Friday, May 17, 2013

Appealing Peels

For many fruits and vegetables, the peels or skins have a very high concentration of nutrients, sometimes even higher than the fruits or vegetables themselves!  Plus, it's food you grew or paid for!  Eating peels sometimes takes a little getting used to, but now I generally prefer to eat many of these peels.

Carrot peels- contain the highest concentration of nutrients.  Scrub carrots and eat whole or sliced to take advantage of all the carotene and other antioxidants.
Potato skins- are loaded with fiber, vitamin K, potassium, copper and iron.
Apple skins- Are rich in vitamins A and C. Nearly half of an apple's vitamin C content lies beneath its skin.
Orange peels- contains more than four times as much fiber as the fruit inside, and more tangeretin and nobiletin—flavonoids with anticancer, antidiabetic, and anti-inflammatory properties. Use that zest!
Banana peels- This is the one I haven't yet tried.  Anyone tried this one?  Apparently, they have a lot of fiber and potassium as well.  I guess you can cook them.  If you've tried it, let me know!
Onion skins- Simmer in a stock to get more flavor, as well as antioxidants.
Cucumber skins- have high amounts of dietary fiber.
Eggplant skins- are packed with the phytonutrient nasunin.
Kiwi skins- when eaten, can triple the fiber intake!  They also have a lot of vitamin C. They take a little getting used to, but I really like the extra zip!
Mango skins- have good fiber. Some people are alergic to them.  i usually eat some, but not all of the peel. There are more studies being done on the health benefits, see here and here.

Any fruits or vegetables you don't peel that I missed, or ways you recommend preparing them?


  1. I've always been a happy peel eater. I've never eaten banana peels either! There must be some pleasant way to do that. I've made candied orange peels before. Mmm.

    Love kiwi skins!

    Pineapple husks also contain a lot of nutrients not found in the fruit... but I have no idea how you could eat them. The pineapple core has the same nutrients though, and is more edible. I like dehydrated pineapple core slices, or they can go into a smoothie.

  2. Nice, Ariel! I also eat peels a lot... Most of the time out of laziness. Glad it's so good for me :)

  3. Great reminder! I hate to peel. I've been eating the whole kiwi since 2001 (yes, it's funny that I know the year), and daresay I've made a few converts of it along the way. :)

    I wonder how digestible some of these tougher skins are (pineapple, banana, even mango...?). Might be good in some kind of chutney. Citrus fruits can be fermented whole. You can also dry your peels to save the zest longer term. Anyone ever bitten into an orange? :-/

    I'm a little conflicted about the outside of the carrots containing the highest concentration of nutrients (couldn't see a citation at that website). Though it surely contains great nutrition, I have a hard time seeing it as a "peel" as we typically view them. It seems that you can generally follow nutrition by following color, and carrots tend to decrease in color only gradually toward the center. But-- I was eating a purple carrot the other day, and halfway through, I looked at it from the center, and after a few millimeters, the color started to change to orange, and then to light orange in the very center. It was beautiful (and revealing). Wish I'd snapped a picture. Anyway, all that's just splitting hairs. Great post.