Enter the spiralizer. Spiralizers are attachments to KitchenAid mixers or stand-alone units. Using blades and rotation, spiralizers take whole vegetables and turn them into noodles.
The noodle-like shapes get used in place of carb-heavy spaghetti. Serve a big scoop of them like you would any pasta while managing to sneak in veggies. Or mix them together with regular pasta to add dimension and up the vegetable factor.
Spiralizers have many uses, spaghetti vegetables are only one. It might seem complicated but we’ll tell you everything you need to know. This is your guide on how to use a spiralizer and bring a healthy twist into your life.
Types of Vegetable Spiralizers
There are generally considered to be two types of spiralizers, but we know a third! The three types are handheld, stand-alone, and a KitchenAid attachment.
Each type has its qualities, but the handheld ones are the most work and the least payoff. The money you spend on a spiralizer will show in the final product.
Which Type Is Right for You?
There is a spiralizer for everyone and every budget. Let’s figure out which type is right for you.
Handheld spiralizers are small, portable and cheap. They have fewer parts and some would say that makes them easier to clean.
On the other hand, they take a lot of work. Handheld spiralizers are the hardest to use since you have to turn the vegetable itself. While this doesn’t seem hard, it takes a lot of time and practice to get right.
Stand Alone Spiralizers
Stand alone spiralizers are the most popular type of spiralizers. They have options for width and shape of the resulting noodles or spirals. The spiralizer parts come apart and most are dishwasher safe.
This type of spiralizer has a crank, a blade, and a spiky plate to hold the vegetable while it is rotating. It is faster, more reliable, and easier to use than the hand-held version.
KitchenAid Attachment Pack
This type of spiralizer is the most expensive but also the most efficient. The spiralizer accessory from KitchenAid comes with more blades than stand alone units.
This attachment makes spiralizing a breeze because once you’ve speared your vegetable of choice, you have nothing left to do. The attachment uses the power and rotation of your mixer to do the work for you.
A KitchenAid spiralizer attachment can replace your peeler and corer, leaving more room in your kitchen drawers.
Don’t have a KitchenAid? Compare models here.
How to Use a Spiralizer
We’ll tell you how to use a spiralizer, for whichever type you choose.
To use a handheld spiralizer, pick a vegetable and make sure it is thin enough to fit snug into the spiralizer. Cut off any stem before you start. Wash and dry your vegetable.
Holding the spiralizer in one hand, insert the vegetable into the hole. Turn your hands so they’re horizontal and use either hand to twist. We recommend twisting the spiralizer, but you can twist the vegetable, it’s a preference.
Keep twisting until your fingers get nervous. Then, use either a fork or the tool that the spiralizer came with to twist the rest of the way.
Once you’ve twisted all you can, pull the core of the vegetable out and compost it. Clear the teeth of the tool with the brush provided and continue until you have the amount you want.
Stand-Alone spiralizers are easier and less picky than handheld tools. Your vegetable can be much bigger than the one used with a handheld.
Assemble your spiralizer according to the provided directions. Then pick and wash your produce. Cut the ends off of each side of the vegetable so there are two flat surfaces.
Then, center the vegetable on the spiky plate and push it on. It will need to be firmly speared to work. Once your produce is on the spike plate, move it forward and center the other end with the metal circle. Make sure it’s centered!
Press on the back of the spike plate so that if you let go, the vegetable can stand on its own between the two parts. Now comes the fun part!
Find the suction cup feature of your spiralizer and activate it. Then grab the handle with one hand and the crank with the other. Rotate the crank while you push forward on the handle.
Once you get the hang of it, this part goes fast, but there’s definitely a learning curve.
When you can’t get any more vegetable to slice, pull back on the handle. Using two fingers grab the butt of the vegetable and pull it out with the core attached.
Now you’re ready to move on to your next round of spiraling! Before each vegetable, run a knife between the blade and the plastic to clear out any chunks.
This gadget is similar to the stand-alone, but less work. All you need to do for this one is wash your produce and cut one end flat. Then take the vegetable, center it and spear it onto the anchor.
Then turn the mixer on and watch it do all the work.
What Should I Spiralize?
Now that you know how to use a spiralizer, let’s talk about the best produce to use.
As a rule, firm vegetables that don’t release much juice when cut are the best.
The best things to spiralize are:
- Potatoes (curly fries!)
- Sweet Potatoes
- Root Vegetables
Once you know how to use the spiralizer, you need to know what to do with your vegetable ribbons. What can you make with them? Almost anything!
For classic zucchini noodles, you can steam the noodles or boil them. Remember with anything you spiralize that it will cook more quickly because of how thin it is! So don’t over-do it.