My new kitchen gadget – The Spiralizer!
Do an internet search for the Spiralizer and images of stringy ‘noodle’ like courgettes will appear. This is a new gadget that is sweeping across the States. I’ve had mine for a couple of months now so I thought it was time to share a few recipes and what works and what doesn’t
So what is a Spiralizer and should you invest in one?
The blurb states that it is a way for you to eat all the meals that you love without the calorie laden pasta carbs. So move over spag bol and say hello to sweet potato bol!
A portion of spaghetti (75g uncooked weight) has 265 calories and 54g of carbohydrate, whereas a 125g portion of courgette ‘spaghetti’ has 21 calories and less than 4g of carbohydrate. And a 150g portion of Udon noodles has 207 calories and 38g of carbs, compare that with a 100g sweet potato ‘noodle’ which has only 98 calories and 21g of carbs
Generally we eat larger portions of pasta, rice, bread and potatoes than we need, for instance a portion of pasta is 75g (uncooked), try weighing that out and put it into your usual pasta bowl and see how small it looks!
A well-balanced meal should be a quarter protein, a quarter carbohydrate and half fruit and vegetables, so the Spiralizer could play a really useful role in redressing the nutritional balance in a potential carb-heavy diet.
Being aware of the amount of carbs and portion sizes are not only important for those that wish to maintain a healthy weight but for people who need to monitor their blood sugar levels like diabetics; when excessive carbs could have a negative effect on their health
You cannot buy the Spiralizer in the shops (yet) so I ordered mine online for about £25. It is very straightforward to use, but you must remember to make sure the suction feet are firmly pressed down on to your work surface before you begin, or else your little gadget will ‘walk’ across the kitchen
It is simple to assemble; everything is made of sturdy easy clean plastic, that is also dishwasher safe. With three different blades to make different shapes – thick noodles, like Udon; thin noodles, like spaghetti; and spirals or shavings just like the ones you get when you sharpen your pencil!
So choose your veg and away you go! As I say I have been spirialising for a few months now and I find the best fruit and veg to use are -
- courgettes – all blades work well
- sweet potato – all blades work well
- apples and pears – to make spirals, great with thick yoghurt and a few seeds or nuts on top
- carrots – all blades work well
- cabbage - to make spirals. It grates it brilliantly for crunchy coleslaw
- cooked or raw whole beetroot – all blades work well
- cucumber – all blades work well
- parsnip - all blades work well
- Melon - to make spirals
If you would prefer to follow a recipe rather than experiment then here is a great dish for Japanese broth with ‘noodles’ or what about courgette ‘noodles’? I will add more as I go along
Some points to bear in mind
When using beetroot – if you use the vacuum packed precooked versions, don’t use a peeler or Spiralizer ;the beetroot is too soft and its get very messy. Just use a sharp knife. but you can use raw or cook it, have a cloth handy because it can splatter and use rubber gloves because it will stain your hands
When using carrots you need fairly broad ones. The thinner ones just won’t work. Try it and you’ll see what I mean
Cut courgettes and carrots into about 3” lengths, any longer and the ‘noodle’ shapes become too long and unmanageable
Make sure both ends of the vegetables are straight so they sit squarely on to the spiked handle and go smoothly through the blade
There is no need to peel or core fruit and veg, just wash them. Most of the nutrients and fibre are just underneath the skin so its important to keep the skin on and maximize the nutritional benefits