Ad: In collaboration with TREAT App
There’s nothing more comforting than a big bowl of pasta, but traditional wheat products are usually highly processed and refined, leaving few useful nutrients. Wheat is difficult to digest and can encourage inflammation in the body. Spelt on the other hand, along with other ancient grains like quinoa, amaranth and millet, has not been refined in the same way, so is far more nutritious, and (for most people), really well tolerated.
I was challenged by the team at TREAT, an app helping people living with inflammatory conditions improve their diets, to create an 'anti-inflammatory' recipe to tie in with the nutritional advice they provide via the app, (for free!).
This is a easy and speedy recipe, (you can make the sauce whilst the pasta is cooking), which will really fill the gap if you're craving pasta and creamy sauces, but trying to cut down on wheat and dairy.
TREAT's team of super-duper nutritionists gave me some guidance on this and explained why this combination of ingredients is ideal for an anti-inflammatory diet. Spelt is packed with fibre and protein, rich in B vitamins - really important for energy. It contains zinc, magnesium and iron and is a great source of manganese, a key mineral for a healthy metabolism.
Although spelt contains gluten it is more readily broken down so most people find it easier to digest. I’ve combined spelt spaghetti with avocado and brazil nut pesto for lots of healthy fats and selenium - a key immune system nutrient.
There’s loads online about the ‘anti-inflammatory diet’, but with so much contradictory information, it can be a bit mind-boggling. Becky Graham, a nutritional coach for TREAT, says ‘If you’re living skin complaints like acne or psoriasis, your joints are achy and sore from arthritis or you’re experiencing digestive issues, eating an ‘anti-inflammatory diet’ can be really helpful in managing symptoms.’
The TREAT App offers real guidance. Working with your own personal nutrition coach, TREAT offers an 8 week programme helping you put anti-inflammatory eating into practice in a fun and tasty way. The app is currently free but not for much longer so get in there quick, download the app and give it a go!
Spelt Spaghetti with Avocado Pesto
- 200 g spelt spaghetti (white or wholewheat)
- 12 asparagus spears, woody ends removed and sliced into 3-4cm pieces
- 100 g fresh or frozen peas
- 1 avocado
- 75 g brazil nuts
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 50 g fresh basil
- Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and add the spaghetti. After 5 minutes cooking time (or 8 if you are using wholewheat spaghetti), add the peas and asparagus and cook for a further 2-3 minutes until the pasta is cooked and asparagus is al dente.
- Whilst the spaghetti is cooking, place all the remaining ingredients into a blender or food processor, and blitz for 1 minute until smooth. Add 2-3 tbsp water and blitz again, and continue adding a little water at a time until a thick sauce consistency is reached. Taste, and add more salt if necessary.
- Drain the spaghetti and return it to the saucepan, then stir through the sauce over a gentle heat until piping hot throughout.
For more anti-inflammatory recipes from TREAT, take a look at:
- Homemade Bean Burger
- Avocado Orange Chocolate Mousse
- Coconut Pancakes
Disclosure: This post is a collaboration with TREAT App. All opinions are my own. Nutritional advice was provided by TREAT.
I'm linking this post with the Pasta Please challenge hosted by Chris at Thinly Spread.