Carbo Load

by tableofcolors

When I was in high school the cross country running team would always have a Carbo Load before a competition. It was a good reason to get together to eat carbohydrates, bond and relax together. It was a time when carbs were in and fat was out.

Since then carbohydrates have gone out and fats, or more specifically oils have come back into style. Carbohydrates or the consumption of too many of them have been labeled as the culprit in Western society for many diseases including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Fortunately the issue is not this simple. Carbohydrates are not all created equal. There are the simple ones or sugars that can be found in sodas, juices, refined grains, fruits, honey, chocolate and yes, in dessert. The chemical structure of simple carbohydrates has one or two sugars linked to each other making them very easy to digest. After digesting simple carbs our blood sugar peaks quickly. Complex carbohydrates have three or more sugars linked in a chain and they contain more minerals, vitamins and fibers. Our bodies take a longer time digesting them, meaning that our blood sugar does not rise as quickly and remains more level over a longer period of time.

Complex carbs are definitely on my must-eat list. Even if fruits and berries have simple carbs they are also on that list. In addition to the simple sugars they also contain dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals. Many berries are considered a super food. Dessert is also on my must-eat list. Eating is not only about nourishment it is also about our emotional and social well-being. Having a cup of coffee and a piece of cake with a friend can really save the day sometimes. I think the key to it all is moderation.

Pesto Pasta
A great source of complex carbohydrates and vitamins.
The fresh herbs are minced so small that even our pickiest eater eats it with relish!

While preparing the pesto, cook 350 g or 12 oz or whole grain pasta so that it is al dente.

Pesto:

2 large handfuls of fresh basil
a few sprigs of parsley
a clove of garlic
3/4 dl/1/3 c olive oil
1/4 dl/2 tablespoons lemon juice
20 g/1/2 dl/ 0.7 oz grated parmesan cheese
20 g/1/4 dl/0.7 oz sesame seeds ( may use pine nuts or sunflower seeds)
salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a blender or use a wand mixer. Blend until fairly smooth.

Stir the pesto into the freshly cooked pasta, garnish with a few leaves of basil and a drizzle of olive oil and serve.

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