SPINACH AND CASHEW RAVIOLI – GRAIN AND DAIRY FREE
When we began our grain and dairy free journey, one of the foods my daughter missed the most was ravioli – it took some experimentation – some of which I am still trying to live down – but it was worth it just to find this recipe. I have adapted it to suit our taste buds but you can change it to suit you and use what you have handy – some of the combinations I have used with great success have been replacing cashews with almonds or hazlenuts and replacing spinach with beet tops, watercress, spring greens, and kale. If your child has major aversions to greens or you would prefer a lower oxalate version then use grated squash or carrots with sunflower seeds for the stuffing, another winner combination in our household.
Go on, give it a go – I promise, you are in for a treat.
- 100 grams spinach leaves (fresh or frozen)
- 150 grams cashew nuts
- 1 small opinion (finely chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 large courgettes
- handful parsley
- 2 tsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
Soak the cashew nuts for at least 4 hours and no longer than 8 hours (they can become slimy if soaked for too long)
heat up the coconut oil in a pan and add the onions and garlic. Cook until soft
add the spinach, put the lid on and let the spinach wilt
place the spinach mixture in a food processor and add the rinsed cashews along with the parsley, salt and pepper - pulse until you have the consistency of pesto - this is the filling for the ravioli
use a potato peeler or mandoline to peel the courgettes into thin strips, lengthways from top to tip. For each ravioli take two slices, placing the first strip vertically, and the second strip horizontally on top. this will form a cross - place one tablespoon of the filing in the middle of each cross. Hold back one tablespoon of the filling
fold the two ends of the vertical strip followed by the two ends of the horizontal strip to make a parcel - they will stick to each other with no problem
when you have finished making all your ravioli parcels, heat up a griddle pan and cook them on each side for 1 minute.
mix the tablespoon of the filling you have held back with the olive oil and lemon juice, season to taste and drizzle on top of the ravioli and serve
THE SCIENCE BIT
The fat in cashews is almost entirely made of oleic acid (found in olive oil) with strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Cashews contain twice the iron concentration of beef and are loaded with magnesium, manganese, vitamin K and B6 – Spinach is another wonderful super food, with each portion in this recipe, providing more than 250% of the recommended daily allowance for vitamin K, fundamental in bone health as well as significant amounts of vitamin A, manganese, folate, and iron. Courgettes are a wonderful source of potassium, vitamin A and C as well as great source of soluble fibre.