What food trend is both healthy and fun? Spiralized noodles!
A spiralizer is a kitchen tool that helps you cut fruits and vegetables into long noodle shapes. The truth is, we eat with our eyes before our mouths, so seeing something visually appealing will help make your mouth water.
Like with anything else, there are always smarter, cooler, neater ways to do things, and it’s no different when it comes to your spiralizer.
We’ve compiled our list of best hacks and tips on how to use a spiralizer to get the absolute most out of your noodling machine.
What Can You Spiralize?
The vegetable that most people use with their spiralizer is zucchini, to create noodles that are affectionately called “zoodles.” But, to make the most out of your spiralizer, you have to think outside of the garden box.
Your spiralizer can pretty much handle any fruit or vegetable that has a reasonable amount of firmness to it. In fact, you might be surprised at what you can spiralize as long as you prep your ingredient right.
Here are just some of the best vegetables and fruits you can spiralize:
- Zucchini (Zoodles)
- Squash (like butternut squash)
- Sweet potatoes
- Bell peppers
- Broccoli stems
- Daikon radishes
- Taro roots
- Red onions
Pro tip: Be sure to wipe up your spiralizer promptly after using it with the more colorful fruits and vegetables. Some of them will stain your spiralizer if you let the juices and residual pieces sit, so clean it right away to avoid anything setting in.
How to Use a Spiralizer the Smart Way
Now let's get to our spiralizer tips and hacks that will save you time, money, and brainpower when coming up with your next meals.
Use the right tools
You know how life is so much easier with kitchen tools like an instant pot* or blender*? Well, with a good spiralizer that churns out vegetable noodles effortlessly, it's a cinch to make healthier, low-carb meals.
Check out our top picks for spiralizers that fit your lifestyle, kitchen, and budget.
Prep your ingredient right for effortless spiralizing
What you do before you turn on the switch is just as important as what happens when your spiralizer is on. To make the best curls and slices, follow these tips:
- Wash your ingredient thoroughly
- Cut them into 3- or 4-inch long, straight segments
- If possible, keep them at least an inch and half in diameter, starting with larger end. This can be difficult for some thinner types of produce like carrots, so try to buy them loose since you can pick the largest ones possible.
- Make veggies more symmetrical, which may mean trimming down odd lumps and protrusions
Never have soggy, mushy zucchini noodles ever again
If you prefer to cook your vegetable noodles, keep in mind that the more water content there is in your vegetable, the more likely it will release during cooking and leave you with a soggy dish.
Your best best is to sweat them out now, not later. Prevent that mushy mess with the great tips we've compiled on how to get perfect zoodles every single time.
Try easy recipes
Just like with anything else, there’s going to be a learning curve. If you’re going to invest in a spiralizer, then ease into the vegetable noodle lifestyle by making fun with meals that are quick and simple, yet full of flavor.
Zucchinis are the most popular vegetable to get started with, so try any of these zucchini noodle recipes. They’re all 30 minutes tops from start to table.
Keep it clean
Cleaning your spiralizer promptly after using it is important for several reasons:
- Colored ingredients can cause discoloration
- Missed food residue is unsanitary
- Blades will stay sharp and unrusted
It is best to use a small brush to clean your spiralizer because it helps get into any small crevices and it keeps your fingers at a safe distance from the blade.
Something like the one below has the added benefit of being able to dispense soap right from the brush, making cleaning a cinch.
Don’t let the spiralized cores go to waste
Unfortunately, spiralizers don’t cut the entire vegetable or fruit, and typically leave behind a funky shaped core at the end.
But instead of tossing the core out, you can totally use them up in a variety of ways:
- Cut up into smaller chunks for stir fry, pastas, or salads
- Shred in a food processor for another recipe like zucchini bread or muffins
- Add to a juicer or blender to make a green drink or smoothie
- Throw together a medley of veggies to create a vegetable broth
- Puree to create baby food for your little ones
- Make another easy low-carb dish, like these zucchini pizza bites
(via Stacey Homemaker)
Sneak in veggies
Got picky kids or a skeptical spouse? If your family members aren’t really keen on vegetables and making them into noodles isn’t enough to win them over, try adding spiralized veggies into treats they’d find more palatable.
Hard to resist chocolate muffins! (via The Dish on Healthy)
Make ahead to meal prep
Spiralizing veggies doesn’t take very long, so it might be worth making a larger batch so you can meal prep ahead.
Extra portions can be used over the next few days; all you’ll need to do is portion them out and then store in ziploc bags with paper towels in the fridge.
When you are ready for your meal, just take it out and cook. Easy peasy!
Use your spiralizer to make more than just noodles
The most common use for spiralized vegetables is as a replacement for pasta, but there are tons of other creative ways you can incorporate them into various dishes.
Don’t limit your perception to thinking of spiralized vegetables as a pasta substitute. Instead, think of them as a substitute for any starch or traditional vegetable, which makes the possibilities endless.
Check out these creative spiralizer recipes to expand your veggie noodle horizons, including our favorites like spiralized chips, casseroles, waffles, pizza and even dessert!
Make garnishes with a spiralizer
One of the great things about spiralized foods is that not only do they taste awesome, but they look beautiful too.
Use your spiralizer to easily make fun decorations for your food and add some pizzazz to your mealtime, like with these ideas.
Spiralized fruits in your drinks
Serving punches and teas at your party? Throw in some spiralized ingredients to give your punch bowl some visual appeal.
If you want to go one step further to adding something even more extra fancy to your drinks, try freezing spiralized fruits or vegetables right into your ice cubes. (via Inspiralized)
Learning how to use a spiralizer in these fun and creative ways will make your relationship with healthy foods so much better. Try these spiralizer hacks to save time and hassle on your next meal!