One of the most tedious parts of cooking and prepping for a meal is peeling the veggies. But we can actually skip this chore with certain vegetables because using them with the peels on can add nutrients and fiber to your food.
Registered dietitian Amy Gorin says you miss a lot of fiber, vitamins, and minerals by peeling veggies like carrots, potatoes, and zucchini. “We get a lot of our nutrients from the parts of the produce that are the most colorful,” she explains, “and these are often the skins of vegetables.”
Sure, you’ll still get nutrients if you peel something, just not as much. Like with a baked potato – with the skin on, you get seven grams of fiber, but a peeled and boiled potato only offers 5.4 grams. It’s a small difference, but who wants to peel potatoes anyway?
Of course, sometimes you’ll want to take that peel off to get the results you want - like when you’re making mashed potatoes - or at least use a potato with thinner skin. And there are certain veggies that always need to be peeled - ones with thick skins, like winter squash, rutabagas, and turnips. But you don’t need to peel eggplant, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, or celery. And we’re happy to save that time in the kitchen whenever we can.