Peel Fruit or Not?

I often get questions on which fruits to peel or not for smoothies. My answer may surprise you, and I’ve got the tools you need to succeed.

Most of us simply toss fruit peels in our trash or compost, because what else are they good for? Well YOU, is a simple answer! It turns out the peels of some of our favorite fruits are not just edible, but the skin and rind are packed with more fiber, anti-aging antioxidants, and vitamins than the fruit they surround. They’re also low in calories, fat, and sugar.

Using Organic or Non-Organic?

Find yourself going back and forth on buying organic? When it comes to eating peels we definitely suggest reaching for organic. While organic fruit is an overall better choice for you + your body, it’s especially important when enjoying the peel due to pesticide use. Even with washing, pesticides can seep into the peel and we definitely don’t want any unwanted chemicals in our green smoothies. When in doubt, check out the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” to learn more about produce with the highest pesticide use.

>> Tips on Washing Produce

You can’t handle the peel!

While adding fruit peels to your favorite green smoothie is great for your body, it might not always be the right choice for your blender. While powerhouse blenders like Vitamix and Blendtec will blend your peels into creamy deliciousness, lower power blenders may struggle with thick or fibrous peels.

Can there ever be too much of a good thing?

Adding the peel will open your green smoothies to a whole new level of nutrients. And you thought they were power-packed before! But it can also adjust the flavor or texture (often for the better!). So we suggest starting small and experimenting with your favorite fruits and veggies.

Power pack your green smoothie with fruit peels!

APPLES: Packed with vitamin C, vitamin A, and potassium – the apple peel contains much of the fruit’s nutritional benefits. Actually over two thirds of the apple’s fiber to be exact! The peel also contains over 4 times more vitamin K than the apple’s flesh, aiding your body in bone, skin, and cell health. The antioxidant quercetin also improves lung function, and is believed to help protect your memory!

How to use: Simply remove the core + seeds prior to blending and enjoy!

CITRUS: Citrus peels are high in powerful antioxidants called super-flavonoids which can contribute to reducing “bad” cholesterol, and are over 20 times more powerful than those found in the juice. While citrus peel is packed with vitamin C, riboflavin, vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, and potassium, the natural oils can be tough on your stomach so we suggest starting small (especially because citrus zest adds a major flavor boost to your green smoothie).

How to use: Use a fruit or vegetable peeler to help remove the zest from the fruit, then add at your discretion. Using a peeler also helps preserve the citrus pith, which is packed with fiber! While the pith can be bitter and the zest flavor packed, we suggest experimenting with both to see what amount + combination satisfies your tastebuds.

KIWI: Ever thought about biting into a kiwi whole? Maybe you should! While most people scrape away the kiwi skin, the skin is high in vitamin C, fiber, and cancer-fighting antioxidants, as well as, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic properties.

How to use: The peel of the kiwi fruit can be tart, so we suggest starting small.

CUCUMBER: The dark skin of the cucumber contains the majority of a cucumber’s antioxidants, insoluble fiber and potassium. The cucumber peel also holds most of the fruit’s vitamin K.

How to use: Next time your prepping cucumber for your green smoothie, try leaving the cucumber whole or part of the peel on.

MANGO:  Looking for mango to pull double duty? Researchers found that mango skin helps burn fat and inhibits the production of mature fat cells. The mango peel is also heavily concentrated with carotenoids and polyunsaturated fatty acids – fighting off cancer, inflammation, diabetes, and heart disease.

How to use: When blending the mango skin we suggest selecting your fruit when the fruit is ripe and the skin is at its thinnest. While the mango skin is packed with nutrients, those sensitive to poison ivy or poison oak should avoid eating the skin due to a potential allergic reaction known as “mango itch”.

CARROTS:  The highest concentration of phytonutrients are found in a carrot’s skin or immediately underneath. Technically a vegetable, but sweet enough to go under fruit for this exercise. 🙂

How to use: Simply wash and rinse the carrot thoroughly rather than peeling.

