The pros: Trader Joe's Zucchini Spirals are frozen, ready in about 10 minutes, and as easy as can be.
The cons: Trader Joe's Zucchini Spirals gave up a lot of water, the box indicates that there are 4 servings and I ate the whole thing in one sitting, and is a bit expensive for what you are getting here.
The verdict: Zoodles. Cauliflower Crust. Trader Joe's knows how to put their finger on food trends. I'm sure it will be a matter of time before we see Avocado Ice Cream. Today's trendy item is Zucchini noodles. They do have another spiralized item that is best served a bit al dente: Carrot Spirals. I guess those were the dress rehearsal for these.
Zucchini and carrots don't freeze the same way. Trader Joe's already offers Zucchini Fries in the freezer aisle. The texture of those fries wouldn't work on these "zoodles." However, the way they are spiralized, it manages to work. But the cooking process might scare you a bit. I placed mine frozen into a pan with no oil and covered it for the recommended time. As the earliest time approached I still had a pretty solid block of ice in the middle of my spirals. I mixed them up a bit to speed to the process along and gave them another minute or two. When I removed them from the pan there was a lot of water left behind.
I was pretty convinced that I had managed to overcooked them in the allotted time. Fortunately, that was not the case here. The were al dente and tasty. I enjoyed mine with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. They were a really good substitute for noodles, especially at 15 calories per serving or 60 calories for the entire box. Which is far better than the untold hundreds of calories that can be easily consumed in one sitting of pasta.
Now, here is the bad part. I'm not convinced there were 4 servings in the box. Yes, you could divide this in 4 servings, but they would be very small. I think 2 side servings would be a more accurate description here. If you like your bowl of pasta (I know I do), then this is a servings for 1. At nearly $3 for one servings of veggies, this is a bit pricey. I felt like a lot of the product was water sitting at the bottom of the pan. Which is a bummer.
For $2.99 this product is going to walk the line between taste, practicality, time, and your pocket-book. The taste was good. It was easy as long as you accept the fact you'll have a watery pan. If you don't have the time to spiralize it's easy as can be. However, unlike the al dente carrots spirals, these did not have me feeling as full. So be ready to pay a premium for a dish that is easy to consume but if you are having company you might need a few of these boxes.
Here is the visual run down of what you get if you buy this product:
The box of Trader Joe's Zucchini Spirals:
The nutritional information and the ingredients:
How Trader Joe's describes these and how to prepare:
Out of the package you get:
After being cooked you get:
Would I buy this again? I'm a maybe on Trader Joe's Zucchini Spirals. I think the fact that I polished off the entire box in one sitting and the price at $3 would make this a bit pricey for anyone in a family larger than 2. At that point you are better off spiralizing it yourself (unless you are that person who lets zucchini sit around in the refrigerator until it needs to be placed in the compost). Overall, weigh your needs in terms of time and money.
Want to see more items I've reviewed from Trader Joe's? Click on Thoughts & Reviews of Trader Joe’s for a searchable list.
Did you try it? Let me know what you think in the comments section!