Replacing white pasta with low-calorie, high-nutrient density vegetable noodles – does that sound good to you?
Well, in today’s post I will cover all the basics of creating delicious vegetable noodles and vegetable pasta. I will explain the basics of creating vegetable noodles, along with my best tips and tricks to creating delicious dishes out of julienned vegetables. My money-saving soul will also give you some great ideas for what to do with those itty bitty pieces left over from creating vegetable noodles. Lastly, I will compare the 3 noodle-making tools I most often use, and then give you 3 of my most delicious vegetable noodle recipes.
Are you ready to have some serious cute fun creating vegetable noodles (you gotta bring your kids along!)?
What is a Spiralizer/Vegetable Noodles’ Maker?
A vegetable noodler is one of the most magical tools out there! It turns vegetables into noodles, or pasta. You can use this tool to create several different dishes, like pasta, pad thai, noodle soup, noodles, and more! These dishes would mock traditional dishes, but would deliver more nutrients because instead of using wheat, we would be using nutrient-rich vegetables to accomplish the same job.
Whenever I demonstrate creating vegetable noodles, adults and kids are equally amazed and excited to use this fun tool to create their very own noodles.
Which Veggies Can you Use to Make Vegetable Noodles
Many different vegetables can be made into noodles. Especially popular ones are zucchinis and cucumbers. You can also create vegetable noodles out of harder vegetables like carrots, butternut squash, celery root, sweet potatoes, beets, kohlrabi, parsnip, jicama, rutabaga, and daikon radish. You can even make broccoli stems, pears, and apples into noodles.
The following are requirements for a fruit or vegetable in order to be spiralize-able (yes, I Just made up a new raw vegan term):
- it cannot be hollow,
- the vegetable should be firm,
- lastly, it should be slightly thick and long; If you get a very small, zucchini, for example, it would be a bit difficult to make noodles out of it
A Few Tips and Tricks on Creating Delicious Vegetable Noodles
Just like with any food, working with vegetables to create noodles requires knowing and understanding the qualities of the vegetables and fruits well to create delicious masterpieces. Hence, I have professionally studied and written dissertations on my love for these incredible vegetables (joking aside, I have done some wild experiments on them in my 5 years as a high-raw vegan), and I present the results to you, right now.
Here are a few tips and tricks I have for creating magnificent noodles:
- When working with any particularly hard vegetables, like sweet potatoes, it is very important to “sweat” them to create softer and more palatable noodles. To do this, create your vegetable noodles. Then use a very small amount of salt, and mix it very well into the noodles with your fingers, applying pressure into the vegetable. With time, you will see that the vegetable noodles start to release liquids, and become more tender. Discard that liquid, and only then mix them with a sauce. You can also use this liquid in a salad dressing.
- When you make cucumber noodles, it is critical that after you turn them into noodles, you place them in the fridge immediately. Otherwise, a huge puddle will form at the bottom of your bowl, and they won’t taste as good as they do cold.
- Finally, use one of these amazing sauces to have with your noodles. Play around with spices, flavors, and combinations.
What to do with Spiralizing/Vegetable Noodles’ Leftovers
Once you start making noodles out of veggies, you will see that no matter which tool you use, they all leave leftovers. I detail how much and what kind below, in the vegetable noodler comparison.
The good news is, there are great uses for your leftovers. Here are some ways I love to use leftovers:
- Save them for juicing. A nice sweet juice can disguise any flavor, so you can pretty much put any vegetable leftovers you have in a juice. See my juice + smoothie guide here.
- Put them in a smoothie, but only if the vegetable you have left overs from is mild tasting. Otherwise, it can really ruin a smoothie. For great green-smoothie making tips, see my blog post here.
- Save them in the fridge or freezer to make your very own vegetable stock. Vegetable stock can be made with any leftovers from vegetables.
- Use them in your salad dressings, dips, and sauces. This tip is my favorite! I love to use all of my zucchini leftovers particularly for this one, but any vegetable will work. Check out these 3 delicious oil-free sauces, dips and dressings.
