Zoodles and 7 Other Reasons You Should Own a Spiralizer

Create endless healthy and exciting meals with a spiralizer
Zoodles and 8 Other Reasons You Should Own a Spiralizer

Playing with your food has never been so healthy.

Zoodles, or zucchini noodles, are taking over because they’re a healthy (low-carb, paleo, and often raw) alternative to favorite dishes like spaghetti or even a big bowl of ramen. The best part about this trend is that they’re easy to make at home.

Click here to see Zoodles and 7 Other Reasons You Should Own a Spiralizer (Slideshow)

At one point, spaghetti squash was the only vegetable pasta alternative to the real stuff, but now, with the help of one kitchen tool, you can turn almost anything into a noodle replacement.

There are two basic categories of spiralizers, or spiral slicers: handheld and tabletop. Handheld spiralizers are great because they’re cheap and don’t take up a ton of kitchen real estate, but they are small, which pretty much limits your spiralizing options to carrots, zucchini, and other thin, long vegetables. Tabletop spiralizers are more expensive, but can spiralize everything from jicama to sweet potatoes to beets. You can also use the julienne blade on a mandolin, or thinly slice vegetables with a vegetable peeler or a knife to create a similar effect without investing in a new piece of equipment.

Ali Maffucci, author of the cookbook Inspiralized, has been eating spiralized versions of her favorite foods since June 2013; the preparation method has helped her shed unwanted weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle. After hearing from her readers that they often had trouble with their spiralizers, Maffucci created her own, called, of course, The Inspiralizer. It is available for pre-order and will be ready to ship out in April 2015.

Maffucci’s favorite vegetable to spiralize is zucchini, because it’s the most versatile, but she switches over to sweet potatoes and turnips during the winter when large zucchini are hard to come by. Using a spiralizer has taught Maffucci to cook with the seasons and get creative with her food. When she was boiling spiralized butternut squash, it fell apart and turned into what looked like rice, which led Maffucci to other “rice” dishes like creamy risottos and Asian rice dishes.

Almost all vegetables can be spiralized, as long as they aren’t hollow, seeded, or mushy. Find more reasons to spiralize and some great recipes below.

Go Beyond the Zoodle

Beet Pasta

Evan Sung

Learning that zucchini isn’t the only thing you can turn into a noodle is an exciting revelation. You’ll want to explore all vegetables — start with Beet Pasta with Blood Orange, Honey Walnuts, and Crispy Kale.

Explore New Foods

Daikon Ramen with Skirt Steak

Evan Sung

Once you start spiralizing vegetables, you’ll be tempted to try everything you can get your hands on. Experiment with daikon and turn it into an amazing bowl of "ramen" topped with skirt steak.