What is Spiralizing? The journey to veg pasta.
If you haven’t been spiralizing everything in your house or at least been dreaming of all the fruit and veg you could be spiralizing if you had the perfect gadget, then you have probably been living under a rock the last couple years.
What is spiralizing you ask? Well, for all your rock dwellers, spiralizing is one of the new-ish healthy eating food crazes that has taken the world by storm over the last couple years. It involves taking various types of fruit and vegetables and running them through a spiralizer to create long strands of ‘pasta’ or ‘noodles’. The original spiralizers came out of japan and have actually been around for awhile, but have been more commonly found in a professional kitchen rather than your average home kitchen, until now that is. Now you can get spiralizers in all sorts of shapes and sizes and with numerous features depending on the model you decide on.
Now that you know what a spiralizer is, perhaps you’re wondering if the spiralizing craze has been around for awhile, why am I only just now discussing it? Am I the one who has actually been living under a rock? I assure you, I have not been living under a rock (in this instance at least) but instead, made a conscious decision to wait until I jumped on this bandwagon. I’ve been following health and foodie trends long enough to know that sometimes (particularly where gadgets are involved) it’s best to wait awhile before you invest the money and kitchen space into a new trend.
When I first heard about spiralizing a couple years ago, I was so excited with the idea of being able to have ‘pasta’ again that I immediately jumped on amazon looking for spiralizers. However the more research I did, the more I noticed there was A LOT of complaints about different aspects of each of the models I looked into and I struggled to find a model that had a solid amount of positive reviews that was in the price range of home kitchen. I saw people complaining about stability issues, turning arms snapping off, having too many pieces to keep track of and the most concerning complaints of blades breaking, not being sharp enough, or so sharp (and badly designed) just looking at them could cut you. So I quelled my excitement and resigned to using a standard peeler to get my ‘pasta’ which was ok, but created short, flat and wide shaped strands of veg.
Since then, I have occasionally checked back into the market to see what new models had come out but always came to the same conclusion of my earlier research, until late last year. When doing another routine check into spiralizers, I came across a brand new spiralizer in the US designed by Ali Maffucci, the author of the cookbook Inspiralized. I immediately noticed two features about this spiralizer that stood out from any other I had seen before, the Counter Clamps dual vacuum suction base, and The Noodle Twister blade setup. I looked more into it and for the first time since I started looking, I struggled to find anything negative about this model, so as soon as it was available in the UK a couple months ago, I bought it.
The Inspiralizer. My review.
With what seems like hundreds of spiralizers on the market, ranging from tiny pocket size devices, to huge lunkers with a million attachments, how does the Inspiralizer stand out from the crowd? Ali Maffucci, the creator of the Inspiralizer has done something genius when designing this spiralizer. She took every common complaint about spiralizers, and fixed them! Why another company didn’t think of it sooner is beyond me, but I commend her for creating the perfect spiralizer.
So what features does the Inspiralizer have that makes it unique?
The Noodle Twister:
The Noodle Twister is a tiny dial on the side of the spiralizer that allows you to choose the style of ‘pasta’ you want in a safe and hassle free way. This is one of my favorite features for a few reasons. Traditionally, spiralizers have blade plates, removable blades that are interchangeable depending on the style of ‘pasta’ shape you want. The problem with these is that are easy to loose track of and are rather dangerous since they have a knack for slicing up fingers. I like my fingers, so I love the safety features of the Noodle Twister. One side of the NT has no blades on it and there is a cover that clips to the back side of it to keep the sharp protruding blades from slicing up unsuspecting digits. The Twister is super simple to use as well, you pull the knob out away from the spiralizer and then twist to the desired setting and push it back in. Again, no cut up fingers changing out blades. That alone sold me on this spiralizer.
The Counter Clamps:
A big problem I noticed a lot in reviews, was how spiralizers have a tendency to go skidding around counter tops, particularly when spiralizing harder vegetables. Not only was that a potential finger cutting issue, but it also made spiralizing a frustrating and impossible task. I read numerous reviews of people chucking out their spiralizers because of this. The counter clamps are great because all you do is flip a lever on either side and it sticks to the counter top solidly, not budging until the levers are switched back. I love this because I never feel like my Inspiralizer is going to go skidding across my counters. There is one issue however with the counter clamps that has been noted by some, which I’ll discuss later.
Central Corer and Vegetable Gripper Spikes:
One of the big things that annoy a lot of people is the amount of waste most coring blades cause. The bigger the coring blade, the bigger the central strip will be, as well as limiting how small a vegetable you can spiralize. The Inspiralizer central corer has one of the smallest diameters I’ve seen (meaning you can spiralize even thin carrots efficiently, yay!) but it is still big enough to hold a grip on bigger vegetables like the sweet potatoes I regularly spiralize and because the core is so tiny, you can just add the core in with your noodles Also, the vegetable gripper spikes on the turning section are fantastic. They are long and spiky enough to pierce and hold onto even the harder root vegetables, which was a big problem I noted in other spiralizers, so you don’t have to worry about your veg slipping out of place.
These factors alone are enough to make this a better choice over other models, but Ali added quite a few other improvements that easily make this the best spiralizer on the market currently.
