Of course, we’re not giving away any secrets when we say that you don’t necessarily have to peel an apple before you bite into it. But some do, and that’s perfectly fine. Because: shell or not shell – in many kitchens that has more to do with habit than with nutritional physiology.
Don’t remove too much of a good thing
In fact, there are often good reasons to leave the peel on – but also for preferring to sand them down before preparing them. Important nutrients are often found in (or under) the peel; but it also applies that sprays tend to accumulate in the same place. Therefore, organic food is better suited to be eaten with the skin on.
In some cases, however, there is no fundamental right or wrong in the “shell question”. The following information is therefore intended as a tip rather than as a rule. If you are one of the frequent peelers: remember that the peels of some types of fruit or vegetables are too good for the organic waste (there are suggestions here, for example: Use apple peels: 6 simple ideas).
You can of course peel cucumbers, but you can also do without. (Photo: Shutterstock/V.Vanacore)
But now for the 13 foods (from A to Z) you don’t usually need to peel:
1. Apple: There is nothing wrong with eating an apple with the peel if the fruit has been thoroughly washed and, ideally, rubbed with a kitchen towel.
2. Eggplant: You can do without peeling here – at least for most recipes it is not necessary to remove the beautiful, purple-colored eggplant skin. That would also be a shame because it would lose structure, flavor and nutrients.
The shell stays on (if the recipe allows)
3. Butternut Squash: In the case of squashes, you can always eat the skin – although the outside sometimes needs a longer cooking time than the inside. Therefore, it depends on the method of preparation whether you should (or not) peel butternut & co. Hopefully the recipe will help.
4. Mushroom: Just because edible mushrooms are often brownish in color does not mean they are dirty. The following therefore applies to mushrooms & Co.: The skin stays on! If you remove them, the forest dweller loses at most taste and firmness. (Of course, you should still clean mushrooms before eating.)
5. Cucumber: If the skin is undamaged, it is sufficient to wash cucumbers: many nutrients are found on or in the skin. If you are worried about pesticide residues, you can of course use the (economy) peeler.
Ginger also goes with the skin
6. Hokkaido Pumpkin: As with the butternut squash, the same applies here: You can eat the Hokkaido peel without any problems – in almost any form of preparation.
7. Ginger: Surprising for many: Ginger can also be eaten with the peel – many important nutrients are even found there. To avoid possible contamination, it is best to grab organic ginger and wash or scrub it thoroughly.
8. Persimmons: You can peel the exotic, shiny orange fruit – but you don’t have to. Simply wash thoroughly, remove the hard stalk and cut into slices. Very ripe persimmons can also be eaten with a spoon.
carrots? Better to stay unpeeled
9. Carrot: The Bavarian State Institute for Agriculture writes: “Do not peel, as some ingredients are located directly under the peel!” Instead, it is sufficient to thoroughly wash and brush the healthy beets before consumption.
10. Potato: Buy and process preferably fresh and undamaged potatoes without green spots or sprouts. Because: In fresh potatoes, hardly any glycoalkaloids (such as solanine) have formed, which in the worst case can cause symptoms of poisoning.
Perfect potatoes can therefore also be eaten with the skin on after cooking. However, children should only be given peeled potatoes.
11. Parsnips: You can also enjoy the carrot relative – just like the carrot – with a peel; just wash and scrub thoroughly beforehand. The same goes for the parsley root.
12. Celery Although it is usually peeled, it is not absolutely necessary. Especially the fine inner stalks taste good even if they have only been washed off. The outer stems, on the other hand, can be fibrous, which is why you should remove the threads there (similar to rhubarb) with a knife.
13. Zucchini: If you leave the skin on the pumpkin fruit, you ensure that it stays in shape during preparation and provides more bite and taste. In addition, there are valuable nutrients in the shell. Confidently ignore the misconception that the zucchini peel could be responsible for a bitter taste: If a zucchini tastes bitter, there are other reasons. Then there is a lot of the toxin cucurbitacine in the zucchini and you should stop eating it.
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