I started writing a post today about a recipe involving Zoodles (zucchini noodles) but then as I got going, I realized that the post itself was suuuuper long because I spent so much time talking about the zoodles themselves. So I thought I’d split it up. If you read food blogs and follow food bloggers on social media, you have undoubtedly been introduced to the Spiralizer. I myself have been making zucchini noodles long before the Spiralizer hype, I simply used a vegetable peeler to make thin ribbons, or cut the zucchini by hand, like I did in this recipe. So I always kind of thought that a contraption purely designed to turn vegetables into curly noodle-like ribbons was over-rated. Until I got one. And I take it all back. I’m in love with this thing and I use it almost every day.
Basically, it has a hand crank on one side
And some interchangeable blades on the other side. The one you see inserted in mine is the preferred one for zoodles.
You simply place a zucchini in there, and twist the handle,
and out falls these beautiful curly noodle-like veggie strings.
There’s very little waste, with simply a small core left in the end.
And a big pile of what looks like, pasta!
The spiralizer isn’t just for zucchini. You can use it for carrots, potatoes, apples, cucumbers, and more. There is also a ribbon blade, that works especially well for cucumbers and apples.
However since Zucchini noodles are all the rage, I’m going to share all of my best zoodle tips. This is an awesome little trick to have up your sleeve if you want to lighten up your own meal without totally making a separate one for your family. You can eat zoodles much like you would pasta, or simply as a side dish. They can actually be eaten raw or cooked. And I’m not lying to you when I say that they actually taste amazing when used in many traditional pasta dishes and they fill you up.
Here’s some frequently asked questions:
Q: Where do you get one of those things?
Q: How much should I make?
A: I usually estimate 1 medium sized zucchini per person. It may seem like a lot, but once they are cooked (and especially if you use the method I suggest below to expel excess water) they shrink down a lot.
Q: How do I cook them?
Boiling: If I’m going to mix them with pasta, I plunge them right into the boiling water with the pasta as soon as the pasta is done. They only need to simmer for just a minute or two to get soft and can be drained right along with the pasta.
Pan Cooking: This is my preferred method 99% of the time. Crank up the heat on your pan to medim-high. You don’t want to cook low and slow here, or the water will seep out and your zucchini will be mushy. Drizzle some olive oil (our flavored oils are absolute perfection here) and add the noodles. Use tongs to toss them and cook until just tender. It helps to use a pan larger than you think you need so there is plenty of room for them to spread out. If they’re piled on top of each other, they end up boiling and steaming and can be mushy. Cook them hot and fast like you would in a wok and then serve immediately.
Q: Sometimes when I add a sauce it turns soupy, how do I avoid that?
A: Zucchini has an incredibly high water content, so after cooking, if you add a sauce, it can turn incredibly thin. Try using thicker sauces, you can even simmer down tomato based sauces to thicken them up. The best trick however, is to plan ahead and expel some of the water from your zucchini, first. Toss your raw zoodles with kosher salt (I use about 1/4 teaspoon per small/med zucchini) and then place them in a mesh strainer that drains over a bowl.
Let them sit for about 1 hour and you’ll see tons of water will drain out into the bowl. Transfer your zoodles onto a few layers of paper towels and then gently blot with paper towels on top as well. Saute as normal after that, then dress with desired sauce, and serve immediately. I don’t have any problems at all with wet noodles when I pre-treat them like this, though I only do that if I have a sauce that I want to stay thick. One of the beauties of Zoodles is that they can literally be made and cooked in less than 5 minutes, so I usually just pop them straight into a pan. It just depends on how I plan to serve them.
Q: What do you do with them?
A: Zoodles are fantastic simply tossed with a good olive oil* and salt and pepper. I also love them with pesto. I often mix in cooked chicken sausage links and top with parm or feta for a super quick and filling lunch. You can serve them like spaghetti and meatballs, make Asian style noodle dishes, or combine them with pasta to bulk up your serving.
Hopefully that helps with any trouble-shooting you might have. I have literally been using mine every single day these days! In the next week or so I’ll share some of the yummy things I like to make with mine. How many of you are zoodle-ing??
HEY FIT CLUBBERS! Have you checked out this week’s workout challenge?? If not, go check it out and give our guest trainer some love!