The Crones are liking to learn to spirlize. A few little tips I found.

Namaste, The Queen Cronista

The 6 Vegetables You Should Spiralize (and 4 You Shouldn’t)

The popularity of “keto” eating and other low-carb trends led to a massive rise in demand for one particular kitchen tool: the spiralizer. Whether purchased as an attachment to a larger appliance (like a KitchenAid mixer) or as a stand-alone device, a spiralizer can transform fruits and vegetables into sleek “noodles” that can be used in salads, slaws, traditional pasta dishes, and more.

Because spiralizers are easy and efficient to operate, it can be tempting to try out a wide variety of produce items on this machine. However, we asked a group of chefs to name the best vegetables for spiralizing, and they provided both a list of excellent spiralizer veggies and a list of produce that proves less-than-ideal for the spiralizing process.

The Best Vegetables for Spiralizing

1. Zucchini-We’ll start with the classic spiralizing vegetable, which spawned the widely-beloved “zoodle”: the zucchini.

“Easily the best vegetable for spiralizing is zucchini. Zucchini noodles, also known as zoodles, can be a very healthy substitution for more traditional grain-based noodles with a few simple tips,” says chef and recipe developer Jessica Randhawa of The Forked Spoon.

In order to make a successful batch of zoodles, follow Randhawa’s advice and “get the most water out of the zucchini before cooking by transferring the zucchini noodles to a baking sheet lined with two to three paper towels. Spread the zoodles in an even layer as you don’t want them all clumped together. Sprinkle with approximately one teaspoon of salt and allow your zucchini noodles to hang out for about 20 to 30 minutes; salt naturally draws out water thanks to a little thing called osmosis.

After 30 minutes have passed, gather the zucchini noodles and very gently squeeze the zucchini to draw out extra water. Don’t squeeze too hard, though. You don’t want to damage the noodles.

Randhawa then recommends that you “cook using your favorite method. Always remove the zoodles from the pan immediately when al dente to prevent overcooking.”2. English Cucumbers Spiralized vegetables sometimes work well in cooked recipes, but they’re also popularly used in raw dishes. Executive chef Seizan Dreux Ellis of Cafe Gratitude in Southern California tells us that, when using a spiralizer for raw “noodles,” “my favorite is English cucumbers because they don’t have a starchy feel and [they] give off a little bit of water [naturally], which is almost like adding pasta water to a thick sauce. Cucumber noodles mixed with kelp noodles makes a delicious combo.”3. Carrots A vegetable’s texture proves highly important when running it through a spiralizer, and chef Max Hardy of COOP in Detroit says that “I personally prefer the ‘harder’ vegetables like carrots when spiralizing; they hold their shape really well when it comes to preparation. Also, harder vegetables retain a lot of their nutritional value during the cooking process.”

4. Summer Squash -Spiralizing can introduce new ways of enjoying seasonal produce, and chef-instructor Ann Ziata of the Institute of Culinary Education likes to turn her fresh summer squash into “noodles” whenever possible.

“[When using my spiralizer,] I look for produce that is not too firm but not too soft, which can make nice, long strands at least two inches wide. For example, summer squash makes gorgeous ribbon salads when passed through a spiralizer with the flat blade attachment,” Ziata says.

5. Kohlrabi “For spiralizing, I try to pick out fruits or veggies that are larger in circumference. I like to see long, unbroken strands, so I avoid things like radishes and broccoli stems. Also, you are looking for ingredients that are firm enough to actually hold up through the process,” explains Jason Travi, the executive chef for innovation at Freshly. This set of criteria led Travi to discover his love for raw, spiralized kohlrabi, a vegetable with a firm, turnip-like bulb that produces crunchy and flavorful ribbons.

6. Beets Like Travi, chef de cuisine Qi Ai of Travelle at the Langham in Chicago prefers firm, substantial vegetables for spiralizing purposes. A particular favorite preparation? “Something simple, like cooking spiralized beets lightly with some olive oil, salt and pepper, and finishing them with fresh flavors such as lime juice and fresh cilantro. You could also add some crushed peanuts for a wealth of textures.”

Vegetables That Can Skip the Spiralizer

1. Potatoes Even if you intend to cook your spiralized vegetables, it still behooves you to “avoid veggies or fruits that are mushy or can’t be eaten raw,” says Ellis, who cites potatoes as an example of a piece of produce whose “texture will not hold” when it’s passed through a spiralizer.

2. Eggplant “One vegetable that should never be spiralized is eggplant,” insists Randhawa. “This is because, when eggplant is spiralized, the spiralized strands produced are very irregular and easily fall apart. Also, depending on the type of eggplant, it could be too big for the spiralization method.”

3. Celery In many ways, celery seems like a prime candidate for spiralizing: It’s relatively firm and it comes in long, maneuverable stalks However, a typical celery stalk is “too narrow to safely grip the spiralizer,” Ziata tells us. When using long vegetables like carrots, you’ll want to choose thicker versions to enable a secure fit in the spiralizer.

4. Avocados “I know we would all like to spiralize avocado… but just don’t do it,” warns Travi. He explains that the flesh of the avocado is “too fatty” and lacks the structure necessary to create well-formed ribbons.

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