Wednesday, 4 November 2015

The Joy of Spiralizing - Zucchini Noodles (aka. Zoodles)

Making pesto zoodles is fun!
Spiralizing is fun!

Why did I title this article the Joy of Spiralizing? Because I actually find it really fun to spiralize.

After I bought my spiralizer on impulse I could not wait to show all my friends how much fun it was. Seriously, I brought my spiralizer to everyone's house to show them the amazement. They were really confused why I was so excited. My excitement was met with "Um, okay, I guess you can bring it over". Once they saw how it worked though - and how easy it was - they were converts to my way of thinking. This device is a world-changing food invention! "You can spiralize it" ... I started saying that about everything. It makes eating your veggies really fun - which is awesome if you're doing a gluten-free diet like paleo or dukan.

My Starfrit Spiralizer making zoodles.
My Starfrit Spiralizer making zoodles.

Zucchini Noodles - Spiralizer Basics

I started with the most popular hit on the internet - the zucchini noodle (or zoodle - but I find that word a little weird). For the best bang for your spiralizing buck choose zucchinis that are as straight
and large as possible. The straighter they are the better they'll fit on the spiralizer. Cut one end off as flat as possible and stick the middle on the "circle knife" of the business end of the spiralizer. Place the part of the zucchini that you didn't cut on claw end of the spiralizer and sandwich the two ends toward each other and make sure the claw end is really stuck into the zucchini. Press the spiralizer on a clean surface and press down on each of the columns to make sure you have a tight seal. Take the handle end and rotate the spiralizer while using the other handle to push the zucchini towards the "circle knife". Are you amazed at the perfect noodles coming out of the other end? Count on one zucchini for every two people. It doesn't matter which colour you use - they all work the same. Try the 3 different sizes of noodles - they're all great. I really like the ribbon knife for my zoodles.

Cooking your Zucchini Noodles

A lot of recipes say you should dry your zoodles and salt them to pull the moisture out before
A spiralized dinner
A meal of spiralizing!
cooking them. I don't find this makes much of a difference so I usually just add a little oil and throw them in a pre-heated pan. The noodles will be really long so you may want to take a knife and chop them into more manageable sizes. I find tongs the easiest way to stir them up to keep from burning. You really can't go wrong from here - don't over think it. Just fry them up until they're done (usually 5-10 minutes). About 5 minutes in I like to add my sauce. They go great with any tomato sauce or pesto. Keep tossing them with the tongs to coat them on all sides. Serve immediately (old zoodles aren't great) and top with grated cheese or goat cheese. The goat cheese goes really well with the zoodles. You can eat these as a whole meal or as a side.

Why Zoodles are so Great

Zoodles are an awesome way to get vegetables into your diet without trying. The novelty of having vegetables in noodle form and topped with tasty sauces is great for people that are not enthused. Eating veggies is a great way to get nutrients in your body with vitamins and fibre without all the processed junk in pre made meals. The zoodles are also super quick and easy to make.

Spiralizer Alternatives

If you can't get your hands on a spiralizer like mine there is also a cheaper alternative that looks like
Spiralizer alternatives
an hour glass. These are a bit cheaper at around $15. The downside of these is they are a lot slower as you have to twist it yourself instead of turning a crank. The upside is it's cheaper and fits in your cupboard easier. You can also try an even smaller and cheaper version - a potato peeler or julienne peeler. These fit even better in your drawers but again it takes a bit longer than a real spiralizer. I have tried a few different brands of spiralizers and it doesn't seem like there are much differences in quality so just find the best sale and go for it. I found my Starfrit Spiralizer at Canadian Tire for $40 but the next week they were at Homesense for $20. If you find it at Homesense snag it while you can because these babies sell like hot cakes and then they are gone.

What else to make with your Spiralizer

Try the ribbon blade and spiralize potatoes to make chips or sweet potato chips. The smallest noodle blade
is great for cutting up cucumber to make tzatziki. We also put spiralized cucumber in water or gin and tonic to make a refreshing drink. Sprinkling the cucumber ribbons on salad makes for a fresh taste. We spiralized radishes and sprinkled them on salad too. I have yet to try using the smallest blade to spiralize veggies for fresh rolls but they look delish.

What's your unique use of your spiralizer? Share in the comments!

You also might like: Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Tacos and 11 Ways To Actually Complete a Workout Program (This Time)