How to make vegetable noodles
Making noodles with vegetables is very trendy right now and because it's a healthy option - a welcome trend! The advantages of making 'spaghetti' out of vegetables like zucchini or carrot are endless. They are suitable for gluten free diets; are not made from grains and refined carbohydrates; are low in calories and cholesterol (since they don’t use eggs) and they have natural vitamins and minerals in the vegetables!
To make vegetable noodles, you can use a special grater or “spiralizer”, which is kind of like a pencil sharpener with different blade settings that cut vegetables in the form of a spiral to make 'spaghetti' noodles about 3 mm or flatter noodles about 6 mm or even larger. For occasional use, a smaller (and more portable) grater or even a vegetable peeler and a knife will do. Here's a video to show three ways to make zucchini noodles.
Tips for making vegetable spaghetti:
- Choose firm fruits and vegetables (no bones or seeds). For example, avoid the bulbous part of the pumpkin, papaya, etc.
- Ensure that the vegetables are not too ripe or soft so that they are not too juicy/watery (like pineapple or melon).
- Use paper towels to try and absorb most of the water/juice from zucchini, carrots, potatoes, etc. after spiralizing them.
- Take the leftover vegetables that cannot be spiralized (i.e. from a vegetable with a thick base and an elongated center) to make vegetable purees or broths.
- Be careful when cleaning the blades, as they are sharp. Wash them with a toothbrush in hot soapy water.
Which vegetables are used?
There is a great variety of fruits and vegetables which can be used to make noodles, such as celeriac/celery root, broccoli stems, zucchini, non-bulbous part of pumpkin, onions, parsnips, apples, potatoes, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, pears, turnips, beetroot, carrots... Zucchini is a good way to start as they are a soft vegetable that is easy to cut and prepare.
How to cook?
Vegetable noodles can be eaten raw, with a dash of olive oil, pepper and salt or seasoned to our liking or if you choose to cook them, the best way is steamed, sautéed, or simmered, being very careful not to overcook them. Once grated, you can store unused vegetables in an airtight container for a few days in the refrigerator.
Try this recipe: zucchini linguine with tomato and basil.