Should You Peel Zucchini?

It's easy to understand why zucchini is a household staple for vegetable lovers. Available year-round in most supermarkets and incredibly easy to grow in your own home garden, it's a versatile and forgiving vegetable that can be roasted, sautéed, grilled, deep-fried, served raw — you name it — in a variety of dishes. About 90% of the low-calorie, low-carb zucchini is water, as noted by Allrecipes, which is why it's such a popular pick for those on the keto diet and other carb-light eating plans. It's also an excellent source of digestion-aiding fiber

If you happen to purchase a few zukes from your local farmers market, take them home, rinse them until clean, and store them in your refrigerator if they're already ripe. (If not, leave them out on the counter until they ripen.) Once you're ready to make a stew, soup, stir-fry, or even zoodles, be sure not to make one of the mistakes you need to avoid with zucchini. Speaking of which: To peel or not to peel?

You don't need to peel zucchini

Whether you're slicing it, placing it on a sheet pan with some parmesan to roast, or cutting it into chunks to add to a slow-cooked stew, there's no need to peel zucchini, notes The Modern Proper. Unlike tougher, more fibrous vegetables, zucchini has a soft skin that will grow even more tender during the cooking process and is easy to digest. Plus, because the interior of the vegetable is so watery, the skin helps it maintain its shape, especially during longer cooking times. While you can certainly peel your zucchini for aesthetic reasons or for personal taste, it's not necessary.

There's also a nutritional benefit to keeping your zucchini unpeeled. Healthline shares that the vegetable's highest level of nutrients, including powerful antioxidants, is in the skin itself. These include lutein, beta-carotene, and zeaxanthin, all of which may help to fight off cancer-causing free radicals. Those at risk for type 2 diabetes may find zucchini especially beneficial, as its fiber content "may increase insulin sensitivity and stabilize blood sugar levels." Nutrition and versatility considered, it's worth finding some great ways to add zucchini to your diet.