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Spiralisers turn vegetables into noodle-like shapes making them the ideal substitution for carbohydrate-heavy ingredients like pasta. While you can use a special spiralling gadget to create colourful string-like slices in a matter of seconds, it’s easy to do using a peeler and almost any vegetable. There are however some items that are more well suited to being spiralised than others, and food blogger Deb Sharratt has shared her tried-and-tested top five.
Spiralised courgette, also known as “courgetti”, has made strict diets like Keto and many other healthy eating plans much easier to follow by switching out common carbohydrates.
However, eating the same green vegetable in place of your favourite wheat pasta or egg noodles can quickly get boring, so you may be wondering what you can use instead.
According to Deb Sharratt, founder of the “my boys club” lifestyle blog and avid home cook, there’s no need to look any further than the seasonal produce growing right now on farms, or even in your own garden.
She said: “Seasonal produce such as root vegetables is available in abundance at the moment. Have you tried spiralising carrots? parsnips or sweet potato? Or why not slice leeks lengthways to make leek spaghetti or shredded cabbage – it has been used that was in slaw for many years!”
Known for their naturally bright orange colour and impressive nutrient density, carrots are the ideal topping for almost any savoury dish. Raw ribbons can add a unique crunch to salad and slaw, or as a cooling topping for a hot chilli.
Alternatively, you can stir-fry carrot ribbons for just a couple of minutes to add extra sweetness and colour to your food. Deb said: “I already use spiralised carrots with courgette and add to noodles or half the usual amount of spaghetti or noodles to make a lighter meal.”
Any variety of carrots will work when spiralising, however, it’s often easier to spiralise the larger varieties. Scrub the carrots well and you can get by without peeling.
Simply cut the carrots in half lengthwise and place them cut-side down on a chopping board. Run the peeler lengthwise across the flat edge to create strands or noodles.
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Parsnip peelings are ideal for roasting into sweet vegetable crisps and they are just as good for spiralising.
Deb said: “The sweet, juicy root of a parsnip is rich in several health-benefiting nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and fibre.
“Peel and slice off ends flatly and evenly before spiralising large, flat parsnips to make röstis or parsnip fries. To make a sweeter than usual noodle – just stir-fry for five to seven minutes.”
The firm texture of root vegetables makes them ideal for slicing into long thin strips without breaking or becoming mushy, unlike courgette.
Perhaps one of the lesser-known ingredients you can substitute into recipes that call for noodles or pasta, leeks are ideal for sauce-heavy dishes.
Deb said: “They are a good source of several vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, Iron, Calcium, Magnesium and Manganese. “Slice leeks lengthways to make spaghetti or noodles. They just need boiling or stir-frying for a couple of mins. Lovely in a cheese or garlic sauce too.”
Cabbage is one of the easiest vegetables to spiralised by simply shredding it into strips. Whether you enjoy it raw or cooked, this crunchy ingredient is a great source of fibre along with vitamins K, C, B6 and B1.
To spiralise this seasonal vegetable, start by peeling the outer skin and cutting the ends to make the potatoes nice and flat. Use a vegetable peeler to lift off clean ribbons of potato.
You can use a speed peeler or julienne peeler for larger ribbons, or if you’re confident enough, peel away smaller, thinner slices using a sharp knife.
It’s not just vegetables that can be spiralised either. If you want to create a sweet topping for porridge or yoghurt, the same can be done using apples and pears.
Even beetroots can be sliced into noodle-like shapes and added into your favourite dishes.
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