TO PEEL OR NOT TO PEEL
TO PEEL OR NOT TO PEEL?
Vegetable and fruit skins are loaded with fiber and nutrients. You
don't want to throw them away unless you have to. Recipes in lots of
other cookbooks tell you to peel potatoes, apples, eggplants and
everything else, whether you need to or not. Use my "rule of thumb"
-- if you can put your thumbnail through the skin, use it!
(That eliminates the tough ones like winter squash and the thick
ones like banana and orange peels.)
Potatoes and carrots just need to be scrubbed; peeling is
time-consuming and wasteful. Apple and pear skins add color and
crunch. Cucumbers look pretty in a salad if you score the skin with
a fork before slicing instead of peeling.
When I make casseroles with eggplants, tomatoes and other vegetables
that are usually peeled, I try them once with the skins left on to
see if it makes an objectionable difference. Usually they're just
fine, and I can save time while adding fiber. If you think peeling
is important for the texture or appearance of your dish, go ahead,
but at least think about it before you automatically throw away
valuable fiber and vitamins.