I used to eat a lot of pasta, bread, and baked breakfast goods. My guess is you did too, or maybe still do. Although I still eat muffins and Coffee Cake Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies, the truth is, most store-bought “pasta” is not a whole food. It’s usually flour, striped of its nutrients, bleached and generally gross. So I have 2 choices: buy expensive, imported, or really hardy pasta, or spiralize! I admit, spiralized ingredients are a little more effort unless you make a trip to Whole Foods every day (around here, they carry spiralized veggies in the produce section), it’s a great way to reduce calories in your meal while still keeping it very filling, add more vegetables in your diet, and make your food pretty. I have yet to hear someone tell me that pretty food doesn’t make a difference.
Best part is, if it’s a sturdy vegetable or fruit, you can spiralize just about anything. For example, my friend Jen, over at Burpees for Breakfast, created this spiralized sweet potato dish to stay strong and lean. One thing I love about her post is she says you can freeze sweet potato noodles! Now whenever I have the spiralizer out, I know to spiralize a sweet potato while I’m at it and throw it in the freezer. I bet spiralized carrots freeze well too (and you will need them for my recipe this month). You have also seen me make golden beets into The Best No Noodle Pad Thai and zucchini into fresh pasta and Roasted Vegetable Zoodle Pasta, but let’s complete the rainbow in spiralized vegetables, k? We need a good red and orange dish, don’t you agree?
Let’s talk mechanics. There are a LOT of spiralizers out there. But let’s start with the least expensive and go into the most expensive.
Choice 1: You can get a julienne peeler.
This was what I started with. It was a good way to test run if I liked spiralizing my veggies and if I would use it often enough to be worth the investment. At the end of the day though, peeling is hard work and slow! Clean up is easy, but an upgrade had to happen because I never spiralized just one vegetable at a time. I usually like 2-3 zucchinis for my dinner with lots of sauce and toppings.
Choice 2: A handheld slicer.
I haven’t actually used this one, but the last time I was at Sur Le Table they were very eager to show this to me. I imagine this is about the same as choice 1 in terms of “work” involved.
Choice 3: The Paderno
Can you hear the choir singing? This is what I use and it’s my favorite. I have the 4 blade one. I like the noodle size choices and the speed. It was really important to me I had something that could handle any vegetable at my desired size. It’s a pain to clean, but not terrible. About the same amount of time as it takes to clean a cheese grater unless you clean it immediately. There are other brands, but this is the one I felt was the best.
Choice 4: Kitchen Aid attachment
For now, I’m just going to dream about this one. This is a pretty pricey option since you first need the machine and then the attachment, but if you already have a Kitchen Aid, it’s kinda amazing since it does all the work for you! No hand cranking like the other options. If time equals money, you can’t beat that. Definitely worth considering when you think about all the things a Kitchen Aid can do…if it’s in your price range and it’ll fit on your counter.
So why does a spriralizer change everything? A spiralizer makes comfort food healing and nutritious. Every time we add more vegetables into our diet by replacing something not as good for you, you have accomplished more than you think! It’s not just, I had an extra zucchini today. It’s, I had an extra dose of freshly made A, B, C, Potassium, Calcium and fiber for 33 calories. For me that’s huge! I’m not a calorie counter (one of those things I don’t believe in), but do you realize how much pasta you can eat without gaining any extra weight? But it’s not just that, you have also eliminated processed pasta by using a spiralizer, therefore preventing your body from having to figure out what to do with the food you just ate. I’m not against grain, in fact, I love a piping hot bowl of oatmeal in the morning, but I do believe the processing of any grain that no longer says the word “whole” in front of it, is no longer a whole food. So the next time you are choosing between label reading and spiralizing, I think the choice is easy.
For the recipe next week, make sure you have these ingredients and a skinny-blade spiralizer on hand:
oranges (Mandarin if they’re still in season by you. They just finished their season here)
rosemary (I have made this dish with dried rosemary, but I will try it again this week with fresh rosemary)
salt & black pepper
Cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oil – I use this very coveted olive oil, but I think you’ll enjoy the info in the link on how to choose an olive oil.
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