Spiralized Veggies for a Healthy Diet

Bowl of Zoodles and bowls of carrot and beetroot spaghetti
Westend61 / Getty Images

What’s up with spiralizing vegetables, and is this a trend worth looking into? In our opinion, it’s a delicious way to serve vegetables and will only gain popularity as word spreads and people try it. And it’s a fantastic way to add more vegetables into your family’s diet in a fun, new way.

What Does Spiralizing Mean?

Basically, you use a raw vegetable, such as zucchini, squash, sweet potato, or beet, and turn it into a pasta-like strand that you can use in place of or in addition to traditional pasta. To do this, you can use a nifty kitchen gadget called a spiralizer. However, if you don’t have a spiralizer, you can still try out veggie noodles using common kitchen tools, such as a vegetable peeler, a julienne peeler, or a knife.

These “noodles” are made only of vegetables and add beautiful colors, interesting textures, and delicious flavors to your plate. They also deliver all of the health benefits of added veggies, such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and more. With kids, frequent exposure to foods is a key way to get them to enjoy and eat those foods. So this is yet another way to expose kids to vegetables in a fun new way.

How to Spiralize Vegetables

When spiralizing vegetables, clean the vegetable as you normally would before preparing. For zucchini and other firm vegetables with softer skin, you can leave the peel on. For beets and winter squash you would peel first before spiralizing, and for potatoes and sweet potatoes, peeling is optional.

A spiralizer makes easy work of spiral vegetables, but if you don't have one, you can use one of the following tools and techniques:

  • Vegetable Peeler: Use your vegetable peeler to peel long noodle-like strands from your vegetable.
  • Julienne Peeler: A julienne peeler works just like a regular vegetable peeler, but it peels thinner strands from your vegetable.
  • Knife: Use a knife to slice long strips of the vegetable and keep slicing until you reach the desired size.

Getting Your Kids Involved

As you begin your spiralizing adventure, you may be wondering how you’ll get your kids to eat these lovely spiralized vegetables. Here are a few tips for getting started.

  • Start with mild tasting vegetables: Vegetables such as zucchini, broccoli stems, cucumber, potato, sweet potato, and carrots tend to meld with other flavors easily. You can also start with veggies your child already loves, to get them used to seeing veggies in this form, before branching out into veggies with stronger flavors.
  • Peel if you need to for appearance: If your child naturally resists green foods (or pasta with green strands), peel your zucchini first. The flesh of the zucchini looks noodle colored and could be mistaken for noodles if you are going for a different approach to serving.
  • Cut it: If you are using a spiralizer, you could have some very long noodles. You may want to cut your noodles into more manageable, bite-sized pieces for your child.
  • Add it: What can you add small bits of spiralized vegetables to? Maybe add some to pasta salad, green salad, or sauces. We’ve even added spiralized carrots to a sandwich.
  • Get kids in the kitchen: Get the kids into the kitchen to help. They’ll be learning vital kitchen skills that will be useful throughout their lives. You also benefit from together-time and giving your child the important job of helping to feed the family. Depending on age, even if your child can’t actually spiralize the vegetable, he/she can wash the vegetable, possibly peel it, maybe cut the noodles into smaller pieces, and/or plate it.

Spiralizing vegetables is another way to help children explore vegetables, flavors, and textures.

Whether your children are at a point where they freely eat vegetables or resist them at every meal, this is a way to present them in a different texture and style that may help you gain a vegetable victory.

Was this page helpful?