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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istara
18th Feb, 2015
Try celeriac, it's particularly good with sauces that would use celery anyway, such as a meat bolognaise. You'll find in some dishes the vegetable "noodles" are preferable to wheat ones as they're less gluggy/gluey. Other dishes wheat are best. I find courgette noodles a bit watery, but they are surprisingly "pasta like" - more than you might imagine, anyway - as a replacement for spaghetti. Generally though I try to consider the spiralised dishes as something different to pasta-based dishes entirely, not as a substitute.
epearce
27th Jan, 2015
I was using a julienne peeler to make 'Courgetti' (which is amazing) but after getting a spiraliser for Christmas, I am now a convert. It's so quick, easy and reduces waste of vegetables as you don't have that annoying bit left that you can't peel if you want to keep all your fingers in tact!
bryonyann
27th Jan, 2015
I tend to agree with 'ooitsme'. I'm not sure it matters what shape the veg is, for instance, I just boil cauliflower florets and have Bolognese/Curry sauce over them instead of rice of pasta. Runner beans are also a good alternative.
michellebogers
27th Jan, 2015
What's the recipe for the spiralized courgette in the picture? Looks lovely!
ooitsme's picture
ooitsme
27th Jan, 2015
I've been looking at these but I'm not sure whether it's worth spending £30 when I already have a julienne slicer thing, and a potato peeler? Opinions please!
ladyjayne52
6th Sep, 2016
I have been looking at the various types of spiralizer for months, reading all the reviews on which ones can handle butternut squash as this is a hard vegetable. I had been using a zester which was very laborious and was tempted to get one of the Japanese ones which are green and cost £30.00 plus but felt this was a little too expensive. I have bought a horizontal one made of metal, strong and sturdy and works a dream, cost less than £15.00 from T.K.Maxx. Definitely would not get a hand held one if you are a serios spiralizer freak.
julie-annhawkins
4th Mar, 2015
I'm buying one on ebay now for £2.54 including delivery! Coming from China, so will take 10 days, or £3.90 if you want it faster from UK. Looking forward to trying courgetti and sweet potatoe curly fries! Only negative seems to be the large end of veg that won't go through the spiriliser..
istara
18th Feb, 2015
You can get a much more "spaghetti" or Chinese noodle like experience, and you'll find you also end up trying lots of root vegetables you probably don't eat much now, just because it's interesting to spiralise them. For me: turnip, celeriac, jerusalem artichoke, kohlrabi, daikon, swede. Kohlrabi is particularly great in terms of texture and mildness of flavour. I'm also eating way more carrots, parsnips and sweet potato than before.

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