Are you looking for a way to increase vegetables in your meals in a new and interesting way? Create your own zucchini noodles, or some call them zoodles, for delicious recipes using a spiralizer.
“Spiralizing is using a kitchen tool to transform vegetables in noodles,” said Samantha Moore, Marshfield Clinic Health System registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator. “It’s an easy and fun way to increase vegetables in your diet.”
Spiralizer cost and alternatives
Shop for a general spiralizer by looking for a “vegetable spiralizer” or “vegetable spiral slicer.”
“There are different versions of spiralizers on the market, but you can find a decent one for under $20.00 at places like Walmart or on Amazon,” Moore said.
Other tools like mandolins, box graters or food processors have options to finely slice vegetables, which will produce varying textures. “You could also use a vegetable peeler when you don’t have access to a spiralizer,” Moore said. “The end result is more ribbon-like versus noodle-like, but you’ll still get the same taste profile.”
Zucchini noodles are an easy way to start
Spiralizers come in a variety of shapes and sizes for different fruit and vegetables.
Some tools are specific to one vegetable, like making zoodles, or zucchini noodles. While others have attachments and numerous blades to do everything from making carrots into fine spirals to turning potatoes into curly fries.
Add zucchini noodles, or other vegetables into recipes fresh for a crunch and extra color. Alternatively, you can sauté your zoodles and reduce how much pasta you use in a recipe.
Another option for a noodle-like replacement with no special tools required is spaghetti squash.
Don’t stop at zoodles, try other vegetables
You can experiment with any firm vegetables or fruit. This can be a great way to introduce kids to healthy eating and get them more involved in the kitchen.
- Bell peppers
- Broccoli stalks
- Butternut squash
- Daikon radishes
- Radishes, black
- Sweet potatoes
- Taro root
- White potatoes
- Zucchini (or summer squash)
Try this recipe
Start spiralizing with this zucchini, avocado and strawberries salad.
“This combination offers a fresh tasting addition to a summer cookout or to a potluck, and it does not take many ingredients to assemble,” Moore said.
Zucchini, Avocado and Strawberry Salad
Prep time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4-6 (1 serving = 1 cup)
- 2 medium zucchinis
- 1-1/2 cups hulled and chopped fresh strawberries
- 1 ripe avocado, diced
- A few sprigs of roughly chopped cilantro
- 1 small jalapeño (optional)
- 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion (optional)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
- Juice of 1/2 lime or 2 tablespoons
Spiralize zucchini to make large zucchini noodles. Roughly chop to reduce length of noodles. Use a vegetable peeler as an alternative to a veggie spiralizer for creating zoodles.
In a large bowl, combine zucchini noodles , strawberries, avocado, cilantro, jalapeño and red onion.
In a small bowl, whisk together maple syrup and lime juice. Add salt and pepper if desired.
Pour small bowl of dressing over the large bowl of salad and toss to combine. Serve as a side salad.
Prep notes: If you’re preparing this salad in advance, add your zucchini noodles at the last minute to prevent them from getting soggy.
For a hearty salad: Use 2 avocados.
Each serving (1 cup) contains: 90 calories; 2 g protein; 5 g fat; 4 g fiber; 14 g carbohydrate; 7 g sugar; 7 mg sodium.
Source: Recipe adapted from book Inspiralized by Ali Maffucci