A couple we know recently asked us to settle a debate. He always peeled carrots before cooking; she thought it was wasteful and unnecessary. We told them what we do, but we're also curious to hear from our readers. Do you peel your carrots? What about other fruits and vegetables, like cucumbers, eggplants, and squash? We like to eat any peels that are clean, tender, and tasty enough, believing that they contain good nutrients and fiber. Some vegetables, like celery root, have tough outer peels, which we always remove. Parsnips we assess on a case-by-case basis; the best flavor is actually right below the skin, so we try to avoid removing too much. As for carrots, we usually just scrub them well and leave the peel on.
Our decision to peel also depends on where we got the produce and whether it's conventionally or organically grown. Foods like cucumbers, bell peppers, eggplants, and potatoes might also be coated with wax and we'd rather not munch on that!
Emily Ho is a writer, recipe developer, and educator. She lives in Los Angeles, where she teaches classes on food preservation, wild food, and herbalism. Emily is a Master Food Preserver and founder of LA Food Swap and the international Food Swap Network.
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