What Is A Vegetable Spiralizer?

spiralized cucumbers and zucchini vegetables

If you’re one of those who find eating fruits and vegetables boring, you can definitely benefit from the vegetable spiralizer. It is a tool that can fancy up foods peope don’t normally want to eat. For example turning zuchinni into colorful pasta noodles, make curly fries, and shred different shaped carrots and other vegetables to put in your fancy salad.

What is a vegetable spiralizer?

The vegetable spiralizer is a kitchen tool that turns certain fruits and vegetables into strands of vegetable “noodles,” they are getting more and more popular because of the popularity of healthy and organic eating lifestyle. As well, the whole low carb wave is still going strong and making noodles out of noodles attracts people on these diets because vegetables are very low in carbs. They’re also quite popular in the vegan scene, a lot of raw vegans enjoy creating spiralized vegetable spaghetti instead of cooked pasta.

There are different types of vegetable spiralizers and they usually come with at least 2 blades or more, 1 for making vegetable spaghetti noodles, and 1 for wide ribbon cuts that are wider noodles or can be used to garnish other foods.

3 Different Types of Spiralizers

There are 3 different types of vegetable spiralizers Hand held, horizontal hold, and vertical hold. Because different styles of spiralizers can have their own pros and cons due to their different sizes and number of blades, which one is suitable for you depends on things like how much room you have in your kitchen, how fancy you want to make your food, and how many mouths you’re feeding.

1. Hand held vegetable spiralizers

A hand held spiralizer works very similar to a pencil sharpener. Basically you insert one end of a vegetable into the blade, and twist the vegetable until you get spirals coming out the other end. They come with a cap with sharp spikes to hold the vegetable in place to the blade, as you twist the cap it also serves to protect your hand from the blade as you spiralize to the bottom of the vegetable.

First you may need to cut up the vegetable until it’s no more than 2 inches (5cm) in diameter. The hand held spiralizers are generally a lot cheaper than the vertical and horizontal table-top spiralizers. They are also a lot smaller, a pro to that is it’s convenient factor, but it’s small size also means it cannot do as much as quickly as the bigger spiralizers.

2. Horizontal table-top vegetable spiralizers

horizontal hold table top spiralizing carrots and other vegetables
A table-top spiral vegetable slicer in use. By Jessica Mullen, May 17, 2010.

With the horizontal spiralizers, you can spiralize more food with more efficiency. They can take foods with a larger diameter compared to hand held models, and you make spirals by turning a handle on the side, this is a lot less manual labor compared to the hand held spiralizers.

Something you probably wouldn’t like about it is that the food is held in place with the help of a metal skewer, this skewer takes out the core of the food about the diameter of a pen or pencil. This can be annoying when you’re spiralizing already thin vegetables like carrots. Personally I don’t like to waste food, so I’d just throw it into my salad or whatever and include it into whatever meal I’m preparing.

3. Vertical table-top vegetable spiralizers

As far as usability goes, I’d have to say that the vertical hold spiralizer is the best. It’s the one where the vegetable goes on top of the blade and pressure is exerted downwards, it’s held together by a food holder with sharp spikes on the top. The good thing about the vertical models is that they don’t use a skewer that takes out the center core, so more of the vegetable or fruit’s flesh gets spiralized and no waste is created.

The only bad about the vertical models is that they do tend to take foods with smaller diameter compared to the horizontal models.

How The Spiralizer Can Benefit You

Helps with your weight loss journey

When your body burns more calories than you eat, you lose weight, it is that simple. The reason why eating lots of vegetables can help you lose weight is because vegetables are extremely high in water content and low in calories. A big plate of wheat spaghetti has about 600 calories, but if you replace them with spiralized zucchini noodles then it’s only 60 calories! In addition to the healthy benefits you get (vitamins, minerals, and fiber) with the extra intake of vegetables, the huge reduction of overall calories consumed means weight loss is inevitable.

Spiralized vegetables are gluten-free, low carb, and raw.

A plate of spiralized vegetable spaghetti is gluten-free and low in carbs. Gluten is a protein that comes from wheat, rye and barley, it can cause problems for people with celiac disease by damaging the small intestine and affect it’s ability to absorb nutrients.

