You Can Eat the Peels of These Fruits and Vegetables

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Whether they're trying to reduce food waste or just up for a trendy (and weird?) culinary adventure, people are exploring the possibility of munching on parts of fruits and veggies that most of us throw away. While not all produce peels are safe to eat, some of them can — and should — be consumed for even more nutritional value. Here are the ones you can consider chowing down on.

First Things First, Wash Your Produce

Peels on produce protect the more delicate inner layers. While some of them are jagged and tough – think: pineapple – others are better suited for eating. In all cases, the outer layers of fruit and veggie items tend to be dirty! If you do want to dabble in eating more peels, don’t forget to give them a good wash beforehand.

Peels You Can Eat, Safely

Some peels have a host of nutrients to offer. Here are our top five foods with peels you can feel good about eating.

Banana: It’s the truth, those bright yellow peels can be eaten raw or cooked. And they pack in plenty of fiber and potassium. The peels tend to be tough and a little bitter, so blending them into a smoothie may be the best way to enjoy them.

Orange: Orange and other citrus peels are good eats. They offer up those coveted essential oils, which are not only flavorful but also super aromatic; those scents are believed to be uplifting. Enjoy these peels candied or grate thin shavings of the rind with a zester or Microplane to add bursts of flavor to beverages, cocktails, pasta dishes, sauces, marinades, grain bowls, oatmeal and yogurt.

Kiwi: It’s a little-known culinary fact that the fuzzy outer layer of this tangy green fruit is in fact edible; kiwi skins contain triple the amount of fiber than the flesh.

Potatoes: You may already be eating the skins of potatoes and sweet potatoes and if so, keep it up. They contain 50% of the taters fiber, plus some potassium.

Mango: According to the National Mango Board, mango peels contains vitamins C and E and fiber. The skins also vary in color which correspond with the different types of cell-protecting antioxidants they possess. Some folks are allergic to mango peel, so proceed with caution. Once reactions have been ruled out feel free to munch on those peels. Slicing mango with the peel on helps leave the tender flesh intact and is a pretty color contrast for garnishing drinks.

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. She is the author of four cookbooks First Bites: Superfoods for Babies and Toddlers, The Healthy Air Fryer Cookbook, The Healthy Instant Pot Cookbook and Healthy Quick and Easy Smoothies.

*This article was written and/or reviewed by an independent registered dietitian nutritionist.

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