Have you recently heard that zucchini is a healthy substitute for starch-heavy pasta and are interested in checking it out? If so, you're probably wondering how long to cook those zoodles and some great methods to try. Grab your squash and spiralizers because we've found all the best zoodle prep methods and have several slices of information for you!
Zucchini noodles, also called zoodles, are versatile and can be cooked in a variety of ways. They can be boiled within one minute. Bake or oven-roast them for ten minutes at 400 degrees. Try sautéeing from two to three minutes over medium heat. You can even throw them on the grill for about ten minutes for a nice rustic flavor!
So, what are some great cooking tips for zoodles? What's the best way to prepare zucchini noodles? Are zoodles healthier than pasta? Keep reading to dig further into the juicy details!
Popular Cooking Methods And Times
While the list of things you can create with zucchini noodles is unlimited, remember that this particular squash has high water content. It's quite fragile and easy to overcook, leaving you with a soggy mess if you're not alert. On a positive note, this also means that it never takes long to cook your zukes.
Sautée in a skillet
From buttered parmesan zoodles to stir fry, sautéeing in a pan or skillet is a popular option. It's fast and doesn't require a lot of dishes to clean up afterward. Preheat a non-stick or cast-iron skillet to medium-high heat. Once warm, toss your noodles in with a 1/2-teaspoon of olive oil. Cook until zoodles are soft, normally two to three minutes, stirring often. Drain in a colander. Then, you can add your desired sauce, butter, tomato sauce, or anything your specific recipe may call for. This will help keep the zucchini's excess moisture from causing a soggy meal!
Bake or roast
There's nothing that hits the spot like a gooey zucchini lasagna or a pan of crispy roasted zoodles! While individual recipes will vary, expect to cook at temperatures ranging from 375 to 425 degrees. Time can be as short as ten minutes all the way up to forty-five, depending on the particular dish. You'll want to already have an oven-safe pan, such as glass, on hand for this method.
It's hard to resist that somewhat smoky, rustic flavoring that comes from grilling. If you love to fire up the backyard grill, those zucchini noodles can taste amazing. Make sure you either have a veggie tray, aluminum cooking pan, or aluminum foil available before you start. This will keep your zoodles from falling through the grate. Toss with a bit of olive oil and any seasonings you prefer, then place on the rack for roughly ten minutes. Turn often to prevent burning.
Boil in water
Because this method's results can easily end up watery, it is normally best utilized when making soups. Bring a medium-sized saucepan to a rolling boil. Add noodles and cook for one to two minutes. Afterward, drain using a small colander or strainer. Pat dry on a paper towel if excess moisture remains.
What about some mouth-watering examples?
It would just be plain rude of us to tempt your taste buds like that and just walk away! So, because we love our readers, here are a few recipes that caught our eye during the research process:
- Healthy Recipes offers a keto-friendly Zucchini Noodle with Butter and Parmesan in all its garlic goodness.
- For a crunchy side, take a look at Sumptuous Spoonful's Curly Zucchini Fries.
- If you're craving an Asian flair, Gimme Delicious has an Easy 10 Minute Asian Zucchini Noodle, ready to go.
Choosing the perfect zucchini
Before you hop in the kitchen to whip up some scrumptious meals, though, it's important to first know how to pick the best product for your dish. Zukes are a type of summer squash with soft, completely edible skin. Look for those that are about six inches or under in length. The zucchini should be firm to the touch and free of scrapes or bruises. The stem end should be slightly moist. If the zuke is mushy, yellowed, or smells bad, don't buy it.
What's the best way to prepare zucchini noodles?
Now that you've gathered the best zukes available, it's time to discuss the most effective ways to transform them into zoodles. Let's go over a few!
The spiralizer is by far the easiest and most time-efficient method of creating beautiful zucchini noodles. The vegetable is held in place by a clamp located over a grinder. As you turn the hand crank, long curled ribbons of noodles accumulate on the side of the device. This is a wonderful way to get consistent cuts worthy of any restaurant with little effort! Another great benefit of spiralizers is the fact that they come with several different types of blades. They're also quite inexpensive. Click here to see Brieftons 5-Blade Spiralizer on Amazon.
The mandoline slicer is an extremely effective way of creating zucchini noodles, amongst many other foods. Veggies are sliced lengthwise by being passed over very sharp cutting grates. Like the spiralizer, you will get clean, consistent strips. Because mandolines can easily slice your fingers to the bone if you're not careful, we recommend a unit that includes cut-resistant gloves. Click here to see Stainless Steel Mandoline & Gloves on Amazon.
Using a short, sharp blade such as a paring knife gives you full control over the zoodle's size and consistency. Wash and peel your zucchini first. Cut off the ends and discard them. Utilizing intelligent knife safety guidelines, slice lengthwise down the veggie at your preferred thickness. For spaghetti-sized zoodles, aim for long but reasonably thin strips. Click here to see a Classic Paring Knife on Amazon.
Most of us already have one of these hiding in our kitchen drawers for use on potatoes and carrots. If you don't mind ending up with some wider, fettuccine-like slices, a regular veggie peeler will work just fine. For ease and safety, peelers with stainless-steel swivel blades and non-slip handles are recommended. Click here to see a Swivel Peeler on Amazon.
Another device you can utilize is the box grater. If you love freshly grated cheese, we bet this can already be found in your cupboard! Grating will produce more of a thin, shredded noodle than the spiralizer or peeler. Just be slow and careful, as their nickname of knuckle-busters was aptly earned! Click here to see a Box Grater on Amazon.
Do zucchini noodles have carbs?
Although zukes do contain some carbohydrates, they are still considered low-carb friendly and are commonly used in keto diets. USDA estimates that zucchinis contain roughly four to six grams of carbs, with one to two of those being fiber. Obviously, this is dependent upon the size of the produce in question. A larger squash would contain more carbs than a smaller one. A good guideline is to estimate about four grams of carbohydrates per one cup.
Are zoodles good for weight loss?
Zucchini noodles are a wonderful addition to any diet. They can aid in weight loss and general health in many ways. They're extremely low in calories but packed with nutrients and extra water. Zoodles also contain fiber, which can help you feel full longer and eat less overall. Because it's full of vitamins like B6 and C, it can boost your energy levels for added workouts and keep your immune system stronger!
Are zoodles healthier than pasta?
Noodles made from veggies such as zucchini are much healthier than regular pasta. Let's look at the comparisons.
Common pasta contains around 45 grams of net carbs per one cup. Conversely, that same cup, if filled with fibrous zoodles, would only add up to approximately five carbs! Intake of extra carbohydrates is known to make you sluggish and even more hungry.
We all know that calories dictate weight gain and loss, which is one aspect of general health. One serving of zoodles adds up to somewhere between 30 to 40 calories. A cup of pasta can cost you a whopping 210 calories! And because of the size of the portion, you can severely slam some caloric boundaries with regular noodles to feel full.
Our bodies crave vitamins, a requirement to function properly. Pasta contains almost no nutritional value other than a tiny bit of protein. On the other hand, zucchini is loaded with A, B, and C vitamins. It also offers manganese, potassium, lutein, and others!
The end of our zoodle journey
Zucchini noodles are a stellar addition to anyone's culinary repertoire. Not only are zukes one of the healthiest foods on the planet, but they can also be fully cooked within one minute or baked in a delectable dish in forty-five. Long live the zoodle!
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