Product Test #7 – Spiralizer

For those of you who live in a cave without internet or the food channel, here, in my own words, is the definition of spiralizing: (verb) spiralizing:  a method of transforming fruits and vegetables into strands, ribbons and curls. These shapes are most often used as a substitute for pasta. The resulting foodstuff is a unique way to add more veggies/fruits into meal plans. The most common type of spiralized food is “zucchini noodles”. (noun) spiralizer: a device used to spiralize. (noun) spiraleater:  a person trying to get more fruits and veggies in their diet. One avoiding carbs, wheat and/or gluten. Someone bored with traditional vegetable/fruit shapes.

But Kevi, you may ask, why couldn’t I simply dice, slice, chop, puree or grate various types of produce into my recipes and avoid a seemingly unnecessary gadget?

I asked myself the same thing. In fact, I’ve had spiralizers on the shelves at kitchensink for over a year now. They sell well. But if someone asked me about them I had a hard time talking about the product. In fact, being an overly analytical nut case, I would actually start sweating while I rambled on about whether a julienne peeler would work just as well, and lamenting about the skyrocketing price of  zucchini: a vegetable that at one time was the bane of society! I remember summers that we’d lock the doors and windows when a zucchini growing neighbor was spotted heading towards our front door carrying a paper bag. The cries of “What am I going to do with all this zucchini?” could be heard from gardens everywhere. I didn’t buy zucchini for decades! Whew! I’m getting myself all worked up, so let’s just get on with the spiralizing.

Taking this transformational test are:

Clockwise starting with the basic green spiralizer, the Paderno Spiral Vegetable Slicer, the Endurance julienne peeler, and a basic peeler

Clockwise, starting with the basic green spiralizer, the Paderno Spiral Vegetable Slicer, the Endurance julienne peeler, and a basic peeler

I’ll start this test with zucchini, but first, one more rant: can the manufacturers of the world please use the labels that come off of products easily? I’m going to start a group called SLAP (Sticky Labels Against People). It’s really People Against Stick Labels but rearranged to show just how angry we are…

Turn away if you don't want to see this sticky label carnage!

Turn away if you don’t want to see this sticky label carnage!

The method for the basic peeler is to peel off the thickest, longest ribbons of zucchini possible. Then you stack them up and slice them the long way.

Spiral peel & slice

The julienne peeler actually peels multiple strands in one swipe. Here are the basic and julienne peeled zucchini side by side:

Spiral peeler & julienne

Left: basic peeler/sliced – Right: julienne peeled

I was happy with the results of both, but the peel/slice method was time consuming.

Next the basic green model vs. the Paderno Spiral Vegetable Slicer.

Left: basic Right: Palerno

Left: basic green model – Right: Paderno

Both were easy to use and clean. Both resulted in fabulous, sturdy zucchini pasta. Aside from a little set up time, the Paderno was faster.

Paderno Spiral Vegetable Slicer

Paderno Spiral Vegetable Slicer

Next, I tried different vegetables and fruits. Here is where a clear line is drawn as to which device works better. The first 2 peelers didn’t work well at all. And although the basic green spiralizer is GREAT for zucchini, other shapes and textures don’t work well. I tried to whittle a butternut squash chunk to fit it and it failed. I tried a carrot and a sweet potato. It just wasn’t effective. The Paderno on the other hand worked well with all these veggies, plus it was FUN!

Butternut squash and sweet potato

Butternut squash and sweet potato

I couldn’t resist pulling out things from my produce drawer to give them a whirl.

apple

apple

 

watermelon

watermelon

So what do you do with a kitchen filled with ribbons of fruits and veggies?

I sautéed the zucchini with garlic and olive oil and sprinkled it with parmesan. SPLENDID! I tossed the butternut squash, carrot and sweet potato in olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper and baked it at 400 for 10 minutes or so, then added a sprinkle of parmesan. FANTASTIC!

Cooked veggie pasta

Cooked veggie pastas

Of course you could use your favorite sauce or combine them with real pasta. But the true expert on all things spiralized is Ali Maffucci, author of the Inspiralized blog as well as this cookbook:

Now at kitchensink!

Now sold at kitchensink!

Besides the quintessential zucchini, Ali shares recipes using beets, rutabagas, celeriac, broccoli stems, turnips and turns them into much more than pasta. Think rice, muffins, wraps and more! There are loads of recipes on her blog and other places on the internet and I’m carrying this cookbook at kitchensink now as well.

I have become a true believer in spiralizing and will sing it’s praises when a customer asks about it.

Bottom line and available at kitchensink: The basic peeler ($8) and the julienne peeler ($10) methods are ok to test out a recipe or two. I sauteed the zucchini from these tests and it was fine. The Green Basic Spiralizer* ($12) is fantastic if you only want to do zucchini. The Paderno Spiral Slicer ($36) is the winner overall for getting creative and healthy with veggie and fruit spiralizing.

WIN A PADERNO SPIRALIZER!!! kitchensink is giving away a free Paderno Tri-Blade Spiralizer! Here is how to enter:

  1. SUBSCRIBE TO THE KITCHENSINK NEWSLETTER click the link in the upper right that says “Sign up to receive news of the latest blah blah blah” or right here: subscribe. I’ll then have your email as an entry and contact if you win.
  2. ALREADY A KITCHENSINK SUBSCRIBER? If the newsletter is already emailed to you regularly, simply comment on this post. Your contact info will be entered and you will be notified if you win.

The drawing on April 24th. You need not be present to win. I’ll contact you and we’ll figure out the best way to get the Paderno Spiralizer to you.

This is such a great way to eat more veggies and have fun in the kitchen. I’ll share the results of recipes I try and would love for you to do the same on the kitchensink Facebook page.

Spiral tri-cooked & eat

I’ll also keep you updated on the first meeting of the SLAP group, where we’ll share ways to get sticky label residue off our precious stuff and maybe have some zucchini bread.

See you soon!

Kevi Sutter

Head Scullery Maid

kitchensink

OPEN Fridays Saturdays 11-6 | Sunday 11-3

100 e pennyslvania ave | roslyn, washington

kitchensinkroslyn@mac.com

*kitchensink is out of the green spiralizer until April 22nd.

 

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