Spiralizing: how to get the best results

If you believe the industry experts, a spiralizer is set to be the new, must-have kitchen gadget for the health conscious. We explain what it is and how to use it...

Spiralising: How to get the best results

The ability to slice and shred a range of vegetables into ribbons has long been possible with a julienne peeler, but the technique has been made fuss-free and far more appealing with the arrival of the spiralizer. Originating in Japan, this handy and reasonably priced piece of kit is starting to creep into the mainstream, with a healthy shove from writers and bloggers such as Hemsley + Hemsley and Deliciously Ella.

Pasta

If you're looking to cut back on carbs, pack in the fruit and veg and maintain a healthy weight this gadget could transform how you cook. The difference between 100g of pasta and 100g of courgette is about 300kcal and the cooking time is considerably less. But how do you get started? We asked BBC Good Food’s food editor Cassie Best to give us a crash course in spiralizing… 

 

How to use your spiralizer

Getting started
Most models available work in a similar way, and creating oodles of healthy noodles is a satisfyingly simple process: ''Attach raw fruit or vegetables to the ‘teeth’, then turn the handle to push the vegetable through your choice of blade to create vegetables ribbons, or noodles in a variety of thicknesses,'' explains Cassie.

What are the best vegetables to spiralise?
There are a few vegetables that were born to be spiralized according to Cassie: ''The firm texture of root vegetables makes them perfect for spiralizing, but you can also use cucumbers, squash or pumpkin, or firm fruits such as apples and pears.''

CourgetteCourgette
Forget spaghetti, this year it’s all about ‘courgetti.’ Use the thin noodle attachment on the spiralizer to create long twirls of pasta-like vegetable noodles. Simply boil the spiralised courgette for 20 seconds, then top with Bolognese or stir through pesto and some prawns.
 

CarrotCarrots
Raw carrot ribbons, made with the slicing blade, add texture and crunch to a salad or slaw. Or, you can stir-fry the carrot ribbons for a couple of minutes with garlic and coconut oil for a healthy side dish.

 

Sweet potatoSweet potato
Use the thicker noodle blade to create sweet potato curly fries, toss in a little oil and bake until crisp.


 

AppleApples
Coleslaw will never be the same again, add texture with apple noodles; just make sure you toss in lemon juice as soon as the apple noodles come out of the spiralizer to prevent them from browning.

 

MooliMooli
This large, white vegetable is part of the radish family and is used widely in Asian cooking. Use in place of rice noodles to make pad Thai, or raw in Asian salads.


 

To cook or not to cook?
Naturally, cooking your courgetti is a much speedier process than boiling bags of weighty pasta: ''Most spiralized vegetables can be eaten raw or cooked. Some vegetables, such as aubergine, can break up when cooked, but most will hold their shape if gently boiled or stir-fried,'' says Cassie.

When it comes to health credentials, some vegetables actually benefit from being cooked, like carrots and tomatoes, while others have more nutritional gravitas when left raw, such as broccoli. Find out more about the best way to prepare your veg for maximum nutritional impact in our guide: Raw vs cooked.

How to storelemon
''To save time (and washing up) vegetables can be spiralized in bulk and stored in the fridge for up to three days until ready to serve. Store in a bowl of water to keep the veg crisp. Some vegetables, such as apples, celeriac, parsnips and mooli, will turn brown over time, so it’s best to add a squeeze of lemon juice to the water to prevent this from happening.''

If you'd like to see a spiralizer in action, take a look at our spiralizing video with some tasty recipe suggestions.

Have you invested in a spiralizer? We'd love to know how you've been using yours in the comments below. If you're still shopping for the perfect model, read our review of the best spiralizers and juliennes.