Gluten-free is currently the big diet trend, and many people are jumping on the bandwagon. The number of people going gluten-free has tripled in recent years, despite the celiac disease number remaining the same. Whether you are actually gluten sensitive or not, spiralizing vegetables can be a fun and workable substitute when taking gluten out of your diet. It can also be suitable for people who have allergies to wheat. The spiralized vegetables are also raw, so it’s suitable for those doing the raw vegan diet as well. Although they can also be parboiled before being eaten.

Encourages young kids to eat more vegetables

If you are a parent, then you’d know that getting your kids to eat enough fruits and vegetables can be a challenge. When you are making colorful and fancy spiralized dishes, that is a great way to encourage your kids to eat things that are healthy. Kids love to watch a potato turn magically turn into curly fries, or a butternut squash spiralizing into a pile of thin pasta. This spiralizing can be fun for the whole family, as long as you strictly supervise your kids because the blades are incredibly sharp. When you make things more fun to engage, naturally they will be more likely to participate.

 Awakening your creativity

After you’ve spiralized a few times and realize how fun it is, you may find yourself constantly thinking of the next meal you’re planning on spiralizing. When you’re wandering through your local farmer’s market, you will see a wide variety of fresh produce, some of which you may not have eaten before but want to try it for the first time with the spiralizer.

If you have a vegetable spiralizer with 4+ blades, it really lets you optimize your customization. Having more blades lets you cut your vegetables into more different shapes. Getting sick of zucchini angel hair pasta? How about spiralizing potatoes and bake some low-fat curly home fries? Or some sweet potato noodles? You may find yourself daydreaming up new recipes and different ways of experiencing the vegetable spiralizer.

What Vegetables Can be Spiralized?

Not all produce can be spiralized, some obvious ones are those with a soft and mushy texture like bananas and avocados. A quick guideline is that the food must be at least 2 inches in diameter and in length, and it’s flesh has got to be firm.

Some of the commonly foods used with the spiralizer include:

  • Zucchini
  • Cucumber
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Carrot
  • Daikon radish
  • Taro root
  • Plantains
  • Apples
  • Pears

  Check here for a more comprehensive list.

Which Vegetable Spiralizer Should You Buy?

If you’re looking to purchase a vegetable spiralizer, I would suggest you first look at my buying guide here. First you would need to know which style would fit your lifestyle and needs. For someone without a lot of space and cooking for 1-2, a hand held spiralizer is ideal and should be adequate for all your spiralizing needs. For people with more space or cooking big meals for big amounts of people, the horizontal or vertical table-top models would be better.

I’ve written an article reviewing a couple of the highest rated vegetable spiralizers you can find on the market today.

Read Here: Top 5 brands of vegetable spiralizers

 

Do you have experience spiralizing vegetables? If you already own one please share your comments and criticisms of this handy kitchen tool in the comment box down below. Also if you found this post helpful, feel free to share it with your friends on social media.

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9 thoughts on “What Is A Vegetable Spiralizer?

  1. Kathy says:

    Hi – this is a very useful and informative post – thank you! I’ve heard of using spiralised zucchini (courgettes over here in the UK) instead of pasta – how would you cook this please? But never thought of your idea of curly fries – must try that one – I would think it would take less potatoes to give you what looks like a normal portion of fries, which has got to be good.

  2. Mijareze says:

    The vegetable spiralizer enhances the appearance of veggies and thereby making them more appealing and edible. Nothing wrong with that.
    You take an old guy like me, you don’t need to disguise the food but youngsters could certainly benefit from such a machine.
    Why didn’t they think of it sooner?
    Thank you,
    Ed Mijarez

    • Kent says:

      yeah, I think it’s becoming more and more popular due to the increased amounts of health conscious people. This tool can certainly aid people to get healthy in various ways.

  3. Lacey says:

    I really like this article. My blog focuses on “hiding vegetables” from my toddler in her food and i actually promote a veggie spiralizer on my site because I too have realized how awesome they can be. Hand my daughter a carrot and she will reject it. Serve her carrot noodles and she eats them all! What is it with noodles?!? People just love noodles, and for this reason veggie spiralizers are an awesome tool!

    • Kent says:

      yeah the veggie spiralizers just takes veggies to a whole new dimension. Its like cutting fruit into different shapes to make them more appealing to kids.

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