Produce with a Twist

Spiralized fruits and veggies are a creative way to squeeze in more variety, fun, and nutrition on to the average plate. Transforming fresh produce into colorful noodles is a winning practice for those looking to boost overall intake of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. And, for those counting calories, consider that a cup of zucchini noodles, commonly referred to as zoodles, provide just 25 calories and 5 grams of carbohydrates. The same amount of pasta contains about 200 calories and 45 grams of carbohydrates.

A spiralizer, whether a simple handheld gadget, a tabletop model, or an attachment to a sophisticated mixer, can magically turn any number of fruits and vegetables into a noodle.

  • The most popular produce items to spiralize include zucchini and summer squashes, cucumbers, beets, carrots, all varieties of potatoes, winter squashes, parsnips, apples, and pears.
  • Depending on the spiralizer, there may be different thickness and width options, ranging from “spaghetti” thin to wide ribbons.
  • Vegetable and fruit noodles are naturally gluten-free and vegetarian/vegan.
  • When you simply dice, chop or cube vegetables – you barely get a cup of that food. With spiralizing, a single vegetable may yield cups of fluffy, spiral vegetables.
  • Many spiralized veggies can be prepped in advance and stored in the refrigerator and used for various recipes throughout the week.
  • Do not rule out freezing spiralized vegetables if you have an over-abundance of summer produce.
  • These “faux” noodles can be used to enhance variety and add texture and interest in any number of dishes. Enjoy raw in salads, or cooked in stir fries, soups, and pasta dishes.

Now that I have your attention, consider these creative ways to add twists and turns to your menu:

  • For a pasta salad, try swapping out ½ of your pasta for spiralized carrots, zucchini, or cucumber. Or, go for it and swap out all of your pasta for veggie noodles.
  • Trade out traditional spaghetti for spiralized summer squash and top with a tomato or meat sauce.
  • Try this Zucchini Noodles with Creamy Avocado Pesto recipe that uses spiralized squash for the base for this yummy pesto dish.
  • For a twist on potatoes, make curly baked or sweet potato fries.
    • Spiralize away, breaking up some of the longer strands.
    • Toss potato strands with olive oil and favorite spices, like salt and pepper, or garlic and chili powder.
    • Bake for 25-30 minutes in a preheated 400°F oven until crispy. Be sure to watch the potatoes near the end of the cooking time – there is a fine line between that perfect crispiness and burnt potatoes!
  • This easy to make Caprese Zucchini Noodle Pasta Salad recipe (below) was a huge hit with McCaffrey’s customers when sampled at our free nutrition event in July.
  • Add spiralized carrots and turnips to soups or stews.
  • Add spiralized beets to add vibrant color to a vegetable salad.
  • Even fruits can be spiralized. A twist to an apple or pear will add some sweetness to any dish.

It is easy to spiralize fruits and veggies with a simple kitchen tool. And, children are often fascinated with the process. If convenience is your main objective, purchase spiralized produce fresh from McCaffrey’s or pick up spiralized veggies from the frozen foods case.


Servings: 8
Salad Ingredients

  • 8 cups zucchini noodles or about 4 large
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes sliced in half
  • 8 ounces mozzarella pearls
  • ¼ cup fresh basil chopped

Dressing Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder


  1. Add all ingredients into a bowl.
  2. Whisk dressing ingredients in another bowl and toss together.
  3. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Estimated Nutrition Information: 8 – 1 cup serivngs. Each serving: 160 calories, 13 grams fat, 4.5 grams saturated fat, 15 milligrams cholesterol, 160 milligrams sodium, 5 grams carbohydrate, < 1 gram fat, 8 grams protein.

Values listed represent a statistical nutritional analysis. There are natural variations that occur in all recipes; these figures may not be exact and are provided for informational purposes only.

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