The Edible And Inedible Peels Of Fruits And Vegetables

Granted, with the current methods by which fruits and vegetables are processed and the way they are laden with pesticides, it would be unthinkable to consume them without first soaking them in baking soda and peeling off the skin.

That’s why it’s important to grow organic, buy organic, and consume organic. Is that really feasible? But that’s besides the point. What nutritionists are discovering is that we are losing out a lot by throwing out the peels because, believe it or not, it’s the peels that are often densely packed nutritionally compared to the fruit.

Logic? The greater the intensity of the colour, the richer the nutrient profile. It is logical, though, to do away with some peels that are inherently indigestible, like those of pineapple, etc., while others can be eaten raw or slightly cooked. But even inedible peels can be dried, powdered, and used as spice for that extra flavour or to make another product like hair oil or a face pack.

Read on to find out about edible fruit and vegetable peels.

Edible Fruit And Vegetable Peels


Banana peels are rich in polyphenols and amino acids like tryptophan but also in unwanted tannins. The solution to avoiding the tannins is to wait a little for the bananas to overripe, which makes the peel more edible. People who eschew meat can find their tryptophan RDA in banana peels. Just like its fruit, the peel can also be pureed and used in baking cakes or making smoothies.



Indians usually do not enjoy carrot peels in their carrot halwa or any subzi too because the peels might contain germs as it is a root vegetable. That is sad because the peels of carrots contain 80% of the total beta-carotene of the entire carrot, along with vitamin C, B3, and other antioxidants. Instead of throwing away the peels, you can use them to garnish your soups and salads, make carrot chips, or simply not peel the carrots at all while making broths, etc.


They are rich in nutrients like vitamin A,C, potassium, and zinc. Eat them along with the fruit the next time or even better, make ice lollies. For the ice-lolly, grind the rinds along with sugar and some lemon juice until it is smooth. Pour it out into ice cube trays and freeze them. Enjoy it cold. 


Sweet Potato

 A whole sweet potato, with its peel, is a great gut-healing food. It’s a great source of fibre and leaving the peel on makes the dish healthier due to all the additional antioxidants.

Bitter Gourd

It is a pity that many people throw away the rinds of the bitter gourd due to their extreme bitter taste, but they are known to have anti-cancer properties much greater than the vegetable itself. Mash the entire raw bittergourd and add salt and chillies for taste to fight cholesterol levels and diabetes. You can use the peel to make chutney, chips, or pickles as well.


Peels That Require Processing To Make It Edible

Raw Papaya/Squash

Papayas can be eaten both raw and cooked. Raw papayas and squashes can be cooked whole with the rind on for those additional nutrients. 



Never throw away the peels again. You can dry them in the sun or microwave for a few minutes, then dry grind them in a mixer. And one can get a really concentrated form of onion or garlic powder compared to its market-shelf versions. They have a long shelf life and can be enjoyed as seasonings.



Potato peels have a lot of fibre concentrated in them. It is known that potatoes are preferably boiled with the skin on to avoid losing nutrients like iron and potassium. Instead of throwing the peels away,  fry the peels into chips and they are as enjoyable as the potato chips themselves. 


Citrus Fruits

Citrus peels contain more vitamin C than the fruits themselves. The peels can be dried and finely ground to be used as toppings in cakes and desserts for that additional tangy flavour.


Inedible Fruit And Vegetable Peels

Pineapple, Avocado, and Lychee

While they may be useful for kitchen garden plants or beauty routines like any other peel, they are ideally not fit for human consumption.