spiralized vegetables
Submitted by Marina Balic, Year 5 dietetics student and Deanna Tan, Public Health dietitian

Learn about spiralizing: a unique way to serve vegetables.

Have you heard of spiralizing? A spiralizer is a kitchen tool that puts a new spin on serving vegetables. It can quickly cut almost any vegetable into a noodle shape to toss into summer pastas and salads – and it’s good for you too.

Canada’s Food Guide recommends you fill half your plate with a variety of vegetables and fruit. Using a spiralizer to substitute vegetables for some or all of your wheat-based pastas is a simple, fun and delicious way to increase the amount of vegetables you and your family eat. 

You may already be substituting whole grain pasta for white refined pasta to boost the nutrition in your recipes, since Canada’s Food Guide recommends your fill one quarter of your plate with whole grain foods. So why not try mixing that whole grain pasta with spiralized zucchini for a flavour boost? 

Websites such as Cookspiration and Canada’s Food Guide are great resources for healthy veggie-filled recipes, and you can mix it up by spiralizing the vegetables in their recipes. Of course, if you don’t own a spiralizer, you can use a vegetable peeler, knife or grater.

Add more vegetables – and fun – to your family meal

Vegetables that are easily spiralized include root vegetables such as parsnips, turnips, potatoes, jicama carrots, yams, red onions, and beets, plus zucchini, eggplant, cucumbers, squashes, fennel, even cabbage. In the mood for a fruit salad? Apples, under ripe cantaloupes and honeydew melons or hard pears can also be spiralized. Make sure you wash your produce well beforehand, cut off the ends, peel inedible skins, and then place your vegetable of choice in the spiralizer and spin away! Get creative and discover what other vegetables can be prepared this way.

A bonus? Spiralized vegetables can be easier to eat and more appealing to kids. Involving your children in spiralizing vegetables can encourage them to try the meal they helped prepare, nurture healthy eating habits, and offer a great way to spend time together in the kitchen. Here are some simple summer suppers to get you started: 

Simple spiralized ideas for hot summer meals: 

  • Try spiralized zucchini with a homemade pesto of fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts and a drizzle of olive oil for a healthy alternative to a pasta salad.
  • Top rice bowls and salads with spiralized vegetables such as raw carrots, cucumbers and beets to add vitamins and variety to your meal. 
  • Create a Greek salad to complement a meal by spiralizing cucumber and adding bell pepper, tomatoes, olives and red onion. Drizzle with olive oil, juice from half a lemon, toss with fresh oregano, salt and pepper and sprinkle low-fat feta cheese. 
  • Try a refreshing spiralized carrot and apple salad topped with a quarter cup of walnuts, a tablespoon of lemon juice, and a teaspoon each of cinnamon and liquid honey.
  • For a heartier but still healthier meal, check out the Dietitians of Canada-approved take on traditional spaghetti and meatballs.
    This summer, take a spiralizer for a spin and see how simple it can be to add more produce to your plate.

Visit our Fraser Health Children and Youth and School Health web pages for even more ideas to keep your kids healthy all through the summer season.

 


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