I believe I speak for most of us when I say that one can never have enough (useful) kitchen tools. Especially those that make our lives a little easier in the kitchen, right?
If you’ve never heard of a spiralizer, you are in for a treat. A spiralizer is a manual (handheld or counter mounted) gadget that makes spaghetti and other pasta shapes out of vegetables. Seriously!
Anything I can do to help me get more vegetables into our diet is great, especially when everything that gets sprialized is naturally free of gluten and grains. It’s perfect for those of us who follow a grain-free diet, need to make gluten-free meals, or just want a fun way to eat more vegetables.
You can spiralize apples, beets, broccoli, butternut squash, cabbage, carrots, celery root (celeriac), chayote, cucumbers, jicama, kohlrabi, onions, parsnips, pears, plantains, radish, rutabaga, sweet potatoes, taro roots, turnips, white potatoes, zucchini, and more!
Because I know it’s hard to see on pictures whether or not you are going to like something, my little guy (the 3 year old) and I recorded a video for you to see how the spiralizers I own compare. If anything else, you have to watch the bloopers at the end.
Another reason I love spiralizing is that I can spiralize veggies one night, store them in the fridge in a container, and have them ready to go when I need them a day or two later. Click here to see how I spiralize veggies ahead of time and store them.
Now that I have you thinking about getting a spiralizer or using yours more often, let’s compare some of the most popular models. There are tons of spiralizing units out in the market and you should know that there are quite a few imitators out there; meaning, same machine design (for the most part) different brand label.
I believe that a kitchen tool is most useful when it doesn’t have a lot of unnecessary parts and it does a great job. I’ve seen some pretty intricate things calling themselves spiralizers but they are cumbersome to use (and clean), which is why most people stop using theirs.
There are two main categories of spiralizers. Handheld and counter mounted. In those two main categories, there are lots of variations in design.
The Handheld Julienne Peeling Method
While it’s not officially a spiralizer, this inexpensive peeler cuts veggies into julienne-cut strands. My favorite is the OXO Julienne Peeler because it’s easy to grip and there is a safety cover that covers the very sharp pointed blade when not in use; this prevents you from being poked when reaching inside your kitchen drawer (it’s happened to me more than once).
The pro is that it’s inexpensive and it doesn’t take a lot of room. The con to this tool is that it takes a long time to make enough for a family. Sure, it might take five minutes to make a single serving, but I can sprialize for a entire week with another model in five minutes. Time is of an essence.
The Handheld Spiralizer, or “Vegetti”
I’ve purchased the Vegetti when it first came out after recording a podcast with my friend Aviva. She was a huge fan and got me all excited. Once I tried it, I hate to admit that my enthusiasm was quickly deflated. I watched a ton of YouTube videos on how to use it and I could never get it to work right for me. I quickly got stored in the junk drawer and I stopped spiralizing all together for months.
The pro is that it’s inexpensive and it doesn’t take a lot of room. The cons outweigh any purchase thoughts you might have. It wastes a lot of veggie that is easily used up in other models and it takes a lot of time to make enough for a family meal. This one gets two thumbs down. If it’s going be this cumbersome to get spiralized veggies on the table, I am not going to do it as often as I’d like.
The Counter-mounted Spiralizers
I first purchased a Padermo spiralizer after buying my friend Ali Maffucci’s cookbook, Inspiralized: Turn Vegetables into Healthy, Creative, Satisfying Meals. I have to admit that the counter mounted spiralizer revolutionized the speed at which I could get a veggie filled meal on the table.
Once I started having fun turning my veggies into noodles, my youngest son, Gabriel, became excited about making spiralized veggies too!
There are two drawbacks to the Padermo model; the first one is that the suction cups don’t’ stay suctioned on the counter well and I have to keep pressing the suction cup corners down. The other is that the spiralizing blades are exposed and now that my kids love to spiralize, they pose a big risk and it’s quite easy to cut oneself during spiralizing or washing. Otherwise, it does the job well.
Whichever method you use, be sure to check out my best tips on how to spiralize veggies and store for the week.
Photography: Ali Maffucci