We set out on a mis­sion to find out just how many veg and fruits can be spi­ral­ized or riced — and it turns out the pos­si­bil­i­ties are end­less. Learn how to mas­ter the tech­nique and use th­ese lower-carb sub­sti­tutes seam­lessly in your cook­ing.

Clean Eating - - CONTENTS - By Beth Lip­ton

Swap out starchy carbs with cre­ative veg sub­sti­tutes. Up­grade from the tried-andtrue zoo­dles and cauli-rice to bright beets, crunchy cu­cum­ber and more.

If you’re a long­time reader of Clean Eat­ing, you might re­mem­ber that it was nearly a decade ago when we in­tro­duced zuc­chini noo­dles as a fresh, hot trend. A few years later, cau­li­flower rice came onto the scene, and the low-carb sub­sti­tute be­came all the rage (and still is!). What started as a niche trend has blos­somed into an en­tire cat­e­gory of low-carb foods us­ing an ar­ray of pro­duce. Here at CE, a few of us edi­tors were chat­ting — over a bowl of broc­coli rice, of course — and we won­dered, how many other veg­gies are out there that can be spi­raled or riced?

We went on a mis­sion to an­swer that very ques­tion, and it turns out you can spi­ral­ize and rice a sur­pris­ing num­ber of foods – more than 30 va­ri­eties. That’s a lot of pro­duce!

Both veg noo­dles and rice are avail­able fresh from most supermarkets, and frozen op­tions abound, too — al­though prepack­aged of­fer­ings tend to be lim­ited to the more com­mon va­ri­eties like zuc­chini, cau­li­flower, beets and squash. To ac­cess the widest range of veg and fruits, you’ll need a spi­ral­izer and a food pro­ces­sor.

Check out page 81 for a cheat sheet on which va­ri­eties can be turned into noo­dles and rice. We also reached out to spi­ral­izer and ric­ing guru Ali Maf­fucci — she re­ally is the ex­pert on the topic — to help an­swer all your burn­ing ques­tions on the best tech­niques, op­ti­mal stor­age and more.

With health trends mov­ing to higher-fat, lower-carb eat­ing, it’s not sur­pris­ing that this move­ment is here to stay. Learn how to spi­ral­ize and rice veg­eta­bles like a pro and use them in whole new ways.


If pasta is your com­fort food of choice, then you’ll want to get fa­mil­iar with veg­etable noo­dles. En­joy your fa­vorite decadent sauces but with fewer carbs and added fiber. The tech­nique varies slightly by model, but with most spi­ral­iz­ers, you sim­ply se­cure the veg­etable into the maker then turn the crank to cre­ate noo­dles. We’ve tried a lot of brands, but our fa­vorite is the In­spi­ral­izer, cre­ated by Ali Maf­fucci. If you don’t have a spi­ral maker, you could use a veg­etable peeler to peel long strands of noo­dles, al­though that takes more time. Also check your lo­cal su­per­mar­ket for pre­made spi­ral­ized veg­eta­bles.


If you typ­i­cally serve meals over rice, then learn­ing how to rice veg­gies could be a boon to your cook­ing. Both fresh and frozen pre­made op­tions ex­ist, but it’s easy to make your own. There are a cou­ple of tech­niques you can use: Roughly chop then pulse the veg in a food pro­ces­sor un­til it reaches rice-size pieces. (Al­ways use raw veg; if you put cooked veg into a food pro­ces­sor, you’re go­ing to get a mash!) For an authen­tic rice shape, spi­ral­ize the veg first then process or cut into rice-size pieces. For firmer veg like beets, both tech­niques work. For softer veg, like zuc­chini, you should spi­ral­ize first and then chop by hand so it doesn’t turn to mush.

It’s veg­etable ma­nia around here – keep this cheat sheet handy!

SPI­RAL­IZE TH­ESE: ap­ple beet bell pep­per broc­coli stalks but­ter­nut squash (just the neck) car­rot cele­riac chay­ote cu­cum­ber daikon melon onion parsnip pear potato radish sweet potato taro turnip yel­low squash zuc­chini

RICE TH­ESE: beet broc­coli but­ter­nut squash car­rot cau­li­flower daikon ji­cama parsnip plan­tain ro­manesco rutabaga sweet potato turnip yel­low squash zuc­chini

Bell pep­per noo­dles make a col­or­ful salad base. Sweet potato noo­dles are a great base for pasta sauces and stir-fries. Ap­ple noo­dles make a gor­geous dessert – try driz­zling dark choco­late over top then sprin­kling with nuts or seeds. Onion spi­rals add vis­ual flair to any salad. Red onions work beau­ti­fully, too! Try parsnip noo­dles with a creamy pasta sauce. Radish spi­rals make a pretty gar­nish for sal­ads and ta­cos. Try toss­ing lightly sautéed cel­ery root noo­dles with pesto for a fla­vor­ful side.

We use spi­ral­ized turnip in our Se­same Turnip Noo­dles (p. 84), but the rice can added to soups and stews to add fla­vor and tex­ture.Car­rot rice pro­vides sweet­ness to a dish – to bal­ance it, try it with sa­vory spices like cumin and chile pow­der. Ji­cama rice has a won­der­fully crunchy tex­ture. Use it as a base for fried rice or in an Asian-style salad. Broc­coli rice makes an ideal base for a bowl; just sauté it lightly in oil with salt and pep­per. Plan­tain rice works well in Tex-Mex dishes. Try plan­tain rice and beans! Both red and golden beets can be spi­ral­ized and made into rice – try it in our Chicken Bur­rito Bowls (p. 82).

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