Why You Need A Spiralizer
This nifty contraption will change your kitchen game (and your life)
Sometime last year our Instagram feeds and Pinterest boards were taken over with multi-coloured veggies daintily turned into noodles. If you follow food trends, the terms zoodles (zucchini noodles), courgetti (courgette / zucchini spaghetti), and er, cup noodles (cucumber noodles), will all be very familiar. Carrots were being turned to ribbons and sweet potatoes are being made into curly fries, all thanks to the spiralizer.
Cutting up veggies into tiny strips is not a new technique. We have seen juliennes everywhere from fine dine restaurants to the neighbourhood ‘Chindian’ food cart. But what the spiraliser can produce is nothing short of art. The gluten-free and the paleo movements also proved to be a shot in the arm for the spiralizer; ‘pasta’ and ‘noodles’ made from all sorts of vegetables began replacing traditional pasta dishes – in restaurants and in our homes. The trend has also led to a noticeable uptick in the consumption of vegetables, whether it’s in the UK where The Guardian confirmed this with major grocery retailers, or in the USA where popular food bloggers and magazines extolled the virtues of the spiralizer.
Apart from encouraging you to eat more vegetables, using the spiralizer cuts down on the refined carbs that you would typically consume through pasta and noodles. It also adds much-needed fiber to your diet. And the rainbow of spiralized vegetables makes for a beautiful plate of food – we do, after all, eat with our eyes first.
How to use it
The spiralizer is essentially a grater that went to B-school. It comes with different blades for creating a variety of shapes. There’s a revolving crank handle above the blade, which is attached to a spiky grip. All you have to do is place the vegetable of your choice on the grip between the blade and the crank, and turn the handle while applying a bit of pressure.
Things to remember
While it’s fairly easy to use the spiralizer, these tips will make your job easier.
- Use symmetrical foods. If your zucchini is slightly crooked, trim it to make it straight
- Choose firm, slightly starchy vegetables for spiralizing
- Wash the veggies thoroughly before spiralizing, and peel if necessary
- Center the vegetable in the spiralizer to get even noodles. The vegetable should sit on top the blade
- Start with the larger end (e.g. the head of a carrot) to get better-shaped noodles
- After spiralizing, dry the noodles with a paper towel, especially if you’re working with vegetables such as cucumbers and zucchini, which have a high water content
- If your recipe calls for cooking/roasting the veggies, do it after spiralizing
Here are some vegetables (and fruits) you can spiralize, and ideas on working with them.
- Zucchini – toss it with pesto and garnish with sundried tomatoes, or make a pad Thai with the zoodles
- Cucumber – toss with a dressing of sesame oil, soya sauce, rice vinegar, tahini, honey, ginger and garlic
- Sweet potatoes – make a carbonara with spinach and mushrooms (peel the sweet potato skin before spiralizing)
- Carrots – make a warm salad bowl with ginger miso carrot noodles and tofu
- Apples – mix with cabbage for a healthful, crunchy slaw