Spiralizers, devices for creating vegetable-based pasta alternatives, were massive last year. Health food gurus such as Hemsley & Hemsley, Honestly Healthy and Deliciously Ella recommended them as great alternatives to traditional pasta dishes. Finally it is possible to enjoy hearty sauces which match perfectly with pasta, but accompanying vegetables rather than the bloat-inducing, carb-heavy pasta itself. Pasta is obviously fine to eat in moderation. It is low in fat and high in carbohydrates, which will give you energy. However it is really only healthy in small quantities. In a 90g portion of fusilli for example, there are around 316 calories. Once sauce and any other additions (like cheese) are added, you can be looking at a calorie-heavy dinner. So for those wishing to cut calories or eat more vegetables – enter the spiralizer.
What is a spiralizer and how does it work? Basically, it originates from Japan and is used to ‘spiralize’ vegetables by shredding them into ribbons, or spaghetti-like strands. You can do this easily enough with a julienne peeler, which has the same effect, but using a spiralizer is a much quicker and easier process. There are many different kinds of spiralizer, the newest being a hand-held one but the older models are larger and involve attaching the vegetable to one end, with the blade at the other. You turn the handle, which slices the vegetable which then ribbons out of the other side. They aren’t too pricey either. The most basic one can be brought from Amazon here for £23.14, and works really well.
You can use any kind of vegetable with your spiralizer. If you can fit it on and spiralize it, then use it. Perhaps the most commonly spiralize-ed vegetable is the courgette, makes a great alternative to spaghetti. Carrots and cucumbers are also great. You can add wonderful new textures to your salads with these. Squash, celeriac and apple are equally good to shred, for example.
You can choose to lightly sauté your vegetable ‘spaghetti’ or leave it raw. I personally like to lightly fry my ‘courgetti’ (spiralized courgette), or mix it through the sauce I’m using just to heat it up a little. You can also flavour your vegetable ribbons with a little salt and pepper, or even add in some garlic or herbs.
Benefits of spiralizing;
- Vegetables are gluten-free.
- Suitable for vegan and vegetarian diets.
- Low in fat.
- Low in calories.
- High in nutrition. You’re consuming more vegetables
Recipes using spiralized vegetables are varied and there are more and more all the time as the spiralizing craze has really taken off in the last few years.
Here’s a hint. Pair your favourite pasta sauces with shredded vegetables instead. Why not try this simple pesto, olive and balsamic tomato recipe from Olive magazine with ‘courgetti’, or simply make a basil and tomato sauce, or even your favourite Bolognese mixture and with courgette or squash noodles?
Feature picture by Meal Makeover Moms