In an attempt to add some variety to our meals, and also see if improved presentation will convince my daughter to try a wider variety of vegetables I recently invested in a spiralizer.
A spiralizer essentially is a fancy grater. It does the job quicker, without adding knuckles to the mix, and the result is more attractive and, if you don’t mind the indignity of it, more fun to eat. (If you want a more dignified eating experience I suggest cutting the strands before serving, as they can get to be several meters in length.)
I did some research online before I made a choice and I made my decision to buy the Benriner Cook Help based on this review. It certainly does the job and I’m happy with the results. It works well either left or right-handed (P is left-handed and I’m right-handed) although for cutting anything firmer than a courgette a fair bit of downward pressure is needed which was difficult for P to manage when spiralizing carrots. It was however cheaper than the review mentioned.
Since getting it we have eaten more raw carrots, courgettes and beetroot than the rest of the year so far. We have also tried it out with butternut squash, apple (fail – but I’m going to give it another go sometime) onion, cabbage and cucumber.
Beetroot – visually the most spectacular transformation out of everything we have tried so far. It looked so very lovely tumbling from the cutter that I made more that I realised out of sheer joy of what I was able to create. Somehow the mere act of spiralizing seems to increase the amount of vegetable fourfold, and a few smallish beetroot fed us for days.
This pairs beautifully with my chocolate balsamic dressing
Cabbage – An easy way to produce very finely sliced cabbage, perfect for when making coleslaw.
The cabbage needs to be small and very dense, I found it worked best when I just used the flat blade, without teeth attached.
Carrots – with the fine tooth blade produces beautiful cascading ringlets reminicent of Merida’s hair in the film Brave.
My daughters little friend was totally enamored and crammed handfuls at a time into his mouth.
I have been meaning to try this carrot and caraway slaw recipe which sounds amazing (just substitute another sweetener of choice for the honey).
I have also been hoping to try rainbow carrots when my local organic food shop gets some back in stock.
Courgette, works really well as a replacement for spaghetti and is fantastic with a pesto sauce, or my current favorite – olive oil, grated zest of lemon, sea salt and black pepper (and maybe a few sliced olives as an optional addition). I found that if the courgette is too thick the spiralizer just bores into the middle of it. If it is a particularly watery courgette a salad spinner works well to remove excess moisture from the strands (and the juice tastes quite nice).
Onion – Like the cabbage, this worked best with the flat blade. It was very quick and easy to produce long fine strands for adding to salads and slaws. Lovely with avocado dressing – below.
Avocado dressing – 1 avocado blended with 1/8 cup of apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup hemp oil, 1 dessertspoon of coconut nectar (or any other liquid sweetener of choice) and a pinch of cayenne pepper or black pepper to taste
Vegetables we have yet to try
Kohlrabi – I was unsure of these when I found them in the organic veg shop as they smell of swede, however Charlotte Hume in her enjoyable journey ‘The Great Big Veg Challenge’ says that it has a ‘mild turnipy taste …..it makes good coleslaw‘. I see a theme emerging…………
Also horseradish and mooli, assuming I can get them locally.
I intend to experiment with more varieties of spiralized vegetables and dressings and post back soon.
My daughter has cautiously tested small amounts of different vegetables having been involved in the spiralizing and this is certainly a step forward, I’m hoping it will encourage more taste testing as we continue with the experimenting.