Swap Spiralized or Riced Veggies for Starch

In this world of pizza pockets, deep-fried nuggets, and other golden-brown delights, getting the kids to eat more veggies can be an uphill battle.

Which is why I resort to subterfuge. In other words, sneaking in whole foods that resemble their less healthy alternatives – like using spiralized vegetables instead of noodles.

Sure, you can purchase a spiralizer, and then wash, peel and prepare a pile of non-squishy items like sweet potatoes, zucchini, beets, and butternut squash. Or simply buy them already spiralized and save the time.

Because these are ready to use, you can drop them in a frying pan and sauté in a healthy oil like avocado, coconut, olive or sesame. Spiralized veggies are a terrific way to enhance the colour, texture and flavour of your stir fry.

Or simply enjoy them raw in your next salad.

Veggie spirals have other benefits as well. They are high in fiber and naturally gluten-free, which is ideal for those with Celiac Disease or gluten intolerance. And they’re perfect for those adopting a vegetarian or Paleo lifestyle.

I would be remiss in not also mentioning “riced” veggies. These can be prepared in a food processor, where heart-healthy items like broccoli and cauliflower are chopped into tiny, rice-sized bits. Or take the easier route, and purchase them riced and ready to use in your favourite recipes.

One of my favourites is riced cauliflower, which can be used in place of its namesake. No, I won’t suggest it tastes similar, but its appearance and texture works well as a starch substitute.

One of the advantages of riced veggies over rice is that they deliver a small fraction of the carbs. Cauliflower, for example, contains roughly one-sixth the carbs of a similar quantity of cooked rice – which makes it a wonderful option for anybody watching their blood sugar.

Whether spiralized or riced, this new spin on veggies is a great way to pack even more nutrition (and fibre) into your family meals. Try Googling some recipes and let me know how you do!

– Neil

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