TO PEEL OR NOT TO PEEL.txt
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TO PEEL OR NOT TO PEEL?

Diana Mirkin

 
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.

Checked 5/3/07