Are you someone who peels your carrots regardless of how you are going to be cooking them? Or do you do it out of habit? You might have asked yourself, “Do I need to peel carrots?” Well, this solely depends on the recipe you are making and your preferences.
So, to peel or not to peel? We asked the experts, so you don’t have to. And what did they say? Let’s find out!
Do You Need to Peel Carrots?
Deciding to peel this orange veggie is up to you. Contrary to what many believe, peeling carrots is unnecessary because carrot skins are not as thick as other vegetable skins, like beets or potatoes.
As long as you wash and scrub your carrots before preparing them for a recipe, you are likely okay.
On the other hand, some may prefer to cook and eat their carrots without skin. Unpeeled carrots are not as clean-looking or appealing. If you are among those who eat with their eyes first, unpeeled carrots can be a huge turn-off.
Sometimes carrot skins can turn tough, dry, and bitter when you cook them, compromising the dish’s flavor. But again, while some may point out this difference within seconds, others may barely notice it.
Does Peeling Carrots Remove Nutrients?
The number one reason most people leave the carrot skin on is that they believe it contains more nutrients.
Carrot peels contain comparatively higher quantities of niacin, beta-carotene, and vitamin C, but this does not mean the rest of the vegetable has no nutritional value.
The carrot’s intermediate layer (phloem) also contains decent amounts of Vitamin C, fiber, and Beta-carotene. The inner core (xylem) is loaded with most of the vegetable’s magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium. So, you would not lose these nutrients if you removed the skin.
When to Skip Peeling Carrots
Now that we have cleared the common misconceptions, let’s look at instances when you can avoid peeling your carrots.
When juicing, you should make sure you get every last drop of nutrients out from your carrot, including all the good stuff packed in and below the skin.
Stews and Soups
Giving these root vegetables a good scrub and cutting them into chunks is enough when using them in stews, soups, dips, and purées.
Since you are going to be straining out the carrots anyway, using them without peeling in a vegetable stock is a simple option.
Once you roast your carrots in the oven, the flavor will be rich enough that you’ll barely notice the outer skin.
Peeling carrots might still be beneficial in some circumstances. Since carrots are grown underground, they are covered in dirt and toxic chemicals when harvested. Consuming these substances is a risk to your health and can lead to numerous diseases.
Peeling the carrot’s outer layer removes bacteria, dirt, or chemicals. If you still don’t want to peel your vegetables, wash and scrub them properly before adding them to the cooking pot.
Unpeeled carrots have an earthy texture and leave a slightly bitter aftertaste in your otherwise delicious meals. Their skin turns dry and wrinkly after exposure to heat, which can make your side dish and main course a little unappealing. On the other hand, freshly peeled carrots are not only sweeter and tastier but better to look at as well.
If you plan to steam the carrot or use it as a raw ingredient for smooth purees, soups, or baby food, removing their skin before following your recipe is best.
If you do end up peeling the carrot’s skin, don’t be so quick to throw it away. You can use it in various ways.
Here is a list of snacks that you can make using this vegetable’s tasty outer layer:
- Add them to vegetable broth
- Make carrot chips
- Use in pineapple, orange, and beets smoothies
- Make carrot peel pesto
And that’s all there is to know about whether or not you need to peel carrots. This vegetable has an entirely edible and nutritious outer layer that you can eat or peel off, depending on your preference and cooking technique.
Regardless of what you decide to do with the skin, always rinse the vegetable with cold water for at least thirty seconds to wash away any pesticides or harmful bacteria.
We hope this helps you decide whether to use a peeled or unpeeled carrot. Keep stirring the pot with something new and different!
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