Using a Peeler Safely
By design, a peeler is going to be sharp. This is why it's important to exercise a little precaution whenever using one. The slightest slipup can easily cut a finger or two. Safety is essential here. Let's go over some of the key safety points to exercise when using a vegetable or fruit peeler:
- Be sure to always wash your vegetable or fruit prior to peeling. Washing will reduce the likelihood of dirt and or bacteria appearing on your fresh produce. Do not wash after peeling as this can wash away important vitamins and minerals.
- Always use a sturdy chopping board. This will prevent ingredients from slipping. It'll also allow you to discard peeling easily once you're finished.
- Make sure to use both hands to keep your fingers safe from the blade. Hold one end of the vegetable or fruit in one hand, or hold it in position on the chopping board, and the peeler in your other.
What Vegetables and Fruits Should I Avoid Peeling?
A number of fruits and vegetables hold a lot of nutrients in the skin. Here's a rundown through some of the ones you won't need a peeler for.
- Cucumbers: Nearly all of the fiber, vitamins and minerals found in cucumbers come from yeah, you guessed it, the skin. Peeling the skin from these would be akin to drinking a glass of water as cucumbers are mostly water!
- Pears and Apples: This is a controversial one as so many folks choose to peel the skin from their apples. Peeling these would be stripping away a lot of minerals, vitamins and a large portion of fiber. A Zyliss Apple Divider serves as an excellent alternative for cutting your apple while preserving its minerals and vitamins.
- Tomatoes: Although the skin of tomatoes can appear heavy to some, it's best to keep these on. Their skin is extremely rich in phytochemicals that are important for our bodies.
- Kiwis: That's right - kiwis! Given the fact that a large amount of people are unaware that the skin is in fact edible, it's high in fiber, antioxidants, and folate. Be warned however: the texture will take some getting used to!
Other vegetables and fruits that aren't worth peeling would be: peaches, eggplants and zucchini.
How Do I Peel Carrots?
- With your vegetable peeler in one hand, start by holding the carrot by its top (also known as the “fat end”), with its tip resting downwards at an angle on your chopping board. Start the peeling movement in the middle of the carrot and press downwards towards the chopping board.
- Once you peel down, peel up (only to the middle). Most of the time, people will only use one of the blades of a peeler. But take a close look at both swivel peelers and Y-shaped peelers and you'll see they have two blades. This layout means you can go back and forth, cutting your peeling time in half.
- Rotate as necessary until the end furthest from you is sufficiently peeled. Now, simply flip the carrot so that you're holding onto the peeled end and repeat the process as before.
How Do I Peel Pineapples?
The safest and easiest way to peel a pineapple doesn't require a peeler. Instead, you can use a sharp kitchen knife. A Chef's knife is your best bet. Grab your knife and cut off the top and bottom of the pineapple. Stand the pineapple up and slice it right down the middle.
- Before moving forward, it's often advised to remove the core of the pineapple that runs right down the middle as it's tough to eat. Take one half of the pineapple and place the edge of the knife and line it up with the edge of the core. Slice down and inwards, and repeat the process on the other half. Remove the core from here.
- Slice each of the pineapple halves in half again, and take each quarter and slice down to the skin (without cutting it). From here, take the edge of your knife and gently glide it between the flesh and skin of the pineapple. Slide the pieces off and discard the freshly removed peel.
How Do I Peel Potatoes?
A Wide Peeler can make light work of removing potato skins. Simply hold the potato in your hand as you would your phone. With the peeler in your other hand, start peeling from the base, gliding the peeler away from you.
Rotate the potato around to continue with the peeling process. You may not reach the top and bottom of the potato's skin. We'll get there in the next step. Be careful not to let the potato slip out of your hand as they can be rather slippery.
Once done, maneuver the peeler around the top and bottom of the potato, going over any pieces the first steps were unable to peel. You might find it easier to switch to a smaller swivel peeler for this.
How Do I Peel Butternut Squash?
Squash can be quite difficult to peel. We recommend softening the skin of your butternut squash before attempting to peel.
Slice off both ends of the butternut squash using a Santoku or Chef's Knife and safely pierce it all over with your fork. This will allow steam to escape as it softens for a minute or two in the microwave. Either allow the squash to cool, or, if you're in a rush, grab a hand towel to handle it.
You may find that the peel simply falls off with very little pressure. If it requires a little extra effort, grab your peeler and simply slice down the length of the squash until it's all removed. Once peeled, cut and cook it any way you like!
Become a Peeling Pro
Having the right kitchen tools can help make peeling fruits and vegetables a quick and enjoyable process. Whether you're a regular at making fruit salads or just want to get the best roast potatoes possible, why not consider investing in a comprehensive set of peelers and a high-quality knife collection?