If you have any hipster/foodie or health concious friends, you have probably heard of zucchini noodles or zoodles for short. You may have wondered how in the hell they made noodles out of zucchini? Or why in the world would anyone want to do this? I am hoping that today’s post can uncover some of the mystery behind this food fad for those of you who aren’t yet on the zoodle train and give some interesting ways to use them for those of you who already partake.
Zucchini noodles can be used as a substitute for other types of noodles in pasta recipes or stirfries. For people trying to eat less carbs or those who are gluten-free, the shape and “slurpability” (yes I made that up) can trick you into thinking you’re eating the real thing! Another way to think about it is that adding spiralized zucchini noodles to your meal is a way of making veggies more exciting. The pictures of my food look a lot more beautiful when I use these instead of regular chopped zucchini! Additionally, using zoodles adds nutrition to your meal by sneaking in those vitamins. Below is a comparison of a plate of regular spaghetti noodles versus zucchini noodle pasta from Inspiralized.com. For more information on the benefits of using zucchini noodles, please head over to their site.
I have heard people say that they might want to make zucchini noodles, but they lack the fancy tools needed to turn zucchini into noodles. Today I will show you three ways to make the noodles. Starting with a household item you most likely already have in your home, to a cheaper spiral slicer tool , and ending with the real fancy spiralizer.
Most of you probably have a veggie peeler that you use for carrots or potatoes. If not, you can get one from the dollar store that will work well. When using a veggie peeler, you end up with broader noodles, but they still have similar effects as the fancier ones and I think they are just as pretty!
When I make zoodles this way, I hold the stem of the zucchini and peel away towards the bottom. You should be able to get most of the zucchini but will be left with the centre where the seeds are, as that tend not to peel as well. I just chop this up and add to whatever I am cooking.
I purchased this device from Amazon last year and have really liked the results. There are quite a few like it online and I am sure you could find one at a store in your town to support local business if you prefer to go that route, which I support! It makes beautiful zucchini noodles but is a bit more tricky to use than the other options, however, I think it is still doable for the price. It can also be a bit challenging to clean, but if you have a scrub brush you should be fine.
When using this device, I cut the end off the zucchini and then stick the pointy parts of the device into the end which helps you stabilize the vegetable. Then you simple put it into the cone and turn. The noodles will start piling up. Because of the manual way of using this device, the noodles tend not end up very long, but the general zucchini noodle feeling is still there.
I have just recently acquired this amazing tool. My dad bought it for me as a house warming gift when I moved to Kitchener. It is a dream. He found it on sale at Canadian Tire, but it can be found elsewhere. There are also cheaper versions available of this type of spiralizer that I am sure work well. This one is around $20. For this device, I cut the end of the zucchini and then attached it to the spikey end and then just turned the crank. It is fairly simple and pretty easy to clean as the pieces are removable.
So what do you do with them now?
Zucchini noodles can be a bit watery because of the makeup of the vegetable (95% water). If that bothers you, you can turn your oven onto 200 degrees F, line a cookie sheet with paper towel, place the zoodles on top, sprinkle with some salt and bake for 10 minutes. This will draw out some of the moisture and help the recipe to be less watery. If they are still a bit wet, you can wring them out before adding to a recipe. I did this method at first, but truthfully now I just throw them in a pan with a bit of oil. You can also microwave or boil the noodles if that is easier for you. They are also great raw, if you can believe it! Try out a few of the methods and see what works best for you.
Here are my three favourite ways to eat them:
- Pasta- I make my favourite pasta sauce with sauted veggies and in a separate pan I saute the zucchini noodles. Then I use them just as I would regular spaghetti noodles. Plate them and pour the yummy tomato sauce on top. For an even easier meal, just use pasta sauce from a jar and heat it up in the microwave. You can have dinner in minutes! Here is a recipe from chefsavvy.com
- Stirfry – Typically when I make stirfry I saute veggies and then add whatever I am using for sauce. The same goes here, I just add the spiralized zucchini noodles with the rest of the veggies instead of adding rice noodles. Here is a recipe from sallysbakingaddiction.com
- Avocado Sauce- All I do is saute the zoodles in a pan and then add some of the avocado sauce I made on an earlier post. Simple and delicious!
Storing the Zucchini Noodles
Typically one medium size zucchini is good for one serving of zucchini noodles. So if you don’t mind digging out the equipment each time you make the zoodles, you can just make them as you need. However, if I want to use them several times in a week, I will make a large batch and store in a jar with water filled to the top in the fridge. This keeps them fresh longer but they are also very watery afterwards. You can also just store them in a regular tupperware for about 3 days.
Let me know if you try making your own zucchini noodles! I would appreciate any feedback you have. Reach out to me by email firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook.