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Edible Fruit and Vegetable Peels

Updated on June 18, 2014

Utilizing Fruit and Vegetable Peels

During food preparation sometimes we discard the edible peels from many of the fruits and vegetables we are using. This is done because we might not know any better. If we are not familiar with consuming the peels of different produce then we wont. Many of the skins are treated as garbage and just thrown into the trash can and then find their way to the landfill. If we have livestock we might feed them the skins or put them on the compost heap.

When we look at different cultures or even our past culture we might see a different way of utilizing what we thought of as disposable. Many parts of a fruit or vegetable is edible. The reason we throw away good food sources is a very interesting subject. This lens will try to show you ways not to waste this type of nutritious food.

Unpeeled Fruit In Bowl
Unpeeled Fruit In Bowl

Eating Fruit and Vegetable Peels

Peelings Have Plenty of Nutrients

We are aware that fruit and vegetables are good for you. Many of us are aware that peels from fruit and vegetables have plenty of nutrients in them. We are concerned about bacteria like salmonella, listeria, and E-coli. We are also concerned about pesticides and wax. Of course you can buy organic buy locally from trusted growers or grow them yourself and still definitely wash them off.

Many fruits and vegetable skins are eaten without concern. We chomp on apples, peaches and pears raw without peeling them and unless you are like Mae West you don't peel grapes. You shouldn't want to, resveratrol the antioxidant in red wine that makes it healthier comes from...you guessed it...fresh grape skins (purple and red mostly). You can get the benefit even if you don't want to imbibe. Certain dried fruits have the skin on it. Pickles made from cucumbers are not peeled.

Some say they have a problem with peels that are from food that is on the ground. We eat greens like lettuce of all kinds and spinach which are on the ground and we eat them raw. Obviously they have to be washed thoroughly to get the grit out from the leaves.

Washing Your Produce

First wash your hands before handling your raw produce to prevent contaminating them. To wash your raw produce you can use plain running water, a store bought produce or vegetable wash or make one with vinegar and water. Some sources prefer equal parts of each others prefer 2 tablespoonful of vinegar to a pint of water it is a personal choice. The FDA only recommends using water when washing the fruits and vegetables, what you use is your decision.The food with the thicker skin can be scrubbed with a vegetable brush (also called produce brush). Others can be sprayed with a vinegar solution or just water and wiped with your hand or lightly scrubbed. The produce is then rinsed. Now all utensils and the work area used must be washed with hot soap and water maybe with a weak bleach solution. This includes cutting board and brush. Finally wash hands and kitchen gloves if you use them.

Washing helps kill a lot of the bacteria but if you let it sit after that they will start to grow back. Freezing food does not kill all salmonella, listeria or E-coli it just slows down the growth. If food is infected before it is frozen it is still infected when it thaws and the bacteria will resume growing at its normal pace. All it takes is cooking the peel with the rest of the food which kills the bacteria.

Take Poll on Washing Your Produce

Do you wash your raw fruits and vegetables?

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Many Uses Citrus Peels

Citrus peels are something folks of different countries have been using for a long time. We use them as zest for baking, soups and stews. We candy them and use them in pastries. We dry them and place them in closets and drawers for the smell. We make them into potpourri. Also we use them as teas. Citrus tea can be mixed with other teas or stand on its own.

You can drink it or use it in bathwater. The recipe usually is to take the fresh or dried rind and steep or boil it in water and served with a sweetener. The dried rind can be mixed with loose tea and put in a tin for future use. The different type of citrus can be mixed to taste. The rinds can be ground up with water and made into a paste. The usage for this is over meats and as face masks.

Zest

Do you use zest in your cooking?

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YouTube on Zest

Poll on Fruit and Vegetable Peel

Do you agree that vegetable and fruit peels can be nutritious?

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Do You Use Fruit or Vegetable Peels for Cooking?

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    • TapIn2U profile image

      TapIn2U 3 years ago

      Love this fun fact: "Washing helps kill a lot of the bacteria but if you let it sit after that they will start to grow back." Good to know. Vital information to share. Fantastic lens! Sundae ;-)

    • DANCING COWGIRL profile image

      Dancing Cowgirl Design 4 years ago from Texas

      Yes. Many times the peel inhances the flavor of foods and is also filling and nutritous.

