The spiralizer is the latest gadget taking healthy kitchens by storm -- it turns vegetables such as zucchini, carrot and sweet potato into noodles, tagliatelli and even "risotto" rice. If you're doing low-carb, gluten-free, raw or paleo, or just hate vegetables, it could be the device for you. Here's how you can replicate grain-based pasta and rice with a fraction of the carbs and calories.
Picture: Jessica Mullen
1. Oodles of Zoodles
Surprisingly similar to regular pasta, zucchini noodles are one of the easiest creations as zucchinis are relatively soft to carve. Try to use a large one if you can, as very thin ones won’t spiralise easily. You can sauté them for a couple of minutes in olive oil, or bake in the oven, then serve with your favourite pasta sauce. Because their water content is higher than regular pasta, drier sauces such as pesto and "stir-through" sauces can work best.
A serving of zucchini pasta, made from one medium zucchini, contains around 30 calories and 7g of carbs, compared to around 220 calories and 43g carbs for a cup of spaghetti.
2. Sweet potato rice
Great for starchier vegetables, you can also make this with carrot, parsnip, pumpkin and butternut squash. Make fine noodles, then pulse them in a food processor to produce grain-like shapes. You then cook them in stock until the liquid absorbs and their consistency is soft. You can either serve plain as a side dish, or combine with other ingredients just like a risotto or paella.
A cup of sweet potato has about 114 calories and 27g carbs, compared to 206 calories and 45g carbs for white rice. It’s also much higher in nutrients, particularly Vitamin A and magnesium.
3. Peanut noodle salad
One for the raw eaters out there: make thicker-size noodles from zucchini, carrot, daikon radish or a mix of whatever you like. (Most spiralizers offer different blades to make thin noodles, thick noodles and wide, ribbon-style noodles). Then combine them with a sauce made from peanut butter, sesame oil, lime juice, soy sauce, sweet chilli sauce and a dash of fish sauce if you’re not vegan. Combine with vegetables such as chopped red pepper, snow peas and bean sprouts.
A serving of carrot noodles comes in at around 50 calories and 12g carbs, with over 400% of your RDA of Vitamin A, as well as Vitamins C and B-6. Udon noodles have around 220 calories and 46g carbs.
4. Apple ribbons
Apples are an ideal fruit for the spiralizer: you don’t need to peel them, and they get cored as part of the process. You can peel off endlessly long ribbons of fresh apple that can be curled into fancy rosette shapes and baked into a pie, or simply combined with other fruit for a fruit salad. Top the apple with chopped oats and nuts, and you have a super low calorie, low carb version of a regular pastry-based apple pie.
Whether you’re trying to lose weight or just include more vegetables in your diet, spiralising is a fun and creative way to try. You can also get a similar effect using a vegetable julienne peeler, though the noodles won’t be quite so long.
<Chloe Quin is a wellness expert with online health insurance provider Health.com.au, whose mission is to help Australians access affordable healthcare that's easy to understand. Also a qualified yoga instructor, Chloe is passionate about empowering women to boost their health and fitness in fun, family-friendly ways.