5 Fruits And Vegetables You Shouldn’t Peel

by Kristen Keen, MBA, RD, LDN

Last Updated: July 8, 2021

It’s important to eat produce throughout the day. Luckily, fresh produce is easier to get our hands on and more affordable during the summer. With everyone’s busy schedules nowadays, we know it’s important to make getting fruits and vegetables on your plate as easy and convenient as possible. One time saving tip is to stop peeling certain fruits and vegetables. When we keep the peel on produce that has an edible peel, we can add valuable nutrients into our day that we would miss if we peeled them. Below is a list of five produce to rethink peeling.
  1. Peaches
    Peaches are a wonderful snack and meal addition. Pairing peaches with a handful of nuts for a snack or topping your oatmeal with cut up peaches can add a boost of nutrients to your day. When diving into a peach, do you typically cut, peel, or eat it like an apple? Let’s rethink peeling a peach when we add it to our next snack or meal. Sometimes it is hard for folks to get past the fuzzy texture of a peel but rinsing it underwater to clean it before eating can help remove some of the fuzz. The peel on the peach contains fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Here are some peach inspired recipes:

    Corn and Peach Salad with Feta and Mint
    Grilled Chipotle Shrimp & Peach Tacos with Loaded Peach Salsa
    Pêches Grillées (Roasted Peaches)
  2. Acorn Squash
    Smaller thinner flesh squash typically has edible skin like zucchini, yellow squash, and even acorn squash. The trick to preparing an edible acorn squash skin is the cooking method. Roasting is the preferred way to prepare a tasty acorn squash skin, but you can also sauté, bake, or use a slow cooker. Whether you like to slice your acorn squash into thin strips, dice it into cubes, or roast it whole-- go for a bite of that skin! Below you can find acorn squash inspired recipes:

    Clementine Pecan Acorn Squash
    “Baked” Acorn Squash with Lemony Quinoa
    Chickpea and Brussels Sprouts Stuffed Acorn Squash
  3. Kiwi
    I know what you are thinking, how can the skin on kiwi be edible? Surprisingly, it is! Not only is kiwi skin edible, but it’s also packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Similar to the skin of a peach, a kiwi’s skin has fuzz on the outside. Just like a peach, rinsing a kiwi under water and rubbing it can remove some of the fuzz. Cutting your kiwi in different shapes and sizes can also help if you’re having trouble with the fuzzy skin. Below are some ideas on how to incorporate kiwis into your next meal:

    Lemon Turmeric Fruit Salad
    Dessert Cowboy Caviar
    30-Minute Roasted Salmon with Kiwi Salsa
  4. Potatoes
    The skin on a potato (whether it is a white potato, gold potato, sweet potato, or red potato) is where a lot of its fiber lives. Rethink removing the potato skin when we’re making mashed, roasted, baked, or boiled potatoes. Potatoes can be used as the main star of the dish or as a delicious accompaniment while boosting the nutrient profile of the meal. The recipes below use potatoes as an appetizer, main dish, and as a side:

    Salmon Caper Potato Hors d ‘Oeuvres
    Breakfast Stuffed Sweet Potato
    Perfect Fingerling Potatoes
  5. Cucumber
    Growing up, the only way my family ate cucumbers was peeled and mixed with onions in vinegar water. When a cucumber is peeled, however, it removes some of the cucumber’s vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It’s important to rinse all your produce before eating it, but especially cucumbers. Sometimes cucumbers can have a waxy-like outer coating. Rinsing the cucumber underwater can help remove the coating, which improves the taste of the cucumber peel. Cucumbers are a fun way to eat with your hands and can soak up any flavor. Cucumbers and their peels are also a great addition to flavoring your plain water. Check out some of our favorite cucumber recipes:

    Little Fingers Bento Box
    Mini Cucumber Sandwiches
    Smashed Cucumber Salad

Eating the skin of produce with edible peels can increase the nutrient density of the fruit, vegetable, or dish. A good rule of thumb is the smaller the produce the more tender and less bitter it will be. Take eggplant, for example, the smaller the variety, the less bitter it is. For more inspiration on using produce in your meals check out the recipe section at Kroger here.

Disclaimer: This information is educational only and not providing healthcare recommendations. Please see a healthcare provider.

Kristen Keen, MBA, RD, LDN

Kristen Keen, MBA, RD, LDN

Kristen believes having a strong relationship with nutrition is key to having a healthy life and that relationship should center around the power of self-love!