What The Heck Is A Spiralizer?

What The Heck Is A Spiralizer?
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spiralizer demo spiralizer demo

A spiralizer is a kitchen gadget I recently purchased at Sur La Table.  I will confess that it was a last minute purchase of a strategically-placed item near the check-out line.  I didn’t need a spiralizer, there was no spiralizer when I was in culinary school, but in Sur La Table that day I decided I needed one.  I actually love kitchen gadgets, and I enjoy getting them and giving them as gifts.  Many kitchen gadgets are unnecessary and don’t improve the quality of your overall cooking experience.  But they are fun.

A spiralizer has recently become popular as part of the low carb health fad.  It lets you make vegetable “pasta,” which can replace traditional pasta on menus.  To be clear, I love pasta; but this is a nice, light, alternative.  And anything that helps get my kids to try more vegetables is worthwhile in my book.

spiralizer demo

The OXO Good Grip Spiralizer is the brand I purchased.  So far I have been very happy with it.  There is a strong suction cup on the bottom to stabilize it.  There are three color-coded interchangeable blades neatly organized in a storage container.  Oxo refers to the blades as spaghetti cut (1/8th inch), a fettuccine cut (1/4 inch) and a ribbon cut.  The unit is dishwasher safe.  It’s easy to use.  On one side is a crank that is attached to a plate with a series of plastic spikes protruding from it.  When you place a piece of fruit or vegetable on the spikes, the crank lets you rotate it.  The entire crank/plate piece can slide.  And to “spiralize” the piece of fruit or vegetable that you have impaled on the spiky plate, you slide the crank/plate toward the blades that sit on the other side of the unit.  Out come beautiful long zucchini spirals, cucumber ribbons, and so on.  Before this clever invention, a peeler or mandoline (also a favorite of mine, but a bit dangerous) would do the same thing.  But this is more fun, and easy to use.  This is also a great gadget to use with kids, even vaguely reminding me of my kids’ Play-doh press from when they were young.   Today, my youngest son ate a huge bowl of cucumber ribbons, the whole time with a huge smile on his face (he always was a huge Play-doh fan).  Zucchini spaghetti ribbons, like those pictured above, go great with my simple tomato sauce recipe.

The spiralizer I purchased is currently available at numerous stores, including Amazon, and costs around $40.  If you’re intrigued, a great food blog inspiralized.com (specializing in spiralizing food) is worth checking out for inspiration and recipes.


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