Comments, questions and tips

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gae123
5th Sep, 2016
I originally used a hand spiralizer but have recently invested in an electric model which is much easier to use. It gets used every week sometimes twice a week, I mainly do courgette and carrot.
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inspiralizedslimming
7th Mar, 2016
Great article. @pennybee - completely agree. The spiralizers should come with a box of plasters for first time users!! x
Suzzieb23
18th Jan, 2017
I am with you there. I took mine out of the box to wash and sliced a finger before it even reached the water lol
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jburton
18th Apr, 2016
oh you are right they should I managed to cut myself and i was just taking it out of the box for the first time, even though i though i was taking great care not to touch the blade, I didn't even know I had done it til it was too late.... love my spiralizer though
pennybee
2nd Mar, 2016
I love the spiralizer but beware they 'bite' or should I say watch you don't spiralize your fingers - I and another friend have sliced our little fingers, which bled a lot. I know there is a warning on the packaging but you really do need to be careful
Kkattee
9th Nov, 2015
Love this gadget. I left a recipe re pickled veg and a tip on Tips.
petesfanny
3rd May, 2015
I've recently bought a spiraliser and love it. Courgetti worked fab, I just left it to come to room temperature after spiralising, then mixed through pasta sauce to heat through. I stir fried spiralised sweet potatoes an had them with bolognaise. Can't wait to try other veg
wildrubberwoman
28th Jan, 2015
I've had one for a few years. Used it occasionally for salads but that's all so far. Would courgette pasta really fill you up? Would love to cut more carbs but I don't think that courgette for dinner instead of pasta would keep us going until breakfast.
Lady Pen
21st Aug, 2015
Yes it will. Everyone add normal pasta and meat sauce, I had meat sauce and courgette pasta. I was quite surprised how full.
saxxy27
20th May, 2015
Courgette noodles alone will probably not fill you up, but I swap it out for regular pasta when I make chicken or eggplant parmigiana so I feel less guilty about eating all that cheese! :) It's also fantastic tossed with a bit of pesto as a side dish or summery salad.

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Granny 47
3rd Jan, 2016
I'm considering buying a Spiralizer, unfortunately I have Rhuematoid Arthritis & would need a worktop standing, but easy one to use as my hands & wrists are much affected by it. I'm considering a Lurch make. I'd welcome any comments on using one?
Gadget Girl
20th Jan, 2016
I have this one. It suctions to my worktop and very simple to use. Not too big like some of the others, so easy to store. Very good price at £14.95. https://www.cookability.biz/grunwerg-vegetable-spiralizer-red/b_8332.htm
TracyThorne
1st Oct, 2015
Hi GF Team, do you have any recipes specifically using spiralised veg/fruit?
imkefromgermany
27th Jan, 2015
I would like to ask which brand of spiralizer you could recommend if that is possible. I found some on the internet here but I'm not quite sure about the quality. Thank you very much in advance!
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goodfoodteam
23rd Feb, 2015
Hi there,Our spiralizer review is live - you can read our top picks here: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/content/test-best-spiralizers-and-juliennesMany thanks,The Good Food team  
istara
18th Feb, 2015
I recommend a four-blade spiraliser such as the Padermo one, so you can make fine vermicelli "noodles". I had a three-blade one before and it was great, but the four-blade has been amazing. Regardless of what you get I wouldn't over spend as the stand ones aren't going to last forever (unless replacement blades come on the market). Just like any vegetable peeler, they go a bit blunter after a while.
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goodfoodteam
3rd Feb, 2015
Hi imkefromgermany thanks for getting in touch, we are planning to test a selection of spiralizers very soon so we will let you know when we have the results. 
allotment cook
16th Aug, 2016
we grow an abundance of cougettes I spiralize them all and place in plastic bags and freeze. the ends and middles freeze to use for soup, nothing wasted and lasts all winter when the price of courgette is sky high
Kkattee
9th Nov, 2015
I have recently bought a hand-held spiralizer and I am so pleased with this gadget. Thank you for all your comments, they have been very helpful. You might like to consider this recipe for pickled raw vegetables that is perfect for spiralized cucumber, courgette (peel these if the skins are tough) and red onion. I used a small spoon to scoop out the seeds in the middle of the chunk of cucumber and used the handle of the spoon to clean it out. Put the spiralized veg into a colander, sprinkle with a good pinch of salt and leave for 10 mins. Squeeze out the water between sheets of kitchen towel and rinse. Dress with a mix of white wine or rice vinegar and sugar to your taste. You can add dill, sesame seeds, sesame oil or other flavouring appropriate to your main dish. I use dill flavour when using the pickled veg with fish. Very good crunchy contrast to soft Sea Bass for example.