You love carbs!! Who doesn’t? It’s difficult to lose weight or be healthy when you’re consuming too many carbohydrates and not enough vegetables. How about something healthy that still feels carby?
I was recently vacationing in Florida and my cousin went to the local farm stand and brought back some fresh veggies for dinner. Instead of pasta with our meat, he used a spiralizer to make beautiful pasta-looking noodles with vegetables. If you don’t already know, a spiralizer is a non-electric appliance with a hand-crank that transforms a vegetable in to a noodle.
Many people have difficulty getting enough vegetables in to their diet, especially their kids’ diet. We are so used to having that starch with our meat and vegetable. Think about when you were growing up, I bet a majority of you reading this can say their dinner consisted of meat, starch, and a vegetable. Maybe that’s why those starchy items are now our comfort food because it’s what we know. Mashed potatoes, pasta, fries, rice, etc. Eat a bunch until you’re full and then get tired shortly thereafter. Isn’t that’s what supposed to happen? It doesn’t need to be that way. How about after eating a meal, feeling light and energized? Doesn’t that sound more pleasant? If you’re not convinced, you will be soon.
The reason why you feel so tired after those carbohydrates is because pasta has a high glycemic index. The higher the glycemic index, the more your blood sugar will rise. We feel better when our blood sugar is more constant. When our blood sugar drops too low, we feel lethargic and become hungry. Yes, many vegetables are carbohydrates and some vegetables do have a high glycemic index. If you want a veggie with a low glycemic index to spiralize, consider zucchini, cabbage, broccoli, onion, cucumber, rutabega, and much more.
The benefits of spiralizing your veggies:
- Spiralized veggies look, feel, and taste like you’re eating carbs.
- No more carb crashes! Ever feel tired and heavy a couple hours after that bowl of pasta? Replacing pasta with vegetables gives you a lighter feeling. Most vegetables have a lower glycemic index which means no sugar spike then crash.
- It’s a fun way to try new veggies. Ever tried kohlrabi or jicama?
- Many of the veggies you’re spiralizing are not only low in carbs, but also low in sugar, fat, and calories.
- It’s a great way to increase whole foods in your diet and decrease processed foods.
- Have second helpings! Do you love large portions? They’re veggies..go ahead and fill up that plate again!
- Most veggies are high in fiber. High fiber helps with weight loss because it keeps you fuller longer and helps move your food through your digestive system.
- Get your kids to eat more veggies! My son despises zucchini but when the zucchini noodles were placed in front of him, he devoured them quickly. How could something so healthy taste so delicious?
- Gluten-free people..listen up! You don’t need to find expensive gluten-free pasta in the store anymore. Make your own with your favorite vegetable.
Here are some ideas to start with:
- Instead of spaghetti noodles, make zucchini noodles. Yes, they taste delicious with tomato sauce.
- Replace those chemical frozen fries with homemade sweet potato fries!
- Make your own recipes like the one I made last night (pictured below). The picture below is spiralized cucumbers, onions and carrots. Add a little olive oil, vinegar and feta…delicious!
When choosing veggies to spiralize, there are a few things you should consider. First think of the core. If it’s hollow or has a tough core then you can’t spiralize it. Also, stay away from seeded veggies. Make sure the vegetable has at least a 1.5 inch diameter and it should be at least 2 inches long for best results. Stay away from soft, mushy veggies/fruit.
Still not sure which veggies/fruit would be best? Here’s a list of favorites but obviously it’s not an all inclusive list:
- Sweet Potato
Have fun with it! Try new veggies you’ve never had and you can make up your own recipes too. Do this:
- Pick a veggie
- Prepare it for the spiralizer ( cut off ends)
- Pick a blade (ribbon, fettuccini, linguine, or spaghetti)
- Pick a sauce (spaghetti sauce, olive oil and garlic, etc.)
Give it a try. Next time you eat a bowl of pasta, pay attention to how you feel a couple hours later. Compare that feeling to when you eat noodles made of veggies. We are what we eat. What you put in your mouth has a direct effect on how you feel. The one I have is the Inspiralizer which available on their website and on Amazon. Happy spiralizing!