Add Variety to Your Vegetables

By Leah Fisher Nyfeler – July 1, 2014
Photography by Lauren Pape

The Gadget

Spiralizer (Spiral Slicer)

Another gadget that slices up food? After all, how many different ways can vegetables be cut? Does form make that much of a difference?

We asked all the same questions, but this easy-to-use and inexpensive tool rapidly became a “must-have” item in our kitchen arsenal. As we adopted more of a “raw food” diet and moved away from flour and assorted other processed items, we found ourselves looking for different ways to accomplish variety with the foods we were eating. My husband came home one day with a spiral slicer and changed our eating lives.

The Spiralizer basically provides a method to hold the vegetable like a vise. As the handle is rotated, the vegetable turns against the blade, producing a long spiral. It comes with three attachment blades that create a variety of ribbons; our favorite is the one that makes long, thin, spaghetti-like noodles. While kids will enjoy the process of slicing, a watchful eye is needed around the extremely sharp blades.

There’s very little waste associated with the spiral slicer; with zucchini, the blade that creates thin noodles spits out the center with the seeds much more economically than manually removing them.

Creating raw zucchini noodles is a snap, and they are a delicious summertime pasta replacement. One of our favorite food discoveries has been creating noodles out of turnips (rutabagas also work well) along with some onion and sautéing them in duck fat. Create a well and add eggs; cover and bake until eggs are done. What comes out is sweet and salty and delicious, something that completely satisfies a desire for breakfast hash browns.

There’s even a website devoted to using the tool:

Against All Grain: Delectable Paleo Recipes to Eat and Feel Great by Danielle Walker got us started. Walker explains how to make zucchini noodles and pairs them with her marinara sauce. A video is included on her website that shows how to use the tool (though it’s simple to do so).

Local kitchen resource Serve: Gourmet Gadgets and Goods (241 W. 3rd Street) carries the GEFU brand, which is a hand-held device. Their Spirelli Spiral Slicer ($30) works manually, much like an old-fashioned pencil sharpener; the vegetable is inserted (each end produces a different size of noodle) and then it’s twisted, which creates the ribbons.

Each tool has its positives; the countertop model has three different blades and can accommodate a variety of vegetable sizes. The handheld model easily stores in a kitchen drawer and has no loose pieces. Whichever form of spiral slicer you choose, you’ll never look at raw veggies quite the same way again.


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