizzle in the rapeseed oil, adding a little more as needed if the mixture is proving difficult to blend. Once you have added all of the oil, continue to blend the mixture until all the ingredients are combined and you have the desired consistency.
Serve immediately with pasta or spiralised courgette (zucchini) ‘zoodles’, or store for two to three days in the fridge in an airtight container.