Ali Maffucci on Spiralized and Riced Produce

Clean Eating sat down with spiralizing mogul, “New York Times” best-selling cookbook author and creator of “Inspiralized,” Ali Maffucci to pick her brain about the endless possibilities in the world of spiralized and riced produce.

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Clean Eating: What are your favorite unexpected veg and fruits to rice or spiral?

Ali Maffucci: Cantaloupe is fun if you’re making a greens salad with some goat cheese or feta; in a fruit salad; as an appetizer with prosciutto; or in a breakfast bowl with yogurt and granola. Bell peppers and onions are always crowd pleasers – everyone’s jaw drops when they see how effortless it is to perfectly slice those veggies with a spiralizer. And broccoli stems are great in soups or as a pasta alternative!

CE: How long can spiralized or riced veg last in the fridge? 

AM: For optimum freshness, three to four days, but you can stretch to five if stored properly.

CE: What’s the best way to store spiraled veggies?

AM: If you store the noodles in a glass container, try to fill up the container as much as possible, so there’s not as much air. If you’re using a reusable or plastic bag, squeeze out the air as you seal the noodles. You can store cooked or raw, but if cooked, I recommend storing them without the sauce or else the noodles will get very soggy. Be smart with which veggies you spiralize in advance. For example, you can’t spiralize apples or potatoes in advance because they’ll turn brown from oxidation. The best veggies to prep in advance are zucchini and carrots.

CE: We heard about your technique of making rice out of spiralized noodles. Why would you use this technique over simply pulsing them in the food processor?

AM: When you spiralize the vegetable first, it creates long, thin strands. The food processor cuts these up into smaller pieces. Thus, you get uniform, evenly shaped, ricelike pieces. If you just add a chopped vegetable into a food processor, you’ll get all different shapes and sizes – and they’ll be more cube shaped, not rice shaped.

CE: How do you prevent veg noodles from releasing too much water into your dishes?

AM: First, make sure you cook the noodles separately before adding the sauce (don’t pour the sauce into the same pan as the cooked noodles). After you’ve cooked the noodles in the pan, drain them in a colander to reduce excess moisture. Pat them dry with paper towels, too. When you’re transferring your noodles into bowls, use tongs and let any excess moisture drip. Lastly, you can try adding moisture-absorbing ingredients to your dishes, such as cheese.

CE: When do you have to cook veg noodles/rice?

AM: The only vegetable rice you’d eat raw would be carrot, beet or zucchini. The rest, cook!

Additional Resources:

4 Awesome Ways to Use Your Spiralizer by Ali Maffucci

5 Spiralizers For Every Cook

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