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Zucchini zoodles help add more vegetables to your diet

Substitute for pasta or add it as a side dish

If you want to sneak a bit more nutrition into your meals, check out these zucchini noodles, or “zoodles” made by Christine Pierangeli, certified master nutrition therapist and owner of Profound Wellness Vail.

Zoodles can be used as a substitute for pasta if you are going gluten-free, can be a way to use up extra zucchini from the garden this summer or a ploy to get your kids to eat more veggies, although, botanically speaking, a zucchini is technically a fruit, but in a culinary context the zucchini is treated as a vegetable.

“What we know is that if we have four cups of vegetables a day, we can actually decrease disease risk by 42%. If we had that in a pill, we’d all be buying it,” Pierangeli said.

Pierangeli strives to teach people to eat whole foods and to get in the kitchen more. By eating foods you make yourself, Pierangeli believes you receive greater benefits by giving up the preservatives and ingredients you can’t pronounce on pre-made items while saving money along the way.

Zucchinis are an anti-inflammatory food. “An anti-inflammatory diet involves eating certain foods and avoiding others in order to minimize the symptoms of chronic inflammatory diseases like heart disease, cancer and autoimmune diseases, to name a few,” Pierangeli said. 

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Pierangeli changed it up a bit by using a spiralizer to make the zoodles.

“The spiralizer is easy enough for a four-year-old to operate,” Pierangeli said. “It’s also super inexpensive, so it’s an easy and affordable way to add a little zest to the dinner table. I think as long as the veggies aren’t soft or overripe, it works fine. This is just a super flexible and fun way to get more veggies into your diet.”

Top it with Bolognese sauce, add shrimp or chicken and make a stir fry, or serve it with Mexican food instead of rice and beans. “Anything goes, really, or they can stand alone as a side dish. Zucchini has such a mild flavor that zoodles make a great addition to any meal,” Pierangeli said.

Get creative with zucchini, which not only makes great noodles, but also soups, a variety of stuffed zucchini options and of course, zucchini bread. You can also make butternut squash, beet, carrot, parsnip or sweet potato noodles with the spiralizer.

Ingredients

1 large zucchini

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Cut the ends of the zucchini and spiralize by using the medium noodle blade (not the smallest noodle blade). Preheat olive oil over medium heat. Add zucchini noodles and garlic powder, salt and pepper. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, stirring with tongs until slightly softened and wilted. Optional toppings: parmesan cheese, Bolognese sauce, veggie stir fry…go ahead and get creative.


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