A healthy lifestyle is fantastic – but we all fall prey to those not-so-healthy cravings at times… and if pasta is your weakness, it can be a tough one to resist! And is often a reason why Paleo might not work. It’s easy to overcome this!
Thankfully, you don’t have to resist or restrict yourself anymore. Craving a comforting plate of spaghetti Bolognese? Go for it! Fancy some delicious seafood linguine or a hearty bowl of chicken noodle soup? It’s back on the menu – with a very literal twist, through the art of spiralizing. Now you can happily follow our Paleo food list whilst creating Paleo versions of pasta!
What is spiralizing?
Spiralizing is, to put it simply, the art of turning vegetables into pasta-like ribbons and noodles. It’s nothing new – if you’ve ever been to a fine dining restaurant and seen a bowl of artistically arranged vegetables presented delicate threads or strips, then you’ve already had a taste.
But spiralizing is about more than just another way to cut up carrots and courgettes. It’s about changing the way you enjoy your food, and adding a new dimension of flavours to meal times, through wholesome, natural food. Instead of opting for wheat-free alternatives to pasta, which can often taste rubbery and strange – by using vegetables instead, you can enjoy wonderful texture and flavour, that gives you all the satisfaction of a traditional pasta dish without any of the health drawbacks.
How to spiralize
Spiralizing involves cutting fruit or vegetables into thin, long strips, usually using a tool called a spiralizer, or a vegetable slicer. This lets you cut with precision and make very fine strips, without them falling apart or breaking.
You can spiralize an incredible variety of raw foods, to make a stunning range of dishes. Some of the common ones that you’ll see in spiralizing recipes include carrots, peppers, courgettes, aubergines and cucumbers, and fruits such as apples or pears.
Not all vegetables are suitable for spiralizing – they’ll have to be relatively firm and crisp, to withstand being cut into fine shapes. Soft raw fruits and vegetables, such as tomatoes and bananas, or small vegetables such as beans, would be difficult to cut into small shapes, and still retain the structure.
Once you’ve produced your noodles or pasta, you can either cook them with other ingredients like a conventional pasta dish, or enjoy them raw for a delicious, fresh vegetable-based meal.
Paleo and spiralizing
For Paleo eaters, spiralizing is an absolute gift, not least because it means you can still enjoy your favourite pasta dishes without any guilt! It’s also a great way of adding variety and nutritious ingredients to meal times. Spiralized vegetables also provide a great base to build recipes on – perfect if you’re just getting started with Paleo eating, and you’re still getting used to the change in lifestyle. Instead of emptying out your kitchen cupboards and starting from scratch, you can adapt favourite recipes into a healthier Paleo friendly version.
For a really quick and satisfying dish, try spiralized courgette with and roasted tomatoes. Simply roast tomatoes, garlic and herbs in a pan with a little olive oil, and add your spiralized noodles. Toss for a few minutes to cook through, and enjoy with a generous garnish of fresh basil for seasoning.
What to look for in a spiralizer
There are lots of ways to spiralize vegetables – the easiest is to buy a tool called a spiralizer. These are designed to cut into the vegetable in spirals, resulting in a satisfying pile of wonderfully long ribbons. Perfect if you’d like to recreate that iconic ‘Lady and the Tramp’ pasta scene…
Spiralizers are ideal if you plan to cut up large volumes of vegetables as they will cut through a whole vegetable in a few seconds.
If you’re short on space, there are alternatives too. A julienne peeler is a popular way to spiralize – choose one with sharp blades, small gaps and a sturdy handle. Simply run it down the length of the vegetable and you’ll have noodles in no time. Mandolins are also another great tool – but can be a little tricky to use, especially if they’re slightly unstable.