Pasta: It’s not just carbs

Love pigging out on pasta but trying to watch your carb intake or simply want to find healthy alternatives? Have no fear, veggie pasta is…

Head to the produce section in your grocery store next time you want to cook up a big pot of healthy pasta and not feel guilty afterwards. (Shutterstock)

Love pigging out on pasta but trying to watch your carb intake or simply want to find healthy alternatives? Have no fear, veggie pasta is here! Head to the produce section in your grocery store next time you want to cook up a big pot of healthy pasta and not feel guilty afterwards.

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Spiralized vegetables, or veggie pasta, can be made from a variety of produce — from broccoli to zucchini. You can even use it on certain fruits. Here’s a quick cheat sheet and beets of all, it’s in alphabetical order:

  • Apple
  • Beet
  • Broccoli
  • Butternut Squash
  • Cabbage
  • Carrot
  • Celeriac
  • Chayote
  • Cucumber
  • Daikon Radish
  • Jicama
  • Kohlrabi
  • Onion
  • Parsnip
  • Pear
  • Plantain
  • Rutabaga
  • Sweet Potato
  • Taro Root
  • Turnip
  • White Potato
  • Zucchini + Summer Squash

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Spiralized vegetables, or veggie pasta, can be made from a variety of produce — from broccoli to zucchini.

The handheld spiralizer is perfect for cucumbres, zuchinni or carrots. (Shutterstock)

In addition to getting more veggies in your diet, replacing regular pasta with ones made from fresh produce can also save you time in the kitchen. Spiralized vegetables also have a similar texture and consistency to noodles so you won’t even miss those carb-heavy dishes.

I imagine some of you are scratching your heads right now. What’s a spiralizer? Well it’s a delightful kitchen device that creates thin ribbons of vegetables, and depending on which spiralizer you use, the blade can be changed to create different sizes of noodles.

The handheld spiralizers are the cheapest option. They work a lot like a large pencil sharpener. These won’t typically come with exchangeable blades, but they are excellent if you are new to the phenomenon that is veggie pasta.

Spiralized vegetables, or veggie pasta, can be made from a variety of produce — from broccoli to zucchini.

This larger spiralizer can be used for larger vegetables such as squash or potatoes. (Shutterstock)

If you’re willing to spend a little bit more to lessen the work and effort it takes to make the dish, you can purchase a spiralizer that holds the vegetable in place while you turn a handle.

This type of spiralizer comes with either a vertical hold or a horizontal hold, and it has multiple blades. It also works better with bigger vegetables, and it’s typically less wasteful because it doesn’t leave as much of the core behind.

There are also ways to make veggie pasta without a spiralizing device. It’ll take a little more time and effort, but you can use a knife, vegetable peeler or Julienne peeler.

Leave the skin on and simply cut off the ends of the vegetable, unless the recipe specifically calls for a peeled vegetable. If you’re using a spiralizer and dealing with a longer type of produce, cut it in half for better leverage.

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Once you have your noodles ready, pat them down to get rid of excess moisture. Vegetables contain a lot of fluid (cucumbers and zucchini are more than 90 percent water) which can lead to a runny sauce.

While it may seem weird to make veggie “pasta” without boiling it, you don’t always have to cook your noodles. If the recipe instructs you to cook them, it’ll typically be for only two to three minutes. Usually you can simply pour warm sauce over the noodles, and that’ll do the trick.