This blog post was written by Illinois State University graduate student and dietetic intern, Kayla Kaspari.
Get inspiralized by zoodles, or zucchini turned into pasta noodles. Spiralizing has gained popularity over the last few years, and not just in your kitchen. You can now find spiralized foods in both your supermarkets and in local restaurants. Spiralized fruits and vegetables are a fun and healthy way to consume your fruits and veggies while they are also a substitute for higher carbohydrate options like normal pasta noodles. They also offer more flavor, texture, and color to dishes. Spiralizing produce has been a great substitution for those on specific diets or who have a medical condition that restricts them from gluten (celiac disease), which is found in lots of pasta-type items. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can lower blood pressure, prevent some types of cancer, help regulate blood sugar, help keep your appetite in check, as well as supporting an overall strong and healthy body.
You can spiralize just about anything. It started off as just zucchini and now beets, apples, squash, cucumber, carrots, and potatoes are all common foods I have seen with this new twist.
How do you get inspiralized and start making spiralized fruits and vegetables at home? You can achieve the results of spiralizing in several ways ranging in price from free to $100. Starting with the most expensive way, if you have a stand mixer at home, check to see if you can buy a spiralizer attachment. If not, you can purchase a cheaper tabletop version or a handheld spiralizer, which I like to use in my house. You can also cut the food lengthwise with a knife in thin strips to create noodles similar to fettuccine or use a vegetable peeler or julienne peeler to achieve thinner strips than with the knife. If you don’t feel like making the noodles yourself and still would like to try this, head over to your grocery store. Stores usually offer zoodles both fresh and frozen.
A spiralizer is a unique kitchen tool that has become quite popular in recent years. Next time you are cooking something that calls for noodles, substitute it with zoodles or another one of your favorite spiralized fruit or vegetable.
Chicken Zoodle Soup (Printable PDF)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 small white onion, chopped
1/3 cup diced celery
1 fresh garlic clove, chopped
¼ pound chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 cans (14.5 oz.) of low sodium chicken broth
1 large zucchini squash spiralized into zoodles
1 ½ large carrots spiralized into noodles
¼ teaspoon dried basil
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
1 pinch black pepper
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Sauté onion, celery, and garlic in hot oil until just tender (around 4 minutes). Add chicken and cook partially (around 8 minutes). Add chicken broth, zucchini and carrot noodles, basil, oregano, thyme, and pepper. Bring the broth to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer mixture until the vegetables are tender (around 25 minutes). Ladle soup into bowls and enjoy!
Yield: 3 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving): 200 calories, 11 grams fat, 140 milligrams sodium, 14 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 13 grams protein