If you’ve scrolled through Instagram, watched any vaguely recent cookery programmes, picked up any foodie magazine or bought any healthy eating cook books within the last year, chances are you’ve seen the famous ‘courgetti’. Otherwise known as ‘zoodles’ or courgette noodles, and is essentially courgette put through a spiraliser or a julienne peeler.
Why is it so popular? It’s a fun way to get an extra vegetable in your diet. It’s popular with those on low carb diets, trying to lose weight or just those who want to eat a hell of a lot more food, without the extra calories (who doesn’t). Along with cauliflower rice, butternut noodles and courgette lasagne sheets, it’s what I would call a ‘volume food’. By this I mean that it’s a very voluminous food – you get a lot of it for very few calories, and because of both it’s high fibre content and volume, it’s fills you up a lot more than regular noodles would.
It makes a great salad alternative for those who aren’t keen on a bowl full of leaves (i.e. me) and can have oodles of flavour chucked at it. The downsides? You need to either take out a small mortgage to have it on a regular basis (slight exaggeration), as we all know, any ready prepared or convenience food comes with an additional price tag. Chuck in the fact it’s a health food and you’ve got a double whammy. Or, you get yourself a spiraliser. This is what I did about three years ago before the courgettirose to fame, and it only cost me a fiver. Thankfully, they have now decreased in price again and you no longer need to spend £20 on a piece of plastic with metal bits in it.
The other major downside is that, because of its high water content, when you cook it, you can end up with a soggy, sorry looking (now very small) pan full of limp green noodle-shaped strands. Which, if I’m honest, I’d rather pass on. So here are my tips on how to NOT end up with the dreaded soggy courgette noodles:
- Don’t cook them for too long. The longer you cook them, the soggier they become. 3 minutes should be the maximum.
- Season after you’ve cooked them. The salt during cooking will draw out even more water.
- If cooking in a pan:
- heat the pan to high, add the noodles and turn the heat down to low-medium
- don’t move them around too much, turning once is enough
- don’t overcrowd the pan – they will sweat like billio
- If cooking in a microwave:
- 1 minute 30 seconds to 2 minutes should be plenty
- turn once during cooking
- don’t cover the bowl
- Coconut flour: this is a miracle for courgette noodles. Its high fibre content and absorbency means that it will soak up a lot of excess moisture coming out of the noodles. Sprinkle over during the end of cooking in a pan, or after they have been microwaved
- Seasonings: much like the coconut flour, these will help both flavour your courgette noodles and absorb any extra liquid. In particular, onion powder and garlic granules.
And there you have it – soggy courgette noodles should now be a thing of the past. Not got a spiraliser yet? Click here to get one from Amazon. I prefer the hand held ones – they’re much easier to clean and don’t steal a section of your kitchen work surface.