- Eat them! Yes, just eat those leftover veggies. I love eating cucumber with nothing on it, it is so delicious!
- Turn them into veggie chips. The shape is not conducive for serving to guests, but you can definitely enjoy your “weenies” as chips with a great dip!
Vegetable Noodles’ Slicers Compared
Julienne hand-held peeler
This peeler is hand-held, just like a potato peeler, but creates julienne shaped-cuts from each vegetable.
Ease of cleaning: pretty easy. You just need to clean the metal part after use, and this one is probably the easiest to clean out of the three.
Size/storage: very small – this is the smallest gadget, and can be stored with your cutlery and peelers.
Link to purchase + price:
The price for these is between $5 and $10, depending on the brand. I have a very simple one that I found at a local market in Jerusalem, and it works just fine.
Left overs: the core, very similar to the Paderno spiralizer, will be left over, but perhaps a bit more too since it is not very accurate.
Thickness and length of noodles: this produces similar noodles to the Paderno spiralizer. The noodles will be as long as the vegetable, and often even shorter because it’s hard to peel the entire length of the vegetable in one swoop.
Safety features: this one is not as sharp as a mandolin, but you should still be careful when you let kids use this tool, that they don’t put their fingers near the blade. Other than that, it is pretty comfortable and safe to use.
Best used for: the hand-held julienne peeler is perfect for traveling, because it’s very light and small. It is also perfect for really small spaces, where you don’t have a lot of room to store large gadgets. It does pretty well with both hard and soft vegetables.
Speed of use: the julienne peeler probably takes the most time out of the three, because once you cut up the vegetable, you also need to separate all the strands of vegetables you have left over as they do not separate well, unless the peeler is extremely sharp. This takes extra time, and even the peeling process itself is not so fast.
Paderno World Cuisine Spiralizer
A very commonly-used spiralizer, the Paderno spiralizer produces very long noodles, and there are 3 different interchangeable blades, so you can vary noodle thickness.
Ease of cleaning: takes a bit of time to get into all of the crevices of this spiralizer, particularly if you want to remove all of the vegetable bits and maintain the white color. Vegetables leave a very strong mark on this white spiralizer, so I advise to clean it right after use.
Size/storage: pretty big and bulky, this requires some space for storage.
Link to purchase + price:
Left overs: a “zucchini weeny”, or the core of the zucchini is left over. It is just as long as the zucchini and round, with a small chunk of vegetable at the end.
Thickness and length of noodles: the thickness varies depending on the blade you use from very wide noodles to pretty thin noodles. The thinnest noodles are still thicker than what the Borner slicer makes.
Safety features: this spiralizer has a very sharp metal blade. It is relatively easy to avoid being cut because it is not completely exposed, but it could be dangerous for kids. I recommend getting a cut protection glove like this one for using this spiralizer.
Best used for: softer vegetables, like zucchini and cucumbers, especially if you want to make very long noodles. Hard vegetables like carrots are very annoying and difficult to cut with this tool.
Speed of use: this is a very quick spiralizer, and gets the job done pretty fast.
Borner Combi-Chef Stainless Steel Box Slicer & Grater
My favorite vegetable noodler, this tool has 4 sides: a mandoline, 2 types of graters, and a julienne side as well. This creates the thinnest noodles out of the three options, and is the quickest to use as well.
Ease of cleaning: the Borner slicer can take some time to clean, especially on the julienne side, because pieces of vegetables do get stuck in there. Again, I recommend cleaning right after use using a brush (a cheap one like this one, for example).
Size/storage: pretty big, this requires some space for storage. It’s a box, but it is smaller than the Paderno spiralizer. It is also more compact, because it is one box, without any extra parts like a handle.
Link to purchase + price:
Borner is giving Soul in the Raw followers a 10% discount on the “Borner Roko Cutter Powerline”. This slicer only has a julienne side for making noodles. You can buy it here with 10% off code SoulintheRaw: www.borner-slicer.com
Left overs: the core of the vegetable or fruit, which is larger than in the Paderno spiralizer. Look at my tips below on how you can use this leftover section.
