Your Guide to Zoodles

If you've spent any time wandering the culinary landscape on the Internet for the last couple of years, you've likely come across zoodles. The term is short for "zucchini noodles", although it has come to mean any veggie or fruit-based noodle shape. They turn up in everything from your favorite burrito bowl to fun and colorful "spaghetti" dishes. And with people looking for more ways to increase their vegetable intake and eat healthier, it's no wonder they are taking kitchens by storm, especially now during peak zucchini season!

To make zoodles, just wash and trim the ends of your zucchini. If you have a spiral cutter (sometimes referred to as a spiralizer), simply place the zucchini between the spiked handle end and the blade, then turn the handle and wonderful ribbons of zoodles will appear. You can change the size of the zoodles with different blade attachments. If you don't have a spiral cutter, your vegetable peeler can do the same thing, though it takes more time and can be a bit trickier.

Zoodles are:

  • gluten free
  • grain free
  • wheat free
  • low carb
  • a great way to increase vegetables in your meals
  • healthy and nutritious
  • cheap and easy
  • a great alternative to pasta
  • unprocessed

Zoodles can be eaten raw or lightly steamed. They can be used as a replacement for pasta or in salads. When I used them as a replacement for pasta, I always lightly salt them and let them rest on several layers of paper towels for about 15 minutes before squeezing them gently to remove a fair bit of liquid from them. If you skip this step, you can easily end up with soggy dishes!

One of my favorite way to use zoodles involves removing excess liquid from them as described above and replacing about a third of the grated potatoes (up to 100% of them) in a good potato latke recipe and serving the crisp medallions with scallions and thickened yogurt. You can also make a pretty fantastic slaw for serving over pulled pork sandwiches or a perfect vehicle for a quick summer sauce consisting of roasted cherry tomatoes, olive oil, and basil. Fresh is hot!

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