Spiralizers tend to come with very few instructions about what to do, how to do it and how to use your ‘spirals’ once you’ve made them. In developing and refining the 100 recipes in The Spiralizer Cookbook, I would say these are the top ten tricks that I’ve learned to help in getting the most out of your spiralizer.
Use 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. You won’t be able to spiralize a pumpkin.
Scrub, wash or peel as necessary.
- Trim or cut to size
Always trim vegetables so they have a flat surface to press the handle 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 to spiralize them.
- Keep an even pressure
If your pressure when turning the handle 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.
- Turn slowly and consistently
If you turn too quickly, you will end up with short little curls rather than long strands.
- Put the calyx or stump at the end
Put this end towards the handle as this is the last bit that will be discarded.
- Don’t waste the last pieces
You will always be left with a small piece. Don’t throw these away if you could add these to the dish or set them aside to use in stock.
- Use the wide-curls blade for vegetables with layers
When spiralizing vegetables like leeks, onions or cabbage, use the wide-curls blad. 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.
You’ll have to pick out seeds and the core, then rinse to get rid of the last of the seeds. You could chop the last ring of unspiralized pepper and add to your dish.
- 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.
- When vegetables get stuck
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.
- Take great care with sharp blades
If your vegetable stops turning, don’t pull on the handle and turn the vegetable manually as you may cut yourself really badly.