Thickness and length of noodles: the julienne side of this grater produces the thinnest noodles out of the three, and that is why I love this tool so much! The noodles are as long as the vegetable itself.
Safety features: if you’re using the julienne peeler, you don’t need to worry much as it is not very sharp. It is made of metal, and I would recommend not allowing kids to use it because of their tender little hands. If you are using the mandoline size of this gadget, you must use a cut protection glove like this one. It is extremely sharp!
Best used for: any vegetables. It works great with soft and hard fruits and vegetables because you can lay it down and really put your weight into it, so it’s easy to cut almost anything. It also has 4 sides: 2 types of graters, a mandoline, and a julienne side, so you can do a lot with just this one gadget.
Speed of use: this is a very quick grater, and I love using the julienne side of it to make noodles. It takes me minutes, and I use it for all of my classes when I pre-prep.
|Feature||Hand-held julienne peeler||Paderno spiralizer||Borner grater|
|Ease of cleaning||Easiest to clean||Relatively easy to clean, but best to clean right after use; use a dish brush to clean||Relatively easy to clean, but best to clean right after use; use a dish brush to clean|
|Largest||In the middle|
|Price + link to purchase||Cheapest: between $5 and $10||Middle: about $30
|Most expensive, but most versatile as it has 4 different graters|
|Left overs||Somewhere in the middle||Least left-over||Most left overs|
|Thickness + length of noodles||As thick as the Paderno noodles, but a bit shorter||Longest noodles; as thick as the julienne peeler||Thinnest noodles, as long as the julienne hand-held peeler|
|Safety||Very safe to use
|Dangerous to use: had a very sharp blade||Very safe to use on the julienne side; very sharp mandoline side|
|Best used for||Travel-size; great for soft veggies, and also for hard ones
|Great for very long noodles; works well with soft vegetables, and much more difficult with harder ones||Great for making very thin and very delicious noodles; has 4 sides, so you can grate in 2 different ways, make noodles, and use the mandoline|
|Speed and ease of use||Slowest||In the middle||Fastest|
Please let me know in the comments below which one of the three vegetable noodle tools you think you’ll be using, or which one is already your favorite!
So, how can you actually use this, you may ask?
3 of Soul in the Raw’s Best Vegetable Noodle Recipes
#1 Spicy Thai Cucumber Salad
#2 Creamy Cauliflower Alfredo Zucchini Noodles
You can find this incredible recipe, including a written recipe and a video recipe, here:
#3 Miso Soup with Daikon Noodles
You can find the miso soup recipe in my Raw Vegan Sushi Recipe Ebook. Add noodles made from ½ of a large daikon radish to a portion of this amazing miso soup. Daikon noodles make the perfect, neutral-tasting accompaniment to this flavorful soup.
#4 Creamy Sundried Tomato Pasta + Hummus
See the video recipe here: https://youtu.be/PYPmSpmQ7sY
Creamy Sundried Tomato Pasta + Hummus Recipe
For the pasta
- 1 medium zucchini
For the creamy sauce
- 3 cups cherry tomatoes/ regular chopped tomatoes
- 1 pack sundried tomatoes 100 grams or 3.2 ounces
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice about 1 small lemon
- 1 large clove of garlic
- 1 tablespoons chia seeds
- 3 tablespoons tahini
For the hummus
- 1/2 of the creamy sundried tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- inside part of 1 zucchini used for the noodles
For the pasta noodles
- Spiralize 1 zucchini using the Borner slicer; see YouTube video above for exact instructions
For the sauce
- Blend everything until smooth. Be sure to place the cherry tomatoes at the bottom of the blender for smoother blending. You can also leave the sauce chunky if you'd like.
For the hummus
- Use half of the creamy sundried tomato sauce, and add all other ingredients to it, blending until smooth. Eat with cut up veggies, or raw flax crackers.
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