zucchini noodles

Spaghetti squash is the go-to noodle substitute for those trying to avoid regular pasta, but sometimes you want something different. Whether your diet is gluten-free, Paleo, spiralizing veggies into noodle strands is an easy way to include more healthy and delicious veggies. And you don’t need a fancy tool to get the job done. A simple julienne peeler with teeth works great, and (as with spaghetti squash) sometimes you just need a fork. If you don’t have a julienne peeler, try a standard peeler for more of a fettuccine-shaped noodle (my kids love the “floppy carrots” this technique makes).

Once you create your noodles, all you need to do is top your veggie strands with your favorite sauce, warm and devour. Creamy sauces work well if you’re looking to mask the veggie flavor (especially with kids) while oil-based and tomato sauces are delicious veggie flavor enhancers for low-flavor veggies like spaghetti squash.

If you’re prepping your noodles for later consumption, store your sauce and noodles separately. Salty sauces will cause the veggies to release their liquids, which will make your sauce runny. And don’t just stop at pasta! Use this technique to spiralize raw veggies like beets and carrots to put atop salads.

1. Spaghetti Squash: Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-45 minutes. Slice in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Shred noodle-like strands out of the squash’s flesh with a fork. Saute the noodles for a few minutes over medium heat with your seasonings of choice (I like salt, pepper and a bit of cumin or Italian seasoning) to remove a bit of moisture from the noodles.

2. Carrots: Cut off ends. Run your julienne peeler lengthwise over carrot to slice your carrots into strips. Eat them raw, warmed in a saute pan for a few minutes before serving, or blanch or steam the noodles for about 5 minutes to soften.

3. Zucchini: Cut off ends. Julienne your zucchini into strips by running your julienne peeler lengthwise over the zucchini. Try a mix of yellow and green for an extra colorful plate. Eat them raw, warmed in a saute pan for a few minutes before serving, or blanch or steam the noodles for about 3 minutes to soften. Try our yummy Vegan Raw Pasta Recipe.

4. Sweet Potato: Julienne peel your sweet potato into strips, coat with a bit of oil or melted butter (season if desired) and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes, stirring halfway through.

5. Rainbow Noodles: Julienne peel a rainbow of tasty veggies, including carrots, zucchini, spaghetti squash and sweet potatoes. Add mixed bell peppers, red onion and garlic for a flavor medley that’s a treat for the eyes as well as the tummy! Bake the mixture at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes, stirring halfway through.

If you do own a specialized spiralizer, it does make spiralizing quicker and more efficient. So if you fall in love with the technique, consider investing in the tool.

Related on Organic Authority:

4 Ways To Make Your Pasta Gluten-Free

3 Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free, and Pasta-Free Pastas

Guide To Asian Noodles

Keep in touch with Kristi on Twitter @VeggieConverter and Pinterest

image: massdistraction via photopin cc