The other day, Dear Hubby came home and announced that he would like to try going on a “keto” diet. Now, I’ve seen this play before – there was the time back in the early aughts when we went on the South Beach diet and ate bucketfuls of whipped ricotta cheese with Splenda and unsweetened cocoa powder (no, I will not be including a recipe for that on this site. Ever.). Then there was the time that we read The China Study after I had just finished battling cancer and decided to try going vegan. Ever heard of a “mean drunk”? Yeah, I was a mean vegan. I kept a special stash of sausage in the back of the refrigerator for those times that I thought I just couldn’t take it anymore. So you might understand why I was initially skeptical about another diet.
I am happy to announce that we have arrived at a compromise. No, I’m not cooking “keto” for the whole family, but I have promised to make a concerted effort to include many, many more vegetables in my menus. And if Dear Hubby would like to leave the tortilla off of his taco, then he is welcome to.
Which brings me to the Spiralizer. What better way to include more vegetables in my cooking than to find new and inventive ways to use them? Curly sweet potatoes! Zucchini noodles! In fact, doing a quick search for the word “Spiralizer” on Pinterest yielded irresistible links – “Life-Changing Ways to Use a Spiralizer!” “Vegan, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, Nut-Free Recipes!” And that’s when it hit me: the Spiralizer is hitting a lot of today’s diet needs. Some vegetables spiralize beautifully and almost mimic pasta, so people on gluten-free diets love it. The Vegans love it because they have something fun to look forward to in their culinary lives (poor, poor vegans). Moms love it because it is beyond our comprehension that our children would ever beg for more peanut zucchini noodles and saves us from having to sneak broccoli in their brownies a la The Sneaky Chef (but that is another topic for another day).
I tried three Spiralizer models – an attachment for the KitchenAid stand mixer, two of the best-reviewed tabletop models on Amazon, and as a bonus, Dear Hubby independently decided to buy his own Spiralizer and a little handheld model arrived in the mail a few days later. These four Spiralizer models all have pros and cons – and I’ll let you know which one ended up being my favorite as well.
Spiralizer Product Review
At $13.99, this is a great “gateway Spiralizer” if you are on the fence about whether or not to invest in a higher-quality model. It has 2 blades – one for a spaghetti cut and a straight blade for a wide ribbon cut.
- Compact and easy to store
- Includes small brush to clean blades
- Pronged Cap helps to push the end of the vegetable into the blade, which uses more of the vegetable and reduces waste.
- Small opening limits the types of vegetables you can spiralize to small, narrow ones that will fit inside the opening (zucchini, cucumber, carrots).
- This spiralizer does not produce the types of beautiful, curly spirals that you want in a spiralizer. Because it is handheld it is not possible to put exactly the same amount of pressure on the vegetable as it turns, which produces a product that looks more like a long grate or hash browns than a truly spiralized product.
- It is handheld, and harder vegetables like carrots will give you quite the workout.
These two models of tabletop Spiralizers are virtually identical. With thousands of reviews on Amazon.com, they are far and away the best-selling tabletop spiralizer products. These models come with two spaghetti-cut blades (1/8” and 1/4”) as well as a straight blade for ribbon cuts. I took both models completely apart and used them to try to distinguish a difference, and I will say that the Paderno model is ever-so-slightly more sturdy than the Spiralizer model.
- Extra blades store nicely in the unit
- This unit produces beautifully even and consistent spirals.
- Produces very little waste – just a small core that can easily be diced and re-used in your next mirepoix.
- Suction cup feet only work on a non-porous, non-textured surface. If you have granite or linoleum counters, the feet will stick. If not, don’t count on it.
- The blades and the pronged vegetable holder are a bit difficult to clean. My suggestions are to rinse them off right away and/or use a vegetable brush to clean the blades. I ended up using the cleaning brush that came with the little handheld model above.
First, let me say that I love my KitchenAid – probably more so than one should love an inanimate appliance. So I was very excited to add this Spiralizer to my growing collection of KitchenAid attachments. The kit includes two sizes of spaghetti-cut blades, two sizes of slicing blades and a peeling blade.
- The KitchenAid’s motor does the hard work, which is especially nice when trying to process a large or hard vegetable.
- Easy to put together and clean.
- All parts come in a nice storage box.
- Produces even, consistent spirals.
- Considering that this model is twice the price of the tabletop models, I would have liked the parts to be fully made from metal rather than plastic. As I was assembling this for the first time, a couple of the plastic parts could have easily broken if forced.
- The peeler blade really only works well on perfectly round, smooth vegetables. I tried using the peeler blade on a sweet potato, and I ended up having to redo it by hand because the peeler only removed about 50% of the skin.
If I had to choose just one model, I would go with the Paderno, which was the best overall in terms of quality and value. Oh, and by the way – Cooks Illustrated also agreed with me when they did their own review of Spiralizers, which makes me feel rather chef-like.