Back to the lesson board! Today: “How to Spiralize & Store Noodles For the Week.”
I often pronounce, “It’s so quick and easy to spiralize vegetables!” Having said that, I realize that I have the luxury of being 26, with no children to take care of nor a husband’s shoes to take off at the end of the day (although I do cook dinner for Lu when he gets home!). Plus, as you should know by now, I quit my job in June and am blogging full time, trying to make the dream happen (updates coming soon!). Needless to say, I understand that “quick and easy” is a relative term.
Luckily, I once did work a 9-to-5 and know what it’s like to come home and not have the time or energy to prepare a meal. While working my previous job, I often struggled with the “Should I just order takeout?” when I got home at 7 or 8pm.
What’s the best way to avoid calling in somewhere last-minute and ordering “the usual” (which is probably unhealthy)? Preparing meals for the week on Sunday evening! Spiralized vegetables are quick to make, so you won’t be spending 4 hours “preparing” food. All you need is 30 seconds – 1 minute per vegetable, and you have one meal down. But how long can cut vegetables last?
Well, I ran a little experiment. I prepared (as in spiralized) a few raw vegetables in advance to make for the week. Some I froze and some I refrigerated. Here are my results:
- Sweet Potato Noodles: Once defrosted (it takes 40 minutes), these noodles had wilted. In this form, after a quick pat down for excess water (there’s very little), they could be eaten raw and have a great noodle texture. Also, they heat up more quickly once they are defrosted – they only take about 2-3 minutes to cook.
- Zucchini Noodles: Becomes a mushy wet mess, does not work. Once defrosted, the noodles are wilted, mushy, and in a cup of water.
- Cucumber Noodles: Same as the zucchini noodles, they also lose some of their fresh flavor.
- Butternut Squash Noodles: Like the sweet potato noodles, the butternut squash wilts and becomes easier to cook once it has been defrosted (it takes 25 minutes). Spiralizing in advance and freezing this type of noodle works!
- Sweet Potato Noodles: They become too brittle and hard and make it more difficult to cook in a skillet. According to this website, “It turns out that the vegetable contains an enzyme called demethylase. The enzyme normally lies dormant, but if the potato is subjected to temperatures below 55 degrees for a prolonged period, it kicks into gear.” That explains it.
- Zucchini Noodles: This works very well, the noodles stay fresh. This is the method I frequently use when cooking many recipes per week. The noodles last about 5 days (perfect for the work week). Moisture builds up slightly, but nothing a little paper-towel-pat-down can’t fix.
- Cucumber Noodles: Same as zucchini noodles, except they leak a bit more water. To prevent this, I patted down the noodles thoroughly prior to storing and that fixed the water issue. Shelf life is about 3-4 days, because of sogginess.
- Butternut Squash Noodles: These noodles ideally hold up for no more than 5 days.
The picture above is of the frozen zucchini noodle cube. Fail.
- Zucchini Noodles in an air-tight sealed container can last refrigerated for up to 5 days, but ideally 3-4 days.
- Cucumber Noodles only can be stored in an air-tight sealed container in the refrigerator for about 2-3 days.
- Sweet Potato & Butternut Squash Noodles can be frozen and will be wilted once defrosted, which is ideal for raw meals or quick cooking.
- Butternut Squash Noodles keep fresh if refrigerated in an air-tight sealed container for up to 4 days.
Did this help? Do you have any other questions about preparing, cooking, eating, and storing zucchini noodles? I’m happy to help!