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I’ve been searching for a lighter and nutritious substitute for traditional pasta and found just the perfect thing … zucchini noodles, or “zoodles”! What a great way to work more veggies into your diet. Serve it up with your favorite sauces and toppings, and you’ll enjoy a delicious, filling pasta dish that’s packed with nutrients and saves you hundreds of calories per meal.  It’s also a great pasta substitute if you’ve gone gluten or wheat-free.

There are tons of zucchini pasta recipes with mouth-watering pictures out there, and I’ll be sharing some of them in future posts, but I came across some great tips on how to select, store and make zucchini that I hope you’ll find helpful.

SELECT

Zucchinis are available all year long, but they’re best during late spring and summer seasons.

Choose small to medium-sized zucchini with shiny, bright green skin. It should be firm and heavy in hand. The best size for zucchini is 6 to 8 inches length and 2 inches or less in diameter. Minor scratches and bruises on their surface are common but perfectly fine. Avoid overly mature, large zucchini with pitted skin, and those with flabby or spongy textured. And avoid those with soft and wrinkled ends as they indicate old stock and moistureless. Go for organically grown products to get rich flavor and nutrient content, especially if you plan to keep the peel on.

STORE

Zucchini can be stored for up to 2-3 days. Just place in plastic bag and store inside the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator.

MAKE

Making zoodles is pretty straight forward. You can use a spiralizer (like the Paderno World Cuisine Vegetable Slicer; $34 on Amazonir?t=prolineorganic-zucchinitips-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B0007Y9WHQ How to Peel and Spiral Your Way to Oodles of Zoodles), a julienne peelerir?t=prolineorganic-zucchinitips-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00FF75XG4 How to Peel and Spiral Your Way to Oodles of Zoodles (get one with a blade guard; sold pretty much anywhere that sells kitchen stuff) or even a cheese graterir?t=prolineorganic-zucchinitips-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B0007VO0CQ How to Peel and Spiral Your Way to Oodles of Zoodles (though you won’t get the longer noodles that you can get with a spiralizer or julienne peeler.

Search “how to make zucchini noodles” on youtube and you’ll get lots of results. These videos below are my favorite:

In this video, Melissa Joulwan goes over how to peel and scrape your way to a plate of zoodles a with nothing but a julienne peeler. Good tips on how to keep your hands safe!

In this video, Olga from Fablunch shows us not one but FIVE different methods for making zucchini noodles, though methods #4 and #5 look more like rice than noodle. I have a feeling I’ll be getting a spiralizer.

COOK

There are a number of ways to cook zoodles.  This video show a quick and simple way with tips on how to keep the zoodles from getting too soggy.  The recipe calls for salt (seems like too much to me), pepper and parma cheese, but you can sauce it up any way you’d like.  Shows how to easy it is to cook the zoodles.

 

What’s your favorite way to make and cook zoodles?  Let us know in the comments below!

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