Image adapted from rayb777, Flickr, CC BY 2.0

Spiralizing fresh veggies is a great way to reduce your carb intake, increase your vegetable intake, and get creative in the kitchen. Replacing noodles with spiralized vegetables is easy to do—and it adds a lots of surprising color, flavor, and texture to an otherwise regular “pasta” dish. Here are 6 vegetables to try when using a spiralizer, along with ideas for other ingredient add-ins and sauces.

Not sure what using a spiralizer is all about? It’s the culinary term for making long, thin strips of vegetables, similar to the shape and texture of pasta noodles. There are all sorts of handy kitchen gadgets that you can buy to spiralize your foods at home. You can also use a simple julienne peeler to make spiralized veggies. (Or even simpler still, you can use a regular ole kitchen knife to cut long, thin julienne strips like they teach you in culinary school. More time-consuming, but requires nothing more than a kitchen knife.)

However you choose to spiralize, the next step is what to spiralize, and how to use in recipes? Here are 6 vegetables to play around with as your “noodles”:

  1. Zucchini
  2. Carrots
  3. Bell peppers
  4. Beets
  5. Winter squash (it’s recommended that you cook in some way once spiralized—steam, blanch, stir-fry, or sauté)
  6. Sweet potato (it’s recommended that you cook in some way once spiralized—steam, blanch, stir-fry, or sauté)

You’ve chosen the vegetables to use as your noodles and you’ve taken the steps needed to spiralize them. Fabulous. Next, what else do you add to these noodles? Think of it like you’re building your own pasta dish; get creative with whatever your fave pasta includes. Perhaps any of the following:

  1. Fresh herbs
  2. Chopped tomatoes
  3. Protein of choice (chicken, shrimp, chickpeas, tofu, e.g.)
  4. Steamed greens
  5. Chopped, crumbled, or fresh cheeses

Finally, your noodles need a sauce. Marinara is classic for an Italian-inspired dish, but there are so many other great options out there as well. Consider the following:

  1. Yogurt sauce
  2. Pesto sauce
  3. Bolognese sauce
  4. Olive oil and balsamic vinegar
  5. Spicy peanut sauce
  6. Alfredo or roux sauce
  7. Warm broth base for soup

For more information, I recommend you check out the amazing blog Inspiralized for all things spiralizing—recipes, how to’s, tips, and so on. It’s a goldmine of information (not to mention mouthwatering recipe ideas).

Related on Organic Authority

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Image adapted from rayb777, Flickr, CC BY 2.0