Recently, there has been a surge in the popularity of zucchini. This prominent member of the squash family has found itself in the center of a wide array of recipes and dishes. This only goes to show how versatile this vegetable is.
There seems to be no end to the creative ways you can include zucchini in your meals. But do you have to spend extra time skinning your zucchini to get to the good stuff? No.
Can you eat zucchini skin? The brief answer is yes, you can eat zucchini skin, just as you would eat cucumber or apple skin. Zucchini skin is not only safe to eat, but it also contains a high amount of beneficial vitamins and nutrients.
This guide will dive deeper into this subject and answer any questions you might have regarding the different ways you can prepare this low-calorie veggie and what you should do with its skin during cooking.
Is Raw Zucchini Skin Safe to Eat?
Zucchini is often mistaken for a smooth cucumber. This is because it is also long and slim with green skin. If you want to know more about the differences, we have another article dedicated to zucchini vs cucumber.
But is zucchini skin safe to eat, like cucumber skin? The short answer to that is yes, it most certainly is. However, we would be doing you a disservice if we failed to delve deeper and explain this answer in detail.
It may even surprise you that eating zucchini skin is actually good for you. This is primarily due to the composition of the vegetable itself. Zucchinis are around 96% water. This effectively explains why these vegetables are very low-calorie.
In terms of nutritional content, zucchinis contain high levels of potassium and fiber, along with vitamin C. That said, because of its high water content, most of these nutrients are found in the skin.
While you may be tempted to remove the skin, you will also be running the risk of letting it fall apart structurally, as zucchini can turn into mush during cooking without the skin holding everything together.
Should You Wash Zucchini Skin Before Eating It?
It is worth noting that store-bought zucchinis sometimes come with the entirety of their skin covered in wax. This is something that you may have noticed in the past and has led to you asking this question in the first place.
If this is the case, then you need to ensure that you wash the vegetable as thoroughly as you can before cooking.
This is a typical problem that comes with non-organic vegetables. More often than not, this wax can contain trace elements of the pesticides used during cultivation. Be sure to take extra care and prepare your dishes carefully.
If you want to be extra sure your zucchini is pesticide and wax free, you may want to use a vegetable wash or vinegar solution. In our article on how to wash strawberries, we explain the importance of washing your fruits and veggies.
However, just to reiterate, we highly recommend that you eat the skin on your zucchini. It is perfectly safe to eat raw, and you can even mix it with the rest of your salad greens.
Despite its appearances, zucchini skin is incredibly soft, thin, and easy to consume. From zoodles to zucchini bread, keeping some skin in the game will be a great benefit to you.
Preparing Zucchini – What Do I Do With the Skin?
Zucchini is characterized by its mild flavor. This is one of the reasons why they are so versatile. Because of their neutral flavor palate, they can easily act as something of a blank canvas.
The nearest parallel that comes to mind is tofu. Like zucchini, it has the ability to accentuate the flavors that come from the sauces, spices, and ingredients that are paired with it.
As a home cook, this opens up a myriad of possibilities just waiting to be explored.
On that note, we have come up with a handy guide on how you can prepare this vegetable in various ways, including making zucchini boats, baking, and grilling.
With every method, we’ll also focus on what you need to do with the zucchini skin itself.
Do You Eat the Skin on Zucchini Boats?
If you are looking for creative ways to use your zucchinis, then look no further than zucchini boats. As the name suggests, you will need to load your ingredients onto your hollowed-out zucchinis.
To do this, you will need to make sure that the insides of your zucchini are properly removed and cleaned. As we’ve stated previously, the skin on the zucchini itself is perfectly safe to eat and packs a ton of nutrients.
However, if you are using large zucchinis, then it may be advisable to remove the skin, as it may be tougher and have an unappealing bitterness to it.
This is precisely the reason why we highly recommend using small zucchinis for this type of recipe instead.
Whatever the case, zucchini boats serve as a keto-friendly meal that contains low levels of carbohydrates while delivering on the flavor.
Should You Peel Zucchini Before Grilling?
Grilling is easily among the best ways to cook zucchini. One of the reasons why it works so well is because of the high levels of heat required to effectively grill zucchini, as it has such a high moisture content.
By the end of it, you should have a crisp exterior with the flesh of the zucchini becoming nice and firm.
To achieve these results, leave the skin is intact. You want the right level of crispiness with every bite. To get the best results, make sure that you thoroughly wash the zucchini before slicing it in half lengthwise.
Then, toss it into a bowl with oil, making sure that it is covered, before placing it on the grill. Cook each side for 4-5 minutes.
Should You Peel Zucchini Before Baking?
As mentioned earlier, one of the main reasons why you shouldn’t peel zucchini before baking is the number of nutrients that will end up wasted once you take off the skin.
However, if this doesn’t bother you, then you are most certainly free to peel your zucchinis before baking them into your bread, muffins, and cakes. When it comes to baking, the texture and taste can easily affect your eating experience.
If you are easily bothered by the gritty texture of veggie shreds in baked goods like carrot cake, then it might be advisable for you to peel your zucchini beforehand.
As you would expect, baking effectively helps avoid another problem you’ll face when peeling the vegetable. Specifically, the negative impact peeling has on the zucchini’s structural integrity becomes irrelevant.
This is because, unlike other cooking methods, baking entails mashing your ingredients into the dough to give it the desired flavor.
How to Peel Zucchini
While Zucchini skin is perfectly safe to eat, there may come a time when you may want to peel the vegetable before cooking.
However, if you are smart about food management, you can just as easily save the peeling and turn it into a nice and crispy snack later on.
Regardless of what you plan to do with the peels, you should know how to go about this task efficiently. After all, the last thing you want is to let the rest of the vegetables go to waste.
To peel zucchini, you’ll need these things:
- Vegetable Peeler
- Sharp Cutting Knife
- Chopping Board
Once you have everything you need, you can then proceed to peel the zucchini. The entire process is the same as peeling potatoes or apples.
Make sure to follow these steps as closely as you can:
- Wash the zucchini as thoroughly as possible. Make sure that any waxy residue is completely gone.
- Cut off the ends of the zucchini as you would an onion, taking half an inch off both ends.
- Take your vegetable peeler and run it down the entire length of your zucchini.
- Repeat the process until the entirety of its green skin is gone. Ideally, you will want to take off the long, green strips of zucchini skin with every stroke.
By following these steps, you should end up a perfectly peeled zucchini.
A lot of people are giving zucchinis a try. However, not everyone is immediately familiar with the specific ways that you can eat it. Hopefully, this guide was able to answer the question: can you eat zucchini skin? So, be sure to remember the tips we have presented here.