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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Trader Joe's Zucchini Spirals

Like many children, when I was very young, I was turned off by most vegetables. I ate the basic stuff kids ate—peas and carrots, maybe some steamed broccoli here and there. But I remember being terrified of zucchini. I'd heard of zucchini bread and wondered what kind of sick person would ruin something as delicious as bread by baking a vegetable into it. After eating pan-fried zucchini from our garden once or twice and being relatively impressed by it, I got brave enough to try zucchini bread, too. I thought it was scrumptious. It works for the same reason pumpkin pie works: it's a unique vegetable surrounded by bread and sugar. 

On its own? It may not be quite as dessert-like, but as long as there's some oil and seasonings involved, it's certainly not bad.

Some of you might remember the carrot spirals we looked at last year. Same concept here, except with—you guessed it: zucchini!

I didn't feel like the zucchini was quite as versatile as the carrot, quite honestly—at least in terms of the product pairing with pasta sauces and that sort of thing. When I first heated the zucc spirals per the instructions, I felt the result was a bit too chewy. There was a subtle crunchiness to the vegetable, but there was also a slight stringiness. 

You can see in the picture above that the zucchini maintained its green and white colors after heating on the skillet for about nine minutes, as per the instructions. It still appeared essentially the same as when it's raw. Sonia pointed out that zucchini is a much fleshier vegetable than carrots, and for that reason, she thinks the carrot spirals are the superior product. 

When I fried the zucchini spirals in olive oil, they browned up nicely and got a bit more crisp and flavorful, in the manner of zucchini fries, albeit much longer and thinner. At that point, I was fine eating them with just 21 Seasoning Salute and a bit of extra sea salt, although I'm sure there are plenty of other sauces, dressings, and maybe even grated cheeses that might go with them.

Three and a half stars from Sonia. Three from me.

Bottom line: 6.5 out of 10.


  1. Freezing zucchini is just a bad idea- because it’s such a water logged vegetable the texture really changes. My TJs location also sells fresh zucchini spirals, a large container for $4, but i actually recieved a spiralizer as a gift and make my own.
    The fresh zucchini spirals are great just tossed with some soy sauce and toasted sesame oil and let to sit a half hour or so to soften. I’ll have them as part of an asian themed meal. They also work great in soup to add more veggies

  2. Not nutrient rich enough of a vegetable for me to consider buying it anyway.

    1. Zucchini is pretty good nutrition wise...

  3. I think maybe it can be used in zucchini bread recipes. As a shortcut

  4. I greatly prefer the carrot spirals in spite of the fact that I normally loathe frozen carrots. Go figure.