If you're a pasta addict, the thought of low-carb diet can seem daunting. Pasta is certainly delicious and sometimes healthy, but it contains calories galore.

Healthy, delicious, low-cal alternatives to traditional pasta do exist, though. One such alternative are spiralized vegetables. Requiring only a Julienne peeler, this diet-friendly substitute you can make from zucchini, beets, butternut squash, cabbage, bell peppers, carrots, or some other vegetable you like.

The obvious reason to spiralize vegetables is that it helps you lose weight and keep it off. Vegetables have few calories, carbs and little fat and sugar. This makes them the healthiest substitute to pasta you can find. Here are eight great benefits of spiralized vegetables.

1. Total-body detox

Vegetables are high in water, which helps to detoxify your body and leave you hydrated. Vegetables are also filled with fiber, which helps you feel fuller for longer.

2. Metabolic bump

These vegetables include zucchinis, which are high in folates. After eating a bowl of vegetables, you're left feeling light and energized.

3. Smaller carbon footprint

This is especially true if you choose in-season vegetables that are locally sourced. By eating them you'll take in more vitamins and antioxidants.

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4. Increased veggie intake

This is because spiralized vegetables have a similar texture and consistency to regular pasta.

5. Cut calories

A bowl of spaghetti contains roughly 221 calories and 43 grams of carbs per serving. A bowl of spiralized zucchini noodles, on the other hand, contains a mere 41 calories and less than 8 grams of carbohydrates.

6. Quicker prep

Spiralized veggies cook faster than pasta. This is especially true if you eat them raw. But even boiled they're ready faster than grain noodles, and they require less effort.

7. Suits all diets

It doesn't matter if you've adopted a low-carb, low-sugar, paleo, gluten-free, vegan, or vegetarian lifestyle. Any diet has room for this yummy pasta substitute.

3 delicious spiralized veggies dishes

If you're feeling inspired, whip up one of these spiralized vegetable recipes. They're sure to leave you satisfied.

1. Zucchini Noodle Bolognese

Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 stalk celery, diced
  • 1/2 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Minced garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 pound ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 3 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 14 oz. canned crushed tomatoes
  • 2 spiralized zucchinis
  • Pinch of fresh basil
  • Pinch of oregano
  • Parmesan cheese

Directions

  • Mince the celery and carrots in a food processor until fine
  • Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat
  • Sauté garlic for 30 seconds
  • Add the onion and cook for a few minutes
  • Add the celery and carrot mixture and cook for 1 minute
  • Add the ground turkey and break it up
  • Add the spices
  • Cook until meat is cooked through
  • Stir in the broth
  • Cook until liquid had evaporated
  • Stir in tomato paste and tomatoes
  • Add some salt and pepper
  • Bring mixture to a boil
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes
  • Add the basil
  • Simmer for 3 minutes
  • Stir in spiralized zucchini and cook until al dente
  • Serve with Parmesan cheese

2. Sesame Carrot Salad

Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 carrot, peeled and spiralized
  • 2 diced green onions
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • Black pepper

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl
  • Serve immediately

For softer noodles, marinate them for 15 minutes before adding to other ingredients.

3. Egg Drop Soup with Zucchini Noodles

Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 large zucchini, spiralized
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 3 tablespoons dried seaweed
  • 1 cup chopped scallions
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 large beaten egg
  • Pepper to taste

Directions

  • Add oil in a large saucepan over medium heat
  • Once the oil is heated, add the ginger and cook for a minute
  • Add in the red pepper flakes, sherry vinegar, soy sauce, vegetable broth, and water
  • Bring to a boil
  • Add the seaweed
  • Slowly add egg as you stir the broth
  • Add in the zucchini noodles, scallions
  • Season with pepper
  • Cook the noodles for roughly 2 minutes
  • Place in a bowl and eat

References

  1. "8 Benefits of Spiralizing," Pampered Chef, March 2, 2016.
  2. "12 Sensational Spiralized Veggie Recipes," Shape, February 29, 2016.
  3. "What are the benefits of spiralizing?," Glamour, July 25, 2016.
  4. "Writer Who Simply Replaced Pasta with Spiralized Vegetables Loses 2st in Just Three Months," Daily Mail, April 23, 2015.

gluten free | vegan | veggetti | pasta | zoodles