Whether you’re on board or not, the spiralizing trend has taken off—and it’s rocketing to bacon-level heights. For those of you who have been living under a rock, a Spiralizer is a kitchen gadget—ranging from $15 to $50—that functions similarly to a large pencil sharpener, by cutting fruits and vegetables into long, curling faux-noodles. Pasta is the enemy of hard-core spiralizers; they specialize in creating curly vegetable alternatives. However, if you’re like me and need a little more convincing before buying one, here are five ways to use your Spiralizer beyond the standard vegetables-for-spaghetti swap.
1. Potato Latkes
A Spiralizer is a fast and easy way to get the long crispy threads of potato you need to make these Supercrispy Latkes. Use a russet baking potato or swap in a sweet potato - the thin threads will get extra-crispy around the edges.
2. Muffins, Breads and Cakes
Instead of shredding your vegetables for baked goods like zucchini bread or carrot cake, try spiralizing them instead. We love these healthy Carrot-Bran Muffins for breakfast. For presentation, consider placing a few extra curls of spiralized carrot on top of the batter before baking.
3. Cucumber and Melon Salad
This simple salad comes together in mere minutes: combine equal portions of spiralized seedless English cucumber and spiralized peeled cantaloupe in a bowl. Dress with a squeeze of lime juice and a small drizzle of olive oil, season with flaky sea salt. Garnish the salad with mint leaves and a pinch of red pepper flakes; serve.
4. Pad Thai
Next time you’re making pad thai at home, swap out the traditional rice noodles for spiralized green unripe papaya. This isn’t a new trick by any means, but with a Spiralizer it’s easier to slice the tough, finicky fruit. Try this out with chef Harold Dieterle’s Pad Thai recipe. One whole green papaya will be enough for four servings—make sure to peel, halve and seed it before spiralizing. Simply add the curly threads to the skillet where you would normally add the rice noodles.
5. Chicken Noodle Soup
For a veg-heavy fall soup, add spiralized butternut squash in place of the egg noodles to your next pot of chicken noodle soup. Add the veggie noodles a few minutes before serving and simmer gently until tender, but not falling apart. Also, try spiralized zucchini and yellow squash noodles in a Minestrone like this one from the F&W Test Kitchen.
For those of you who are still not convinced but want to get in on the spiralizing fun, check out our Mad Genius Tip for Spiral Hot Dogs (no gadgets required).