June 14, 2013

Five Ways to Use a Spiralizer

If you missed last week's posts, I finally shared a couple of recipes that used my new spiralizer. I hope you're not sick of hearing me talk about spiralizers yet, because I'm dedicating a whole post to them today!

Since I know there a lot of people who either own a spiralizer already but may not know what to do with it, or people who are considering buying one but aren't sure if it would be worth it, I thought it might be helpful to do another post featuring some ideas for creations that you can only make with a spiralizer.

First things first, if you've never heard of a spiralizer, it's a kitchen tool that uses different blade settings along with a pronged handle to crank fruits and veggies into curly, ribbon-like strands.  I own the Paderno World Cuisine model, which is made of plastic so it's nice and light, and is really easy to use. The only downside is that it can be a bit difficult to clean and the plastic can stain easily, but the pros definitely outweigh the cons in my opinion!

I've had a lot of fun trying out different veggies with my spiralizer to see which ones work best, and coming up with creative and fun meals to eat. This probably sounds lame, but I can't describe how exciting it is to see a zucchini or a potato emerge from the spiralizer as something totally different than how it went in! If you like to have fun with food, then this tool helps you do that!

But enough talk, let's see it in action! Here you can see two different vegetables being turned into "noodles" - a zucchini on the left (using the thinnest blade), and a potato on the right (with the medium blade):



And here's a short list of five ideas that I've tried out so far:


Easiest & Most Spaghetti-Like: Zucchini Noodles


This is probably the most common use for a spiralizer. As long as you start with a fairly straight zucchini, it easily cranks through the machine and turns into long, thin strands that really do resemble spaghetti!

One of the reasons why zucchini noodles are becoming so popular is that it's so easy to pair them with different fresh sauces and other veggies to make a healthy, low-carb meal. The version that I made above is this recipe for mango and mint marinated zucchini noodles from Green Kitchen Stories. I loved the fresh mango and mint flavours, and the zucchini noodles soaked up the dressing nicely.

Another easy idea is to make a fresh tomato sauce for the zucchini, like this recipe from Janet of the taste space. You could also go with an Asian sauce like Thai peanut sauce, or blend up an avocado with lemon and herbs. There are so many options and I plan to try out as many of them as I can!


Prettiest: Cucumber and Radish Ribbons


These cucumber and radish ribbons are probably the prettiest looking "noodles" that I've made with my spiralizer. I used the larger blade setting to get wide noodles and tossed them in a simple creamy yogurt dressing with lots of fresh dill.

This would make a nice light summer side dish, and I'm sure you would get lots of compliments if you brought it to a BBQ or potluck!


Tastiest Salad Additions: Beet and Apple Spirals


Beets were one ingredient that I couldn't wait to try out with my spiralizer. I love adding raw shredded beets to salads, and with this method you get beautiful long, curly strands of beet instead of short shreds. I also used the medium sized blade to slice up an apple, and it was the perfect salad pairing to go with the beet noodles.

Shown above is the salad I made with both the apple and beet, along with some grated carrot (which I tried to put in the spiralizer but it didn't work because it wasn't wide enough), some dried cranberries, sunflower seeds and a bit of dressing. It wasn't the prettiest looking salad, but it sure tasted good with the natural sweetness of the apples and beets.


Most Unusual: Sweet Potato Noodles


It makes sense to eat apples and beets raw, but raw sweet potato is a bit more unusual! I gave it a try anyway and surprisingly, the sweet potato did turn into nice soft noodles that I could eat raw, or you could also cook them in a skillet first if you want.

For the version shown above, I made a miso-ginger dressing and added some tomatoes because that happened to be the only other vegetable in my fridge at the time. It was an odd pairing that didn't exactly work, but at least I liked the noodles! Next time I would try them with something a bit creamier like a tahini or nut butter based sauce, and add some other veggies like broccoli or red pepper.


Most Fun to Eat: Baked Curly Fries


It occurred to me recently that spiralizers aren't only good for making raw vegetable dishes - you can still cook the noodles afterwards. Naturally, a potato seemed like the best ingredient to try this with, and it actually worked really well!

