Should We Peel Carrots?

I know there are a number of people out there with the question, “Should we peel carrots?” Well, to answer the question in the simplest way, carrot peels are perfectly safe to eat. But even if you’re an avid carrot peeler, there are circumstances where peeling is truly unnecessary and others where you may want to peel them. All that is discussed in the video below. A copy of my video notes is below the video link. Enjoy!

I hope this helps,

Should You Peel Carrots?

Do you have to peel carrots? Can you eat carrots with the skin on? Should you eat carrots without peeling? These are questions that many people have. Well to answer that in a word: NO…you do not need to peel carrots. Carrots are perfectly safe to eat with the peel, as long as they are thoroughly washed. So scrub them well to remove any dirt and debris, and also cut off the stem end and any areas that don’t look fresh.

Even if you’re an avid carrot peeler, here are circumstances where you really don’t need to peel:

1. When you’re making stock. They will be strained out anyway!

2. When you’re juicing carrots.

3. When they will be pureed. (Who would know they weren’t peeled?)

4. When they’re in a thick and chunky stew.

5. When they’re roasted (with the change in color/texture, the peel would be unnoticeable).

6. When they will be grated or finely chopped.

7. When you’re trying to get the most nutrients from your food. Vitamin C is most concentrated in the peel and immediately below the peel. Whether it’s peeled or not, it’s still very nutritious, but why not take advantage of the added nutrients in the peel?

So when would we want to peel carrots?

1. If you’re buying standard-grown carrots, those grown with the use of chemicals, those chemicals may be concentrated in the peel. So, if you want to avoid eating any added chemicals, in this case you may want to peel your carrots. Note that scrubbing them well under running water or soaking them for 15 minutes in a vinegar or baking soda solution will also remove most of the chemicals from the surface. Rinse and scrub them well after soaking in these solutions. No worries with organically grown carrots.

2. Some people find that carrot peels have a bit of bitterness to them. If you are in this camp, then by all means, peel away if this bothers you! It’s more important to enjoy your food than struggle to eat something you don’t like. Or even worse, to avoid some nutritious food because the peel doesn’t taste good to you. In this case, peel them if that’s what it takes to eat them!

3. Appearance. Peeled carrots certainly look nicer than unpeeled carrots. If you’re presenting raw carrot sticks to guests or taking food to some special occasion and you want your food to look its best, then peeling them may be something you want to do.

Whichever way you prefer to go…to peel or not to peel (THAT is the question), just know that as long as they are scrubbed well, and they look fresh and are blemish-free, there’s not a food safety issue with eating unpeeled carrots.


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