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Spiralize veggies and fruits to make sensational-looking, healthy meals |

Spiralize veggies and fruits to make sensational-looking, healthy meals

“It fits with the Paleo diet,” said Allen Eppley, vice president of Sparrow Hawk Cookware. “And if you want to avoid high carbs, vegetables are a good choice.”

It’s also a good way to avoid gluten.


“With the surge of gluten-free-based diets, it gives a great option for replacing pastas and starches,” said Cortney Smith, vice president of merchandising and store operations at The Cooks Marketplace. “We also talk to many vegans and vegetarians who love it because they can do something different and get a variety of recipes that weren’t available before spiralizing. And it all around makes it easier to eat healthier.”

You can make skillets, scrambles, quiches, salads, even desserts. Some of the most popular foods for spiralizing include zucchini, cucumber, sweet potato, white potato, apple, butternut squash, carrot, cabbage, onion, beet, daikon, parsnip, pear, celeriac and broccoli stem.

“For a vegetable or fruit to qualify as spiralizable and for best results, they should not have a tough pit or an interior with large, tough seed,” writes Ali Maffucci, author of the best-seller “Inspiralized” and blogger – inspiralized.com – dedicated to cooking creatively and nutritiously with a spiralizer. “They should be at least 1½ inches in diameter and at least 2 inches long. They should not be soft or juicy inside.”

One of Smith’s go-to recipes is for zoodles, or zucchini noodles.

“I love them cooked with charred lemons, spinach and goat cheese,” she said. “I also love using a base of spiralized sweet potatoes in a ‘noodle’ bowl or curry.”

The gadgets that perform this spiraling magic – part apple peeler, part “pencil sharpener,” to use Eppley’s words – have been around for some time. We even wrote about them several years ago, but only one model was on the market then. Now there are a dozen or more.

Eppley said the Japanese Benriner used to be the model of choice. Customers started asking for it after the House of Yakitori used it to make ribbon-like garnishes; people wanted to do this at home. He still stocks the Benriner, but it is more expensive than some of the new contenders. With his guidance, we picked up a less expensive OXO Good Grips spiralizer for $39.99

Handheld spiralizers aren’t as functional as the countertop units. Like old-fashioned apple peelers, one end has a vertical slot to hold the blade, and the other has a pronged food holder with a crank handle. You turn the crank to feed the produce through the blade, while you push a lever to exert pressure on the produce with your other hand.

Every machine comes with blades to make “noodles” that are 1/4 inch and 1/8 inch thick, as well as accordion-pleated “ribbon slices.” Some of the machines have additional blades for grating or making even thinner noodles.

Smith is a fan of the PL8 Professional spiralizer for $49.95.

“That one is a robust, sturdy tabletop model that does thin julienne, thick julienne and ribbons,” she said. “We can barely keep it in stock.”

If you don’t have a spiralizer and don’t want one cluttering your kitchen – but you want to try one of the following recipes – follow Maffucci’s suggestions for prepping the produce.

“You have a few options,” she writes. “A mandolin, julienne peeler, regular vegetable peeler, knife, or even the widest holes on a box grater can help you make noodles. These methods are more time-consuming than spiralizing, but they work.”

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