One of the things that seem to be appearing quite a lot in cooking shows is the spiralizing of vegetables and fruits. This isn’t a new thing by any means (and it’s something I’ve actually done once or twice myself), but it’s something that’s certainly gaining popularity. Hey, anything that helps one get their vegetable quota up is A-Okay by me.
Zucchini seems to be the most popular vegetable for spiralizing, but there are so many other things that you can make look pretty (and seriously appetizing) with this cooking technique!
People tend to eat with their eyes first (aka if it looks pretty they’re more likely to want to eat it), so if you have picky eaters in your house this might just be the thing that gets them eating the foods that you want them to. BONUS: Spiralized veggies also happen to be a perfect pasta replacement if you happen to be living carb free.
Here’s a list of the produce that can be spiralized:
This is the most obvious (and common) vegetable used, so I’m going to get it out of the way first. Zucchini noodles can be eaten raw, but they also make a great pasta substitute and they’re pretty incredible when thrown into a stir fry (you really only need to heat them through, so throw them in within the last minute or so of cooking to ensure that they remain crisp).
Most people only ever use the broccoli florets when they’re cooking and end up throwing out the stalk (or just paying a little extra to have the stalk removed at the grocery store so that they don’t have to bother with the extra waste). Next time you’ve got some broccoli on hand, try this instead – Use the florets in a casserole or pasta, and then spiralize the stalk. Again, you can eat it raw if you’d like, but I find that it definitely tastes better when it’s cooked into a stir fry. If you’re into Asian-inspired flavours, steam the ‘noodles’ and dress them in a sesame ginger sauce (with or without tofu).
Most people peel their carrots anyway; why not spiralizer them instead and turn them into something that’s fun to eat? Spiralized carrots work perfectly when thrown raw into a salad (and it makes it look like you put a lot of thought and work into that salad), but they’re also pretty good when thrown into a pasta dish or stir fry as well.
4. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes actually work incredibly well for this technique (probably because they’re a little firmer than some of the other thing mentioned on this list). Feel free to throw them in a stir-fry when you’re finished, or my favourite way to eat them is to throw them into a curry during the last few minutes of cooking to add some more depth and texture to the dish.
I’ll admit that beets are far from my favourite thing in the world (probably because I was forced to eat them boiled on a fairly regular basis when I was a kid), but there’s something about tiny little beet ‘noodles’ that are not only appetizing but actually quite good! Steam them and turn them into a pasta substitute or toss them with some carrot spirals for a fun and colourful salad.
You might steer clear of this vegetable when you’re at the grocery store because it looks funny and somewhat intimidating (seriously, what on earth are you supposed to do with that thing?), but it’s actually the perfect vegetable for spiralizing so you should definitely consider giving it a go the next time you see it! To prepare it, simply cut away the skin and spiralizer whatever’s left. I’m sure that you could probably cook it if you want to, but I personally prefer it raw on a summer salad (because it gives it a peppery – but mild enough to not punch you in the mouth – flare).
If you’re carb free but miss your pasta (I can’t blame you), this is the vegetable you’re going to want to reach for. Turn your courgette into little spiral ‘noodles’ boil or steam them for 30 seconds to a minute, and serve warm with your favourite spaghetti sauce or pesto for an instant ‘pasta’ dish. If you’re not a vegetarian, shrimp (or whatever your favourite protein is) is a tasty added bonus.
This is another one of those vegetables that is probably foreign to a lot of people (unless you happen to be someone that frequents your local Asian market and/or your grocery store is incredibly well stocked), but it’s nothing to be afraid of and is actually a part of the radish family so if you like radishes, you’ll very likely enjoy this as well. It’s absolutely perfect for using in place of rice noodles whenever you have a hankering for pad thai, or feel free to throw it into an Asian salad (or any salad that you feel could use a radish kick).
This is the only fruit that I’ve actually personally spiralized, and it worked so incredibly well that I just had to add it to the list (though I’m sure that a pear or any other type of firmer fruit would work equally well). I use them as an edible garnish myself, but they would also work well to add depth and differential flavour to a homemade coleslaw. Just remember that if you are going to use apple, you need to also add some lemon juice to the spirals to prevent them from oxidizing and browning.
How To Create The Spirals
There are two ways to go about turning your fruits and vegetables into fancy little spirals that even the pickiest eater can’t resist:
A Julienne Peeler
This is the method I use because it’s quick and easy (and really because it’s what I’m used to). Here’s the one I have personally – It’s more than worth the ten bucks I paid for it and I don’t see it needing to be replaced anytime soon.
An Actual Spiralizer
Since this method has become so popular, an actual spiralizer is something you can buy these days. This one even comes with a recipe book that gives you countless cooking ideas and includes a cleaning brush to ensure that you’re not using a dirty machine.
Have you tried spiralizing? What are your favourite vegetables and/or fruits to use this method on? Let us know in the comments section below – I always love trying new things!