Spiralize It

I am usually not the one to follow fads, in this case Food Fads, unless they make absolute sense, only because I know too well that just as quickly as the fad comes, with all the "hype  & craziness" that come with it, that's how quickly it evaporates into nothingness...

One of such food fads is Spiralizing, a process which sees vegetables being turned into "noodles"..., using a specially designed gadget known as the Spiralizer.

Cutting vegetables into slim ribbon-like shreds, has been practiced over a long period of time, particularly to aid the art of prepping and presenting food, to increase its visual appeal. A kitchen tool known as the Julienne peeler has been used to help achieve this aim, but now there is the Spiralizer, a gadget dedicated to thinly shredding vegetables into the shape of noodles/spaghetti.

I belong to the crew that used the julienne peeler, for shredding fruits and vegetables to add to salads, but I always keep an open mind....so sometime ago, I came across the spiralizer online, from my numerous searches and exploration on the world wide web, and was quite fascinated by what an American blogger was able to achieve with it.

Spiralized Yam
Then the fascination did not trigger any compulsive action in my psyche to buy one, because I thought,,,oh that cannot really be applied to Nigerian vegetables....., at the time I just couldn't see how to effectively use the spiralizer on yam and plantain...!

Over time, I kept seeing more and more of the gadget everywhere online, so I decided to purchase one to give it a try. I purchased the one with the most and best reviews on Amazon, but sadly after my initial excitement about all the things I could do with it, I was disappointed because of its impracticality. It was not practical at all....for me that is, who gets quite impatient sometimes, especially when I need to cook quickly. The one I got was a little clumsy to assemble the different attachments, and then cleaning up afterwards was also .....not what I was looking forward to. So what happened was, it ended up in my store due to non usage.....:-(

But again, last September, I went to the Lakeland store in Lakeside (UK), and I came across another type of spiralizer that completely changed my view about spiralizing....It was small, with only one attachment (the safety holder), no gimmicks!. There were no blade or spin/handle attachments like the other one. There was nothing to assemble and very little to clean up afterwards. Really straightforward, no fuss tool. I was drawn to it and decided to give it a try....and wow, I had discovered The One..!

Spiralized Plantain

Since getting it, I have spiralized every Nigerian spiralizable vegetable, with impressive results. This process has opened up new ways of enjoying Nigerian food with the added health benefits. It took me some time to come up with exciting and worthwhile recipes, but now I am so happy to share some of them with you. In the coming posts, I will show you how to make noodles from garden eggs, yam, plantain, carrots, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, courgettes, etc.

So Whats the Point...? Advantages of Spiralizing
If you are looking to cut down on your carbs intake and increase fruits and vegetables in your diet, in a fun and delicious way, then you need to get a sprializer. Creating fun, ribbon-like, noodle shaped vegetable shreds can change the way you eat in two main ways
  1. You significantly reduce your calorie intake
  2. You get more value from your fruits and vegetables because they require less time to process/cook before consuming

How to Spiralize Common Nigerian Vegetables/Fruits
  • First of all, get a sensible, practical spiralizer like the one shown below. The ease of use makes the whole process less daunting with no fuss, no gimmicks
  • Then choose only fresh and firm vegetables. This is important because it is key to making the noodles well cut out. 
  • Wash your vegetables before spiralizing so there would be no need to wash them afterwards. This will ensure minimum loss of nutrients.

Spirallized Carrot, Cucumber & Courgettes

What to do with Spiralized Nigerian Vegetables/Fruits
  • They are great adding to your stir fries and soups. 
  • You can steam them, fry, grill, bake, boil or even microwave them. 
  • They cook very quickly so take care not to over cook them. 
  • Some spiralized vegetables can be eaten raw and are excellent in salads. 
  • Spiralized fruits are great in fruit salads and other desserts.

Things to Take Note Of
  1. Spiralizing may result in wastage of your vegetables/fruits if you are just starting out but over time you get used to the art and figure out best ways of handling the process. 
  2. Sometimes it may be impossible to completely spiralize your veggies, I do not throw the left overs away, I still use them in the recipe but for presentation, I remove them. In addition, left overs can be used in other recipes.
  3. Some vegetables turn brown after sprializing so what I do is rinse in water with added lemon juice. But if using lemon juice will alter the taste of the dish, I aim to spiralize and use the vegetables straightaway so that they do not have the chance of turning brown.

So what are you waiting for....Spiralize It... my recommended tools: Oxo Good Grips Julienne Peeler & Hand Held Spiralizer..


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