Have you ever looked at a vegetable and wondered, "Do I really need to spend time peeling this?"
I certainly have. In fact, I vividly remember going to a cooking class and watching the instructor shred a whole beet with the peel on. I was shocked. I thought you always had to peel beets! But I learned that if you are eating them raw, then it is totally okay to leave the skin on. As it turns out, there are many vegetables we tend to peel when we really don't need to.
So, When Should You Peel A Vegetable?
If your vegetables have any of these three qualities, you will probably want to peel them:
1. The skin of the vegetable is bitter or tough. Think cooked beets, garlic, onions and hard squashes. These types of veggies are generally better off peeled because they taste better without the skin.
2. The vegetable is non-organic and on the dirty dozen list. Vegetables that are on the dirty dozen list contain high levels of pesticides. A lot of the pesticides can reside in the skin, so it is best to peel it off.
3. The vegetable peel is hard to digest. For example, some people experience difficulty digesting the skins of cucumber or eggplant.
Some people also prefer to peel based on taste and texture. But most of the time, peeling is overdone in our society, creating further food waste and unnecessary time in the kitchen.
Here are five vegetables you might be in the habit of peeling, but you really don't need to.
1. Raw Beets
Beets are a nutrient-dense veggie that you can prepare in many different ways. If you are using them raw and shredded in a salad, no need to peel them. Just give them a good scrub and start shredding.
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When it comes to potatoes, whether they are sweet or regular, it's a good idea to leave the skin on. This is because the skin actually contains a lot of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Plus in my humble opinion, the skin on potatoes is delicious!
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Unless you find the peel of a cucumber hard to digest, we definitely suggest leaving it on. Cucumber skin contains a special skin-loving ingredient called silica, and a gut-loving ingredient called fiber.
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4. Delicata Squash
The one winter squash that doesn't require peeling is the humble and delicious delicata squash. Baking it makes the skin so soft that it is completely edible.
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Unless you have an aversion to the skin on eggplant, you can leave it on. The bright purple skin has anthocyanin - a powerful flavonoid.
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So, tell us: What do you think? Are you going to put away the peeler and learn to love the skin? Let us know in the comments below.
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