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As we approach the carb-laden fall and holiday season, it can be hard to avoid all those heavy starchy pasta and grain dishes that abound as the weather turns cooler. If you are looking for a way to ditch all those carbs, look no further than a spiralizer! If you haven’t gotten on the spiralizing bandwagon, you need to hop on quick.
What is a spiralizer?
It’s a gadget that easily turns vegetables into “noodles” of different sizes. There are different models from which to choose.
There are handheld models, like the Veggetti .
Another handheld model is the OXO Good Grips Handheld Spiralizer.
Lately I’ve seen some electric models coming on to the market, but where’s the fun in that? 🙂
My personal favorite is a countertop model like the Paderno Spiralizer .
If you’ve never used one of these, they could not be more simple to operate. You use the suction cups on the bottom to stick it to your countertop. Cut the ends off of your vegetable of choice, stick one end on the pronged handle, put the other end in line with the blade, and start turning the handle. As you turn, the machine feeds the vegetable forward through the blade, creating shapes based on the blade you have chosen. You can make skinny spaghetti shaped noodles, thick curls, shaved slices, or thicker fettuccine type noodles.
It only takes seconds to transform a vegetable into beautiful noodles. Or zoodles. Or coodles. Or squoodles.
Will It Spiral?
Have you seen those YouTube guys who do that segment called “Will It Tea?” They mix together some of the grossest combos to see if it makes a tasty tea. Stuff like goat meat and taco seasoning. Or hot peppers and peanut butter. Really gross. But they made me think about the question, “Will it Spiral?”
Some vegetables spiralize way better than others. You just have to experiment.
Carrots? For sure.
Apples? Yes! (By the way, if you haven’t read my blog post about apple cider donuts, don’t suffer any longer. Read it here. 🙂 )
Turnips? Depends on the strength and sturdiness of your machine. Turnips are quite dense and need a sturdy blade to cut through them.
Cauliflower? Yes, but what a mess. The big rage these days is to make cauliflower “rice” by spiralizing it. I tried it twice and it just blew bits of cauliflower all over my kitchen. Not for me. Thankfully, vegetable producers are onto this trend and now sell it already shredded and packaged in a bag. Just look for it in the produce section of your grocery store. I have also seen frozen versions in my grocery store.
So lots of vegetables lend themselves well to spiralization. Zucchini and squash are my favorites. They have a rather bland flavor on their own, which makes them perfect for using as a substitute for pasta, while absorbing the flavors of your sauce.
You can, of course, eat many spiralized vegetables raw. If you choose to cook them, the simplest way to cook the zoodles and squoodles is with a bit of olive oil for about five minutes in a cast iron skillet. One bit of advice–spiralize way more than you think you need. The vegetables wilt a bit during the cooking process and you end up with less.
One of my favorite zoodle meals is to cook zucchini zoodles in some olive oil, and then spoon an alfredo sauce over the top. Here’s a very tasty sauce recipe from the book 200 Low-Carb, High-Fat Recipes :
- In a heavy saucepan over low heat, melt two tablespoons of butter. Add two cloves of crushed garlic and saute for 4 to 5 minutes without browning.
- Whisk in 3/4 cup of heavy cream and 3/4 cup of half-and-half. Let the mixture simmer.
- Whisk in one ounce of cream cheese, stirring until melted. Then add 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese, about 1/4 cup at a time. Whisk in two tablespoons of minced fresh parsley and stir until sauce smoothes out and thickens.
Dollop on top of your zoodles and EAT! 🙂
This book has some wonderful sauce recipes that work beautifully with zoodles. Really, any sauce you would serve over pasta would be delicious with spiralized vegetables.
The great thing about a spiralizer is that it gives those who are trying to eat fewer carbs a host of opportunities to do so. It’s perfect for those following raw, gluten-free, or Paleo eating plans.
In addition to cooking the vegetables, you can make inviting salads with them.
Use them to make cute little portable salads for your lunch at work.
Or if you go insane and decide to create a Martha Stewart-esque plate of crudites, it doesn’t get better than spiralized vegetables. 🙂
So if you, like most of us, need to up your vegetable intake game, consider adding a spiralizer to your kitchen arsenal. Once you start using it, it’s hard to stop. 🙂 You can find endless ways to add vegetables to your weekly menus with this handy little gizmo!
If you need some help getting started, here are a couple of cookbooks with some great ideas:
Let me know in the comment section if you have a spiraling obsession like I do, or if you plan to get one. 🙂 Here’s to zoodles and squoodles of fun!
And don’t forget to check out Pinterest!