Guest post by Alina Joy of The Good Old Days Farm
This post is part of the Kitchen Tools of the Trade series. Click here to read all previous posts in this feature.
My children were diagnosed with food sensitivities right around the time that my husband left his job in corporate America to open a small family farm.
“You can’t feed those kids a vegan, gluten free diet on a budget” people told me. But I had no choice. We had just taken a 75% pay cut and the children needed to be on this diet for their health.
Over the years I’ve had to be resourceful to find fun and creative ways to prepare basic, healthy foods without breaking the budget. This summer, the Spiralizer quickly became my family’s favorite kitchen tool and I’d like to show you why!
As you can see, it’s a very simple machine. It has three blades (two store underneath the unit and one stays on the top), a crank that slides across the length of it and four suction cups that secure it to your work surface.
Let’s take a closer look at the blades. You can see little triangles on the two blades on the left. These triangles are what slices (or makes spirals) from the vegetables. The larger the triangle, the larger the spiral in your finished dish. The blade on the right is flat. This creates ribbons of food.
So what can you do with this machine and why do we love it so much?
We make Gluten Free Pasta by running zucchini through the Spiralizer and using the smaller spiral blade. So now, instead of spending $7-9 for one meal of gluten free pasta, we just grab a zucchini out of the garden and have free “pasta”!
And the spiralizer makes it so quick and easy to chop the onions for the sauce. We just make slits in the side of the onion and run it through the Spiralizer:
We make garnishes for our salads by running hard vegetables like carrots or jicama through the Spiralizer. The ribbon blade can turn carrots into long, decorative orange ribbons that are almost too pretty to eat. (Notice I said “almost too pretty to eat”!) Or, we’ll grate cabbage using any of the blades to create cole slaw.
One of our favorite special treats is to use the Spiralizer to make healthy Home Fries. By using the largest spiral blade I can make curly fries that are thick enough to have substance, but thin enough to bake quickly in the oven, so these fries still count as “fast food”! I just pour some sea salt and olive oil over the potato curls and bake them in the oven at about 350 degrees until they are done to taste. I like mine soft – you may like yours a bit crunchier.
The Spiralizer is so easy to use that a child can do it… My children love to use it and I don’t need to worry about them cutting themselves since there are no moving sharp parts! I think this is the safest kitchen appliance I have!
Here are my boys spiralizing onions for our dinner. They’ve just placed the onion on the vegetable holder (the part with small plastic prongs to hold the vegetable) and are using the handle to push the vegetable up against the blade. Then they turn the crank to rotate the vegetable. As they crank, the onion is pushed through the blade and comes out the other side.
Best of all, cleanup is so easy! It really just takes a rinse. If a piece of food does get stuck, an old toothbrush will get it clean in a jiffy!
Doesn’t the Spiralizer look like fun?
What food would you like to try chopping with a Spiralizer?
Alina Joy Dubois is wife and mother to a vegan, gluten free family. They moved out into the country and her husband quit a career in software to open the “Good Old Days Farm” in Blue Ridge, Texas. They grow fruit, vegetables and herbs, raise honeybees and make handcrafted soap. To follow the goings-on of the farm, please visit the Good Old Days Farm Blog or join the Farm Mail Club!