We all want to sink our teeth into a comforting bowl of spaghetti and meatballs. We grew up on it. Probably ate it more times than we care to admit. But for some, that’s not an option anymore, even as a cheat meal. So what’s a primal eater supposed to do? Spiralize something! The market is flooded with gadgets and gizmos promising the perfect “pasta” out of your zucchini, sweet potato, squash, jicama, carrots, whatever. But do they work?!
We put 3 different types to the test, in hopes of helping you find your spiralizing soul mate!
1. The Handheld
The handheld version is like a regular vegetable peeler, but it has teeth that create the noodles. Look for one that has a padded or non-slip handle (see cons). If you go this route, our recommendation is this julienne peeler.
- It’s cheap (BIG pro).
- It takes up no kitchen space.
- It’s easy to clean.
- It takes A LOT OF WORK to get enough zoodles for a family of 4, or even one person for that matter. You know how long it takes to peel the skin off potatoes, now imagine how long it would take to peel to the core?
- You can’t peel perfectly, so you’ll be left with extra vegetable that you will have to cut with a knife.
- It’s a one trick pony. It does nothing but shred vegetables.
Although cheap and easy to hide in your drawer, you will meet some frustration if you try to prepare a meal using this tiny shredder.
2. The Handcrank
When paleoites think of a spiralizer, this is what comes to mind. The plastic countertop version with the handcrank, different blade options and a whole lot of family fun! There have been some upgrades made over the years; additions of different blades, a catch container, etc., but the bones are pretty much the same.
- It’s cheap (only $29.90 on Amazon).
- Small counter top/pantry footprint.
- It’s easy to clean, you can put it in the top rack of your dishwasher!
- It has 3-4 different sizes and shapes, depending on what model you get.
- It is BPA-free plastic.
- It wastes a lot. The center of the vegetable does not get cut up. Sure, you can throw the core in your dish, but it won’t twirl on your fork very easily.
- It makes uneven cuts. Maybe it’s user error, but every time, I end up with nice long noodles and a bunch of tiny little half moons, mostly made of the skin (which can be bitter).
- It’s plastic.
This baby will do the job, it’s easy to clean, easy to store, and will make all your veggie noodle dreams come true, for a reasonable price.
3. The Cadillac
KitchenAid finally got on the spiralizing bandwagon and released an attachment for their iconic stand mixer. This is the Cadillac of spiralizers. Not only does it spiralize, it peels and cores. No more peeling apples for that apple crisp! But here’s the catch, you need the stand mixer, so unless you have one already, this version will cost you a pretty penny (or two)!
- It’s electric! The KitchenAid does the work for you, simply slice the end off your zucchini, slide it on the guide and turn on the machine.
- It peels too, in addition to spiralizing and slicing. Peel potatoes for Thanksgiving or apples for a pie.
- It’s stainless steel, so it’s sturdy and won’t smell funny like plastic sometimes can.
- It’s easy to clean. The blades are top rack dishwasher safe, but the body needs to be washed by hand.
- It creates nice, even spirals. No issues with little half moons here, just long strands.
- Cost (BIG con). If you already have a stand mixer, the sticker shock isn’t so bad, the spiralizer attachment itself is $99 (on Amazon). If you don’t have a stand mixer, that will cost you another $300 or so dollars (check them out here), so you are making quite an investment.
- Limited size, the vegetables cannot be longer than the body of attachment (5.5″).
- That’s pretty much it!
If you have the stand mixer already, go for it! You won’t regret the purchase. If not, this is too big of an investment just to julienne vegetables.