    • tvyps profile image

      Teri Villars 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      I have a Vitamix and use the peels on just about everything but bananas. Banana peels, I have heard, are poisonous. Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • SMW1962 LM profile image

      SMW1962 LM 5 years ago

      I never knew about this! Thanks for sharing.

    • chas65 profile image

      chas65 5 years ago

      Not as much as we should, but try to eat all the peals I can.

    • profile image

      HajimeAnne 5 years ago

      I generally try to keep the peels on fruits and vegetables, especially when I'm cooking them such as with potatoes and apples in pies. But if I were to use them in smoothies, I could use a powerful blender or food processor to ensure that the peels are pulverized, couldn't I? Thank you for the information you provided.

    • profile image

      soaringsis 5 years ago

      No but after this lens I will. Great info.Thank you for sharing.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 5 years ago

      This is another tremendously informative lens that is now featured on Blessed by Skiesgreen 2012 and also on Health Matters. Hugs

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      no i don't but i will now.and thanks for all this wonderful information.

    • WayneDave LM profile image

      WayneDave LM 5 years ago

      This is a good idea, and it is something more people should do, particularly with the amount of food wastage. I was not aware of using skins/peels etc so this has opened my eyes. Thanks for sharing.

    • MariaMontgomery profile image

      MariaMontgomery 6 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      Yes, I do. I find most of them quite tasty.

    • profile image

      fashionistadiva 6 years ago

      Some of those peel i honestly I didn't know that they were edible!

    • profile image

      RecipePublishing 6 years ago

      Yummy treat for the whole family!

    • profile image

      JoshK47 6 years ago

      Never tried eating a lot of the more unusual peels - I may have to take your advice here!

    • Steve Dizmon profile image

      Steve Dizmon 6 years ago from Nashville, TN

      Great lens. Useful and timely information. We find a use for some peels but not as many as we should. Perhaps this info will be inspiring.

    • ChrisDay LM profile image

      ChrisDay LM 6 years ago

      Great lens, thanks. You do well by us to raise this issue. Yes we do use peels for cooking at home but when we're not doing so, we compost them for our biodynamic garden or feed them to our animals that provide more compost. We only buy organic, so that everything is safe to put back on the land. Waste is not the way to go. Landfill dumps certainly aren't!

    • profile image

      TWOnline2 6 years ago

      yep. i like this lens

    • profile image

      Soulshine_Expressions 6 years ago

      Yes, we do. Informative and well written lens! :)

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Yes we do. I love them but sometimes when I don't know where the vegetables come from, I just peel them. Thanks for these info.

    • EmmaCooper LM profile image

      EmmaCooper LM 6 years ago

      I've also just found out that you can make fruit scrap vinegar, which I'm going to try :)

    • profile image

      bdkz 7 years ago

      Super lens!

    • profile image

      Obscure_Treasures 7 years ago

      What a great collection you have here!,Awesome info and helpful..

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      world best fruitjuice monavie

    • profile image

      brandrocker 7 years ago

      A good lens! Demaw! You are an angel!

    • profile image

      brandrocker 7 years ago

      Very useful lens. Thanks.

    • LadyelenaUK profile image

      LadyelenaUK 7 years ago

      Very interesting - I love peeling mangos and cucumber before I eat them. Didn't know about the nutritional values. Surprised about the plantain. Everyone I know bins them. (Also for Hygiene, they pass through a lot during transportation) Nice Healthy Lens, thanks.

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 7 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      an interesting and informative and well presented lens. 5*

    • The-Java-Gal profile image

      The-Java-Gal 7 years ago

      Loved your very informative lens. 5*s. I use a lot of peels, but did not know about plantain peel. Have bookmarked for future reference.

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 7 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Very interesting lens.

    • profile image

      MartinPrestovic 7 years ago

      I read your lens and enjoyed it. I gave it 5 stars for being very informative and unique. I don't think I will be throwing away anymore veggie and fruit peels now that I know there are lots you can do with those. Thanks!

    • eccles1 profile image

      eccles1 7 years ago

      I watched the YouTube on Zest and Peeling an Orange and learned something new !

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      great lens!

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 7 years ago

      This is a very good lens. The ideas are great. 5* and fave lens rolled to Save Planet Earth

      Norma