Rutabagas and root vegetables in general, enter into this world with a strike against them from the get-go. They are not the prettiest veggies to grace our plates, shoot, we are even lucky if we get them on our plates. They are uneven in shape, wrinkly, sometimes “hairy”, just a lonely globular root struggling to find its way into your life. They may be ugly but only until you get to experience the wonderful flavors, textures and nutrients that they have to offer.
This particular root belongs to the family of cruciferous vegetables. They are an excellent source of vitamin C, and a good source of potassium, fiber and vitamin A. Rutabagas are low in calories and fat free, which make them a great substitute for regular gluten-filled noodles.
It’s funny how when we eat a food, we feel the need to compare it to some other food in order to understand its flavor. Not even to just describe it but for our own brains to understand what we are eating. So with that in mind, to me the rutabaga reminds me of a cross between cabbage and a turnip. It is crisp, juicy and tiny bit piquant. Piquant is my word for the day… having a pleasantly sharp taste or appetizing flavor.
Perhaps growing up you had a bad experience with rutabagas or simply root veggies in general… Maybe you were forced to eat them against your will. They were undercooked, overcooked, or it just looked at you funny… If it has been a coons-age since you last tried one, I urge you to stretch a little, forgive and embrace this forgotten vegetable. We all deserve another chance in life, or two or three or… :)
The larger the rutabaga, the stronger the taste so if you are new to trying them out, perhaps starting with the smaller ones would help to break in thee ole’ taste buds. Look for firm roots that are free of soft spots or cracks in the flesh.
- Be sure to pick the freshest, in season, rutabaga that you can find. This will ensure that you get the best tasting noodles possible.
- Look for firm roots. If the flesh is mushy, it won’t work on the spiralizer.
- With a potato peeler, remove the outer skin and cut a flat top and bottom.
- Place the unit on the countertop and press down on the spiralizer to engage the suction cups and secure.
- Insert the blade cartridge you’d like to use, make sure that it clicks into place.
- Place the rutabaga onto the cylinder part of the blade and press the teeth of the handle into the other side of it.
- Take hold of the handle on the bottom (the horizontal one) with one hand and then spin the handle with the teeth to spiralize. Press steady with forward pressure, using the handle that you’re gripping, for best results.
- Before dressing up the noodles, take a scissors when you’re done spiralizing and cut the noodles into manageable sized pieces. Just grab a bunch of noodles and roughly snip. Or enjoy that never ending noodle!
- You can make noodles in advance, they should keep for 5-7 days in the fridge, without sauce.
To clean the spiralizer:
- Purchase an inexpensive handled brush for cleaning the blade parts and hard to reach parts on the unit. This will save your fingers and prevent nicks from happening on the blades, keeping them nice and sharp.
- Be sure to quickly rinse the unit after creating noodles. The juices from certain root veggies can stain the unit.
- Dry the blades well before putting them away.
Tools used to create noodles:
GEFU Spiralfix Spiral Slicer 13410 $49.95
- Can be used in the left or right hand.
- 4 different widths of cut for creative recipes: Spiral cut across the entire width of the material, 3 mm, 6 mm or 12 mm wide adjustable via adjusting wheel
- Folding lid for easy filling
- Detachable non-slip holding container for safe standing
- Material: stainless steel, ABS plastic, SAN
- Splash-guard lid with drive unit detachable for easy cleaning. Dishwasher-safe
World Cuisine Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer: Approx. $29
- This slicer comes with 3 different blades which give you 3 complete different textures and shapes.
- This is the one used in the photo above.
Joyce Chen Saladacco Spiral Slicer: Approx. $25
- This is another type of spiral slicer that gives you some different options, such as angel hair thickness.
Potato Peeler: Approx. $8
- Wash and peel the outer skin off of the veggie.
- Hold the veggie at one end and in a long stroke motion, run the peeler from top to bottom.
- Rotate the veggie in a circular motion and continue peeling until you reach the seeded core (if there is one). Stop once you reach this. Don’t throw it away, use it in a smoothie or salad.