The more we all learn about nutrition the more we hear that, in most plant-based foods, the highest concentration of nutrition is in the peel or skin. Is this true for avocados too?
Can you eat avocado skin? The truth is that you can eat the skin of avocados, but it’s not very enjoyable. While avocado skins are packed with nutrition, they have a rough texture and a bitter and unpleasant taste.
However, there are ways to strategically get the benefits of the nutrition from avocado skins into your diet and, in this article, we’ll discuss how and why you might consider eating avocado skin.
Should You Eat Avocado Skin?
If you’re considering the safety of avocado skin, it may be because you accidentally ate avocado skin and what to know if it’s going to make you sick. If that is the case, you can rest easy.
Though most people don’t eat avocado skin, it is entirely safe to do so.
But should you eat avocado skin? The answer to this is a bit more tricky and we’ll look at it from a few different angles in an attempt to answer fully.
Is Avocado Skin Edible?
Is avocado skin poisonous? No. That doesn’t necessarily make it edible, though.
It’s not like apple or peach skin, where you can bite straight into the fruit and barely notice the taste of the peel. The peel of an avocado is quite thick and fibrous, almost like thin tree bark. It’s also quite bitter and not very appetizing.
Chewing it isn’t likely to get you very far, but you can grind it using a pestle and mortar or blend it into a powder or paste using a high-powered blender. If you’re going to try to eat avocado skin as it is, try a smooth-skinned variety.
The peel of an avocado does have a compound called persin, which is toxic to animals, particularly livestock. It’s not a great food to offer to your horse, let your chickens nibble on, or include in your pig slop.
Nutritional Benefits of Avocado Skins
As with most fruit, a great deal of nutrition is kept in the outer layers of the skin and flesh. As a general rule, the darker the color, the higher the concentration of vitamins, specifically antioxidants, phenols, and flavonoids.
Avocados are also a rich green color, which indicates chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is what is responsible for plants growing strong and healthy and it is thought that it can help humans stay healthy as well.
As you might imagine, the tough, leathery outer peeling of avocados is also a rich source of fiber, which is useful for proper digestion, gut health, and weight management.
Eating Avocado Skin
One way to eat avocado skin is to crush or blend it into a paste or powder, depending on how dry it is. You can then add it to a smoothie, dip, dressing, or another similar type of recipe.
If you need to dry it out more to make it easier to pulverize, you can dry it in your oven at 200-250 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour.
Check it frequently to avoid burning it and only heat it for as long as absolutely necessary, as the temperature will slowly degrade the nutritional value.
To make things even easier, you can simply halve or quarter your avocado and blend it with the skin intact with the rest of your recipe ingredients.
Save yourself a step in the preparation process and don’t bother skinning it in the first place.
Avocado skin has a quite bitter flavor, so be aware that no matter what you add it to, the bitterness will alter its flavor. If it’s not entirely powdered before you use it, you also risk having small, leathery chunks of peel in your drink or dish.
How do You Peel an Avocado?
If the texture and/or taste is too much for you to enjoy, you can get a great deal of the most important nutrition by simply scraping the flesh of the fruit out of the skin as carefully as possible.
Many people peel the skin off an avocado, which is easy to do when it’s perfectly ripe, but it may take some of the dark green portion of the flesh with the peeling.
The creamy avocado fruit that is closest to the peel will have the most nutrition, so don’t limit yourself to just the lighter portion.
You may also want to avoid slicing the avocado out with a knife, as you’ll likely still leave a layer of the dark green flesh stuck to the skin.
Instead, cut your avocado in half and use a knife to pull out the pit. Then take a spoon and scrape out the fruit, getting as much off the skin as possible. Remember, the darker the color of the fruit, the more nutrition is included.
Avocado is not the least expensive fruit on earth and has a pretty short shelf life, so it just makes good sense to savor every last delicious morsel.
Can Dogs Eat Avocado Skin?
While avocado skin can be dangerous for livestock, if your dog gets ahold of a small piece and accidentally eats it, it’s unlikely to cause severe issues.
Too much can cause digestive issues because of the rough texture and the high amount of fiber, but a small accidental taste should be safe.
It’s not a good idea to feed your dog avocado skins regularly and, if you’re ever concerned about how much they consumed, call or visit your vet to be safe.
Can You Compost Avocado Skin?
You can compost avocado skin because it is entirely natural and will eventually biodegrade, but it will take a very long time.
If you have a long-term compost that is turned over year after year, you can throw some avocado skins in there and they will eventually break down and add their nutrition to your soil.
However, if you plan on using your compost within a year or even two, it’s not a great practice to add your avocado skins and they’ll still be solid within that time frame.
You can, however, puree the skins before adding them to your compost, in which case they’ll be great for added nutrition.
What is avocado skin called?
The skin or peel of an avocado is the exocarp. Avocado is a simple fruit, made up of a seed and a pericarp, which is divided into 3 parts.
The part of the fruit that we generally consider the edible portion is the mesocarp.
There is also a very thin layer called the endocarp, which is essentially the skin that protects the seed of the fruit.