The Varietyland Spiral Slicer is shaped like an hour-glass and within each end there are blades - one end has blades for thinner noodles and the other for a slightly thicker version. The end that you use depends on the vegetable you choose and/or the thickness of the noodle you're going for. You just put the veggie in and turn it like you would a pencil in a pencil sharpener and voila! You have veggie noodles!
Granted, some vegetables are better suited for a specific blade but the device comes with a handy, small instruction guide to help new users figure this out. I love the fact that it also comes with the option of two free downloadable e-books filled with recipes and an e-book with more information on the device itself.
My first foray into the world of spiralizing was with white potatoes and in hindsight, even though it's my favourite vegetable, it probably wasn't the best veggie to start with. The white potato, which I had to cut so it would fit into the device, didn't spiralize so much as make little hashbrown-like pieces which then stuck in the spiralizer. They were a little tricky to remove but manageable. I think perhaps my potato wasn't hard enough.
I then tried another favourite vegetable of mine ... zucchini!! I adore zucchini and think it gets a bad rap (at least from my picky eaters). It spiralized like a dream in about a minute. I whipped up a recipe and with the short cooking time involved with these 'zoodles' I came up with a very easy side dish or even a main dish supper idea. I plan to give potatoes another try as well as sweet potatoes, carrots, cucumber, squash, beets ... The veggie ideas are practically endless.
I found the device itself easy to use, easy to store and fairly easy to clean. It comes with a sturdy brush to clean it out so you don't risk knicking your fingers. The Spiral Slicer itself is pretty straight forward - there's only one main piece plus the handy safety cap that has spikes to help you hold the veggie in place as you get closer to the blades. I found it to be sturdy in construction and I love that its made from BPA-free plastic and the sturdy metal handles help you to keep your fingers out of contact with the blades. The life-time guarantee is pretty sweet too.
The Spiral Slicer shreds the outside of the vegetable and leaves a thin core as well as the last bit of base (which the spikes in the cap are holding onto and cannot get close enough to the blades to shred). This means that if you're spiralizing cucumbers you won't get the core with the seeds in your 'noodles'. Some people may complain about wasting the end piece of the veggie but those 'nubbins' of veggies could be used in other dishes if need be.
You can see the cone-shaped zucchini 'nubbin' in the background next to the Slicer.
The zucchini noodles in the bowl were from a small-sized zucchini. Great for one serving.
My only concern with the product is that you are limited to the size of the vegetable you want to use. It works well for long vegetables like zucchini, carrots and cucumber but you'd have to cut down large, round vegetables (ie. potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets) in order for them to fit into the Slicer. And if you're making a big dish for a group it may take awhile to process a lot of veggies. The only improvement I could see with this device is to make the ends a bit bigger to accommodate large vegetables but for day-to-day use of a family this Spiral Slicer should do the trick.
Overall I was very impressed with the product as well as the customer service that Varietyland offers. They seem to be very willing to help their customers enjoy their product and are quick to offer help and comments on Amazon. With the reasonable price I think that the Spiral Slicer is a good addition to the home kitchen. The recipe options for a spiralizer are practically endless for side dishes, salads and even main dishes. For people with gluten sensitivities spiralized veggies make a great substitution for pasta.
Stay tuned for a recipe that I came up with using zucchini noodles and the Spiral Slicer!
Disclaimer: I was offered the Varietyland Very Healthy Spiral Slicer at a very reduced rate in exchange for my honest review of the product. The fact that I received this product at a large reduction in price does not, in any way, alter my opinions about this product.