When my sister recently brought up how much she used to like eating curly fries, I thought, hey - why not trying making them myself with my spiralizer?  My first attempt (shown in the top right corner) didn't work out so well - I ended up with a few good curly strands and a much bigger pile of unusable shreds, but that was probably because I used a japanese sweet potato and a purple sweet potato, which were a bit harder in texture.

So I tried again using a regular peeled white potato, and it came out in beautiful curly strands this time! I ended up with a mixture of tight corkscrews, medium sized curls, and large loose curls, and they were all super long - I measured the longest piece and it was over 13 feet long!  Here's a shot of what they looked like before baking:


Once they were all cut, I just tossed them in a bit of olive oil and some spices and baked them at 400°F for 20-25 minutes. Some of the fries got nice and crisp in the oven, and the thicker strands were more soft, which was always my favourite type of fries! I definitely had a lot of fun bouncing each of my curly fries like slinkies before eating them :)


Bonus Idea: Raw Nachos



I know this post is titled only Five Ways to Use a Spiralizer, but I had to squeeze in my recipes from last week too! I've discovered that my spiralizer is the perfect tool for making super thin slices of raw fruits and veggies to use as nachos with any toppings you like! 

So far I've tried this method with apples to make these apple nachos with peanut butter sauce, pecans and coconut, and with jicama to make these raw jicama nachos with tropical fruit salsa, taco nut crumbles and lime-cilantro sauce. Both snacks were super tasty, fun to eat and healthy too! 


Note: The opinions in this post are all my own. I have no affiliation with any companies that sell spiralizers nor did I receive any kind of sponsorship for this post. I simply wanted to share my experience and recommend a product that I enjoy along with some recipe ideas!

19 comments:

  1. Nice! I have a spiralizer and have only used it once. I love the cuke & radish idea, the salad additions, and the raw nachos!

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    1. Glad to provide some more ideas for you! It's a great tool, but not a necessary one to own, so I can understand how it could end up going unused.

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  2. I wanted a spiralizer before, but now I REALLY want one. I think the curly fries sealed the deal for me. ;)

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    1. I'd love to see some more uses for it coming from your experience! The curly fries do take a bit of practice, and mine still weren't perfect fries but I'm not that picky about getting perfectly crispy and evenly cooked oven fries so I enjoyed them!

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  3. Thanks for the shout-out! I love your spiralizing ways! The fries are such a GREAT idea!!

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    1. Thanks Janet! I'm glad that there are other bloggers out there with creative and healthy spiralizer recipe ideas for me to get inspired from!

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  4. Great round up! The spiral fries bring back childhood memories, they were my Fave!

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  5. The curly fries are my fave but I love how creative you've been with this spiralizer!

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  6. Such a neat gadget! I need to get one. Love all of the different uses. Those apple nachos look AMAZING! :)

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  7. Cucumber/radish is so pretty! I would totally eat that! :)

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  8. You're making the spiralizer look like too much fun! Beautiful photos, too, especially the cucumber and radish ribbons.

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  9. I love this post! I'm glad you're giving the spiralizer credit - I run a blog that's 100% dedicated to the spiralizer, called Inspiralized - check it out www.inspiralized.com!

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  10. I just got my spiralizer - thanks for all the ideas - curly fries YUM... also the beetroot salad looks like a murder took place but sounds lovely :)

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  11. I just got my spiralizer - thanks for all the ideas - curly fries YUM... also the beetroot salad looks like a murder took place but sounds lovely :)

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  12. I love my spiralizer ...I'm nervous to try beets ... does it stain the white body?

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    1. Beets can make a bit of a mess on the counter, but I actually find that zucchini stains the white parts of the spiralizer more - the beets didn't leave any stain on mine, as long as you wash it right after using it!

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  13. How do you cook your zucchini and sweet potato noodles?

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    1. I did not cook either...the zucchini noodles are meant to be eaten raw (like a salad). I ate the sweet potato noodles raw, but you could cook them if you want them to be a bit softer - either boiling briefly or sauteeing them in a pan should work!

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    2. I love these steps! Now I know what are other ways to make gorgeous whirls! Thanks for this post - it really helps a lot because I have a Spiral Slicer to which I know one thing how to use it. :)

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