Can You Spiralize It?

Spiralizing is the art of turning vegetables and fruits into noodles. Simple as that, but so revolutionary.   In April, I got my own veggie spiralizer, and I have used it practically everyday since.  Over the summer, I worked as an intern with USU Extension.  While there, I researched this topic and compiled answers to the questions people have about spirilizing.  For example, most people see the benefits of using a spirilizer, but they don’t know what foods can be spirilized.  In this post I will talk about the different types of spirilizers available, provide a list of vegetables and fruit that you can spirilize, and the cooking methods to use after they’re spirilized.

As part of my internship experience,  I appeared on Fox13’s “The Place” multiple times. During one of my appearances I explained why spiralized foods are becoming so popular and showcased a few recipes.  Check it out here!

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Reasons why I love and spirilize my foods:

  1. It works with my busy schedule.  There’s no waiting for water to boil or the oven to preheat. The act of spiralizing is easy, quick, and no stress! From grabbing the vegetable/fruit out of my fridge, cutting off the ends, and spiralizing we’re talking 5 minutes tops.
  2. Most spiralized veggies hold well in the fridge.  There are exceptions of course, but zucchini (which pairs well with everything due to it’s mild flavor) holds for 3 days in the fridge if it’s in a covered bowl with a paper towel underneath.  I’ve also had good success with carrots and yellow squash.
  3. More fruits and veggies in my diet! This is the main reason I started spirilizing– I wanted to consume more veggies.  After starting, I was amazed that I could eat my favorite pasta dishes, while eating more vegetables! Since spiralized vegetables have a similar texture and consistency to regular pasta and noodles, you fool your tastebuds into thinking you’re eating the carb-laden original, while your waistline knows you’re eating heart-healthy fruits and veggies! After getting my spirilizer, I soon realized how easy it was to consume more vegetables than I ever had.
  4. It makes more out of veggies & fruits.  Think about it, when you simply dice, chop, or cube vegetables you barely get a cup of that food. With spiralizing, one small vegetable can yield many cups of fluffy, spiral vegetables making them go a long way.  Basically this results in consuming a smaller amount of  food while feeling like you’re eating a big portion.  You get more “bang for your buck” with your vegetables and fruits.  For example, one medium red potato is enough for two people to enjoy in noodle form.
  5. It keeps me on track and helps me maintain my weight. Spiralized vegetables are just like any regular vegetable; mostly light in calories, carbs, fat, and sugar, but high in vitamins and minerals.  For those looking to lose weight adding more vegetables is a great start.  Vegetables are high in water (such as zucchinis) and help detox your body, ridding it of unwanted toxins and leaving you refreshed and hydrated. Vegetables have an abundance of dietary fiber, which helps keep you fuller longer and help with your everyday digestion. Certain vegetables even help spike the metabolism, such as zucchinis, which are high in folates. Most importantly, after eating a bowl of vegetable noodles, you’re left feeling light and energized – ready to have a productive and healthy day, which means you’ll be more motivated to exercise and eat well.
  6. Spirilizing my veggies gives me more uses with my vegetables.  For example, if I wanted to make beet rice,  I wouldn’t put the beet in the blender whole.  That would ruin my blender and/or end up a mess.  But, by spirilizing it first, I can then blend it up and use it as rice.  Best. Trick. Ever.

Spirilizers can be found in many different places: grocery stores(Smiths, Cosco, etc), Walmart, Shopko, Ross, online at Amazon etc…  Here are the two types of spiralizers:

  • Hand-held (like this one) Cost varies, I’ve seen them for $5 and less, so I’d look out for a better deal than this I linked.
  • Counter-top, cost of one is about $10-30 (here’s the one I have)

Well, what if you don’t have the money to purchase a spirilizer?  You actually can create the same product, but without a vegetable peeler:

  • Use a vegetable peeler to turn them into ribbons
  • Julienne cut them with a knife
  • Use julienne peelers which is basically mixture of both; a peeler with teeth on it (here’s one)

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Some tips you should know before you spirilaze:

  • Produce should not be hollow, have a tough core, or be seeded
  • It should be at least 1.5” in diameter for best spiral
  • It should be about 2” long
  • Use only firm produce, if squishy, the item will not spiralize well.

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List of best vegetables and fruit to spiralize:

Produce: Preparation: Cooking Method: Best Dish to Make:
Apple Remove the stem Saute in skillet, 5 mins

Bake in oven

Serve Raw

Salads, desserts, slices
Beet Peel and slice ends off flatly and evenly Bake, 5-10 min

Saute, 5-7 mins

Serve Raw

Boil, 2-3 min

Pasta, noodles, rice
Broccoli Slice off the florets, leaving just the stem. Cut ends off flatly and evenly. Bake 2-3 mins

Saute, 5-7 mins

Pasta salads, pasta, noodles
Butternut Squash Slice the bulbous end of the squash off. Slice the opposite end off flatly. Peel completely. Roast, 8-10 min

Saute, 5-7 min

Do not boil!! (will fall apart)

Pasta, rice, slices
Cabbage Remove any loose outer leaves Treat shredded cabbage as you would: raw, steamed, sauteed, roasted, pickled. Cabbage slaw
Carrot Peel and slice both ends off evenly and flatly. Bake

Saute

Boil

Serve Raw

Pasta, rice, noodles, soups
Cucumber No prep needed! Serve raw Salads

Noodles (raw)

Juice

Eggplant Slice off ends evenly Bake

Saute

Noodles
Jicama Peel and slice ends off flatly and evenly. Raw

Roast

Saute

Noodle

Salads

Soups

Side dishes

Onion Peel off outer skin Any way you normally would use a sliced onion Salads

Garnish

Parsnip Peel the outer skin off Saute

Bake

Pasta

Soups

Buns

Sides

Pear Remove the stem Raw

Bake

Salads

Side dishes

Desserts

Plantain Peel and slice the ends off evenly and flatly Saute

Roast

Rice

Sdes

Potato Peeling is optional Bake

Saute

Boil- 3-5 min

Pasta

Noodles

Sides

Salads

Chips/Fries

Rutabaga Peal and slice ends off flatly and evenly Roast

Saute

Boil

Rice

Sodes

Pasta

Soups

Sweet Potato Peeling is optional Bake

Saute

Pasta

Noodles

Sides

Salads

Chips/Fries

Turnip Peel completely and cut ends off flatly and evenly Roast

Saute

Boil

Pasta

Saute

Boil

Yucca Peel completely and cut ends off flatly and evenly Bake

Saute

Boil

Pasta

Noodles

Sides

Salads

Chips/Fries

Zucchini and Summer Squash Peeling is optional Raw

Boil, 2-3 min

Saute

In a casserole

Pasta

Noodles

Soups

Salads

 

*The majority of this information was researched and compiled while I was an intern with USU Extension.

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