Other features I love about the Inspiralizer are things like the fact that it is much smaller (widthwise and lengthwise) than most standard models such as the ever-popular Paderno model. Having a very small kitchen means I have to seriously consider how much space any gadget I buy takes up, and while this takes up more space than the horrible handheld versions, it is by far easier to find space for this than other models on the market. Then you have the stopper dial on the back of the base. It doesn’t seem like it would be that useful, but the number of times I’ve pulled it out of the cupboard and almost gotten the slider part dropping on my face, only to be stopped by the dial, proves its worth. Lastly, there is the quality of all the components. The blades are made from reinforced stainless steel and don’t feel flimsy in the slightest. they glide through even tough vegetables like sweet potato and butternut squash with no problem at all. In fact, I would say there is no additional force even needed for harder veg in comparison to softer veggies because of the blades. This is essential to the survival of the turning arm, which I can’t even count the number of reviews I saw on other models where they completely snapped off when attempting anything harder than a zucchini. That will never be an issue with the Inspiralizer though. Between the sharp blades and the fact that Ali made sure the turning arm was reinforced, you can feel confident when spiralizing your turnips and beetroots that you’re not gonna be out of a spiralizer at the first turn.
As you can see, there is plenty of features that make this a spiralizer to invest in. So, now that I’ve gotten through all the fantastic reasons why I am loving the Inspiralizer, I’m sure you’re wondering whether there are any negative points. Unfortunately, there are a couple things I feel the need to point out, but in all honesty, none of them were deal breakers for me personally.
One of the biggest complaints I can see people having is around the Noodle Twister. While the idea of not having changeable blades is highly appealing, with the noodle twister being fixed in place, it means that if something ever goes wrong with the blades (ie, losing sharpness or breaking) you essentially have a useless product. This could potentially be a big issue for some. However, I want to make this point, the quality of the blades is high enough that if you take care of them and regularly oil the turning hinge (they explain how to do this in the instruction manual), I don’t see this really malfunctioning or breaking quickly and truly believe that if it does happen, it will be years down the line, well after you’ve gotten your monies worth. They do offer a one or two year warranty though, which is good for people who are reserved about this. However, I will say, it would be nice if they could make the Twister a removable piece so it could be replaced if needed. That would definitely add to the longevity of the spiralizer and calm a lot of anxious consumers. Maybe in a future version?
Another issue I have seen a few people note, although I do not personally have this issue, is with the Counter Clamps. With the way they work, they do not grip onto uneven surfaces. This is mainly an issue for people who have tiled work surfaces or countertops with texture. In all honesty, this is such a simple fix though that I feel like it is almost a non-issue. With a heavy, solid cutting board or butcher’s block, you’re good to go, problem solved.
In summary, the Inspiralizer was well worth waiting for. I’m pretty sure that if I had bought another model of spiralizer, it would more than likely be getting good cupboard use and I wouldn’t be having nearly as much fun creating new ‘pasta’ recipes. There are so many factors that make this one of my new favorite kitchen gadgets, but I think on the top of the list would have to be the ease of use and creativity it sparks. Before I got the Inspiralizer, I was starting to get a bit bored with vegetables and my 2-year-old had pretty much gone on a sweet potato and carrot strike, but now we’re both eating plenty of veg again and having fun with it.
Now, what you’ve all been waiting for, recipe time! My coconut curried chicken laksa was originally made as a noodleless soup that I usually ate with some cassava flatbread and my husband paired with rice, but now since getting my Inspiralizer, I’ve re-done the recipe to contain sweet potato ‘swoodles’. Yay!! It has such a lovely light, refreshing flavour and is perfect for spring and summer in lieu of heavier, spicy traditional curries.
- 500 Grams of chicken, cubed or stripped.
- 1 Large sweet potato, peeled and spiralized on setting B or C
- 2 Medium carrots, peeled and grated (or spiralized on setting D)
- 1 Cup onion, diced
- 1 Tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 Tbsp himalyan pink salt
- 1Tbsp turmeric
- 3 Tbsp chopped coriander leaf
- 1 Tsp ground coriander seed
- 1 Tbsp garlic granules
- 1 Tbsp onion granules
- 1 Tbsp himalyan pink salt
- 1 Tbsp black pepper
- 1 Lemon, juiced (about 2 Tbsp)
- 1 Lime, juiced (about 2 Tbsp)
- 1/2 Cup sugar snap peas, halved
- 1 400Ml can of coconut milk (room temperature, shaken)
- Before starting, cube your chicken and set aside.
- Spiralize your vegetables and in a deep heavy bottom pan, add a bit of oil and quickly sauté your 'noodles' until they just start to go Al dente. Remove and set aside. (See note)
- Add a little bit more oil to the pan and start to sauté the diced onions over medium-high heat.
- Once the onion starts to get a little translucent, add in the cumin seeds and salt and continue to sauté for another minute or so.
- Add the turmeric and mix into the onions.
- Add the chicken and bring the heat up slightly. Brown the chicken all around for about 4 minutes and then bring the heat back down the medium. (if you're using grated carrot, add it now)
- Add in the coriander leaf, ground coriander, garlic, onion and pepper. Coat the chicken well in the spices. Pour in the lemon and lime juice.
- Add in the sugar snap peas and coconut milk. Cover and simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
- Add in the sweet potato (and/or carrot noodles). If you would like, you can cook the noodles further by simmering uncovered on low heat for 5-10 minutes, until desired texture. Do not stir noodles, just gently scrape bottom of the pan so nothing burns if you feel the need.
- Use a pair of tongs when sautéing noodles to lift and turn the noodles but try not to move them too much so they don't break.
*This post has not been sponsored in any way and I have received NO compensation from Inspiralized for this review. I bought this product myself and these are my genuine thoughts and feelings on it. I love it! *