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If you’re gluten free, paleo, or just trying to go low carb, zucchini noodles, or zoodles for short, are a great alternative to traditional pasta. If you’ve never heard of these amazing gems, you’re missing out. Today, I’d like to share with you not only how to make this perfect gluten free pasta, but also how to save it for later and some great ways to serve it.
Zoodles are an amazing alternative to regular pasta. They have the same feel and they don’t share the same strong flavor of spaghetti squash. I’ve not been very lucky with freezing them, but they can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for a few days. They can also be dehydrated like traditional pasta is.
These gems are great for topping with your favorite spaghetti sauce and eating just like typical spaghetti. They don’t take near as long to cook as traditional pasta (in fact, you can eat them raw, and you don’t want to overcook them or they’ll turn soggy) and, like I said, they’re great for the gluten free crowd.
How to Make Zoodles
There are a few different ways to make zoodles, but the product is essentially the same. I prefer a spiralizer, because it’s fun, but just a regular vegetable peeler will do. You can also use a mandolin.
Create the Pretty Zucchini Noodles
To make zoodles, you don’t need to peel your zucchini, just wash it, dry it, and begin. The peel adds a beautiful darker green color to your plate. To use a vegetable peeler, you just want to peel long strips the length of the zucchini. If you have a spiralizer, follow instructions for your particular model. If you’re using a mandolin, just be careful to not slice your fingers while you take the fruit down the length of the tool.
How Much for Each Person?
It’s kind of difficult to judge how much you need to make for each person. One medium sized zucchini per person should be just about enough. If you have some larger ones that were left and forgotten (like I did) one will probably serve 2 or more.
How to Cook Zoodles
Okay, so you’ve made your zucchini noodles, now it’s time to enjoy them! First of all, you do not have to warm them at all, they can be served raw (and they’re very good). But if you’d like to, it’s definitely possible! You do not want to overcook them, though. If you do, they’re likely to taste like mushy overcooked watery nastiness and no one wants that….
My favorite way is to sauté them in a skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil and a touch of salt. It’s quick and easy and great if you’re just eating them as a side dish. I actually like them topped with my delicious spaghetti and meatballs, but some people don’t like the extra oil. If that’s you, try boiling.
If you are wanting just softer noodles to top with bolognese or something similar, you can boil them. It doesn’t take much time at all, and you’ll want to make sure you remove them promptly. To boil zoodles, just bring a pot of water to boil, place the zucchini noodles in the pot of boiling water for one minute and promptly drain them in a colander. Don’t ignore me when I say promptly remove them. They will wind up a watery, soggy mess if you don’t.
How to Store Zoodles for Later
What if you made your zoodles and you don’t want them right now? That’s okay, you can store them for later!
Refrigerate to Use Within 3 Days
If you’re going to be using them up within a few days, you can store them in the refrigerator. Just take a big pan (a big 9X13 like this one will work) and line it with some wet paper towels. Place your zoodles on the paper towels and sprinkle them with just a tad of salt. Top them with more damp towels and store in your refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Dehydrate for Long Term Storage
If you’re not going to be using them up within 3 days, you can dehydrate them. Some say you can freeze them, but I don’t have much luck. To dehydrate, line your dehydrator trays with the zoodles. Dry them at 115ºF overnight (or for about 10 hours). Once dry, you need to place them in vacuum seal containers to remove the oxygen. Yes, you have to do this to store a room temp.
How to Rehydrate Zoodles
To rehydrate your zoodles, bring a pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, remove the pot from the heat and put your zucchini noodles in. Place a lid on top of the pot and allow them to sit for about 12-15 minutes or until the desired tenderness is reached. At this point you can serve them, or add them to whatever dish you’re making.