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Kitchen Basics : Zoodles

Zoodle recipes are bound to populate if you do any type of internet search these days for “zucchini recipe.” If you’ve never heard this term, it’s actually a reference to the proliferation of devices on the market that help turn vegetables into noodles. Some people swear by them. There is even a whole host of cookbooks dedicated to the subject, filled with recipes for everything from pasta to hamburger buns made entirely out of veggies. This technique can revolutionize how you think about and consume vegetables, so naturally we wanted to share with you a view tips on how to get started.

You don’t need a super expensive device.

We ordered up a mid-level device about $30 and found it worked great with a variety of vegetables. Check out a variety of options here.

Watery veggies don’t make for good noodles.

The key to successful veggie noodles is to pick veggies that aren’t super watery (think Eggplant). Cucumbers can be an exception, but be sure to remove excess water with paper towels, plus mixed with a little soy sauce and sesame seeds they make the best snack. The great thing about a spiral machine is that for those of you who have texture issues with seeds (like in zucchini and yellow squash), most devices will core out the center, leaving only the firmer flesh and removing the mushy seeds.

The more you spin the less you waste.

It is likely that for most spiraling devices, flat and round shapes worked best. So even things like jicama and beets were easily turned into fun noodles and potatoes into hash browns. Figuring out the right shape to match with how your spiraling device works can lead to quick prep for things like slaws, stir fries, pasta salads and more. There will be some leftover parts but those bits can be shared with the four legged friends in your family or added to vegetable soup stock.

Zoodles save you time.

Replacing pasta with veggies not only removes the carbs/gluten but it saves time. You don’t have to wait the 10 to 15 minutes it takes to boil water and cook pasta.  It only takes about 2 to 3 minutes stirred in a sauté pan with a little oil or butter to cook them and maintain the crunch. Too much and they go soggy. If you plan to add a sauce to your noodles, you might consider cooking the veggie noodles separately so that the water from the veggies don’t make the sauce too watery. Be sure to keep a pair of kitchen shears nearby. These devices tend to create noodles that are super loooooong, so unless you feel like recreating that scene from Lady and the Tramp, you’ll want to trim them down with kitchen shears. Doing so will help make the veggie noodles more manageable and easier to twirl with a fork or chop sticks.

Check out some of our favorite recipes and get started making zoodles!

Author AHO Kitchen Team

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