Noodles of various kinds are enjoyed all over the world, but an increasing number of people are wanting to reduce the amount of processed white flour they eat. One brilliant way to do this is to make vegetable noodles with a spiralizer to create a healthy, no-carb alternative to pasta or any other kind of noodle. Spiralizers tend to come with very few instructions about how to spiralize, how to do it and how to use your ‘spirals’, whether courgetti or anything else, once you’ve made them. Here, Carolyn Humphries shares the top twelve tricks that she learned while developing and refining recipes for The Spiralizer Cookbook.
1. Spiralize firm fruit and vegetables
An aubergine that is even slightly soft will not spiralize. If a banana or papaya has even a hint of yellow, it will be too soft for spiralizing. You won’t be able to spiralize a pumpkin.
2. Scrub before you spiralize
Scrub, wash or peel as necessary before spiralizing.
3. Trim or cut to size before you spiralize
Always trim vegetables so they have a flat surface to press the handle of the spiralizer into, otherwise the vegetable will not be held securely. For large, fat, round, solid vegetables, like swede or celeriac, it is sometimes easier to cut them in half or quarters before spiralizing them.
4. Keep an even pressure while spiralizing
If your pressure when turning the handle of your spiralizer is too light, it may stop cutting after a few turns; too firm and you can squash or break what you’re spiralizing or stop it turning on the blade.
5. Turn the spiralizer handle slowly and consistently
If you turn the handle of the spiralizer too quickly, you will end up with short little curls rather than long strands.
6. Put the calyx or stump closest to the handle of your spiralizer
Put this end towards the handle as this is the last bit that will be discarded.
7. Don’t waste the last pieces
You will always be left with a small piece of fruit or vegetable when you’ve finished spiralizing. Don’t throw these away if you could add these to the dish or set them aside to use in stock.
8. Can I spiralize a leek?
Use the wide-curls blade of your spiralizer for vegetables with layers like leeks, onions or cabbage. You’ll also find that loose outer leaves simply peel off as you turn. Save these for stock, or shred and add to the dish you’re making, if appropriate. Pick out thin slices of stump if necessary.
9. Can I spiralize a pepper?
You’ll have to pick out seeds and the core before spiralizing, then rinse to get rid of the last of the seeds from your spirals. You could chop the last ring of unspiralized pepper and add to your dish.
10. When vegetables break free!
Sometimes your vegetable or fruit will dislodge half way through spiralizing. Just stop, remove the already spiralized noodles, take off the vegetable or fruit, turn it over and start again, slicing off a thin layer from the base if necessary.
11. When vegetables get stuck while spiralizing
If the vegetable gets stuck half way through and won’t turn, as sometimes happens with firm vegetables like parsnip or celeriac, try turning the handle backwards for a couple of turns, then turn it normally again.
12. Safe spiralizing
Take great care with sharp blades. If your vegetable stops turning, don’t pull on the handle of your spiralizer and turn the vegetable manually as you may cut yourself really badly
Now you’re armed with 12 top tips, check out our recipe post to make delicious avocado noodles and warming minestrone soup here.