Jul 31, 2013

Low Carb Zucchini Spaghetti Noodles "Zoodles" (raw, paleo, vegan, gf)



While I don't follow a strict Paleo diet (the caveman diet), I do try to limit the amount of grains I have in my diet and replace it with vegetables.  I only use grains when very necessary in a recipe.  And then I try to have whole grain gluten free if possible.


In the fall I often had spaghetti squash in place of pasta.  I loved spaghetti squash, but now that it's summer zucchini seemed like a much easier and cheaper alternative now that it's out of season.  I decided not to grow zucchini after our horrible infestation last year in our garden growing squash and zucchini and discovering that our local farmers market has huge zuchinni for $1 or less as early as the start of July to mid July through fall.

my first time using my spiralizer is a success!
 The only problem is you need at least some kind of kitchen gizmo to make it. I found there are two ways you can make it.  You can make it with a spiralizer (which usually runs $30-$50), or with a simple Julienne peeler (usually runs $9-$15).  This could be a good option to try if your not sure if you will use it often, since it costs less and takes up less space in your kitchen.
 
a julienne peeler is an easy inexpensive option image from Almonds and Avocados
  After some research I decided to buy a spiralizer on Amazon because I thought it would be easier, since I knew the chances are I'd use this a lot.  I figured it could break on me but considering  I was spending less than I would on it to go out to dinner with my husband I figured it was worth it to try.  I choose to buy a spiralizer.  The one I got seems to be a knock off of the Paderno World Cuisine for $27 on it (now it's more than that).  So far mine seems good, but I only got the knock off one because it was about 20% less and reviews seemed decent on Amazon. So if it's close to the same price I would go with the Paderno instead. You can also use it to make curly fries.  I can't wait to try to make sweet potato curly fries.

How To Make Zuchinni Spaghetti Noodles 



1.   Cut the ends off of your zucchini  and peel your zuchinni with a vegetable peeler.
2.  If your zucchini is large cut it it into pieces that are 6" or shorter.
cut with a julienne peeler or a spiralizer following instructions of the manufacture. The picture below shows how much noodles you can get from a 6" zucchini.
I cut a large zuchinni in half pictured is how much noodles I got from about 6" of zuchinni


 If you want to watch a video demonstrating how to use a spiralizer check out the one below.

 
                Demo of making zucchini noodles with a spiralizer (about 3 min)

4.  after you have you zucchini noodles you can eat them raw or cook them lightly in a sauté pan or microwave.  I would however suggest trying some raw first because I have learned after making this for a few months now that the zucchini tend to slowly disintegrate into your sauce as you eat.  Meaning cooking would only speed up this process and take more time effort and create more dishes to wash.  My guess is either the heat from the sauce is cooking it or the salt in the sauce is squeezing out the liquid.  I like to use a smaller amount of sauce than usual and use a marinera sauce that has had some of the liquid cooked out of it (or in other words let it simmer for a couple hours), since the zucchini will release liquid into it.  I also make sure I set aside "zoodles" to add to it later.

If you do decide to cook it, just be careful if you cook it that you barely cook it because you don't want mushy noodles.  Just remember that noodles are all about the texture.  They don't bring taste to the meal, they bring texture.  I would stop cooking it as soon as it starts to release liquid.  I believe it might be better to just not cook it at all.  I cooked ours lightly in a sauté pan.  My first batch was a bit to cooked and released a lot of water in my bowl.  I cooked my husbands just barely and he said his were good, just too long of noodles (next time I will start with a shorter zucchini.  They barely released any liquid.  The next time I plan to test it raw. 
5.  If cooking drain any liquid released from the noodles.
6.  To serve add your favourite organic marinera sauce (I like Bertollis Olive oil and garlic), or pesto.  If you want meat balls check out my Italian Omega 3 recipe.

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