WATERMELON:  During the summer do you find yourself gobbling up watermelon, but stopping short of the tart white rind? While the rind is tart, by throwing away the rind, you’re discarding 40% of the watermelon’s weight and losing a potent source of citrulline. Citrulline is an amino acid that improves blood flow, decreases blood pressure and works to improve your overall cardiovascular health. The rind is also lower in sugar content than the flesh and higher in potassium and dietary fiber.

How to use: Instead of throwing the white rind away, when cutting up your watermelon, leave some of the white rind attached. If you find the rind bitter, adding a natural sweetener or spices like ginger will help balance the flavor.

BANANA:  How does the thought of adding banana peel to your next green smoothie make you feel? It should actually make you feel great,  as it’s known to increase your serotonin levels (those feel good vibes). The peel is also packed with potassium, soluble fiber (which makes you feel full) and insoluble fiber (which keeps your body regular).

How to use: Try adding a small piece of peel into your next smoothie! Waiting till the fruit is more ripe will yield a thinner, tastier skin.

STONE FRUIT: Peaches, plums, nectarines…we can’t get enough! Especially because the peel is packed with vitamin C, known for reducing wrinkles, improving skin texture and helping to fight skin damage caused by the sun and pollution. Stone fruit’s peel also provides you with insoluble fiber helping to prevent constipation.

How to use: Next time you’re blending stone fruit, remove the pit, but leave the peel!

PEARS: The peel provides about half of the pear’s total dietary fiber, as well as, its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. Quercetin is another antioxidant found in the skin of pears. It’s beneficial for cancer prevention and can help reduce blood pressure.

How to use: We suggest removing the core and seeds prior to blending, but leave the peel! Just an FYI – while the peel is nutrient packed, it may make your smoothie slightly gritty.

#1 Green Smoothie Of all Time— no joke!
About Jen Hansard

Mom of 2, ran across the Grand Canyon and lover of smoothies, coffee & tacos. I transformed my family's health with a realistic plant-based diet. I also found myself again along the way.

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Ratings & Comments

  1. Linda says:

    I am battling cancer. I have started making smoothing because I can’t always eat but smoothies are new to me. This article has really shown me what fruits and vegetables that might help with a variety of issues.
    Thank you very much

  2. Cora Thomas says:

    This was very helpful especially because it covers the wide range of wonderful options! Thanks a million!

  3. Kathi says:

    Can I use organic Tumerick with the peel in my green smoothie?

  4. Sonya says:

    Thank you so much for the information! I was going thru the recipes and noticed on the smoothies with oranges some said peeled & some didn’t. Now I know why

    • SGS Rawkstar Carissa says:

      Hey Sonya,

      So happy this article was helpful to you!

      Hope you continue to enjoy our recipes 🙂

  5. Nayna says:

    Great info thanks!

  6. Mathew says:

    Thanks for sharing! Do you have sources/references to which we can refer? Thanks in advance!

    • SGS Rawkstar Amanda says:

      Hi Matthew,

      Looking for more info on health, wellness + nutrients while avoiding pesticides. Take a peek at the EWG here… https://www.ewg.org. It’s where I found a lot of the info for this post!

  7. Linda says:

    Well, I sure never heard of eating banana and kiwi peels! I always eat the apple, pear and peach skins, plus the pith of oranges (thanks to you guys!) but not the banana or kiwi! I’ll definitely try it! 🙂 Thanks!

    • SGS Rawkstar Amanda says:

      Hi Linda,

      Reach back out + let me know what you think!

  8. JoAnn Lakes says:

    I love the idea of using the peel. I already throw in the peel when using lemons and limes. I love the zip it adds. I’ll have to start broadening my scope. I also need to rethink blended soups now!

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi JoAnn,

      YAY! Give them a try! Just make sure and reach back out + let me know what you think!

    • Richard Cunningham. says:

      I am 81 in pretty good health except I have no teeth to speak of. Can I get the benefits of fresh fruit and vegetables from my smoothies without chewing?

    • SGS Rawkstar Amanda says:

      Hi Richard,

      No teeth? No worries! Grab a straw + enjoy! Your body will reap major health benefits without any chewing.

  9. Val says:

    Thank you so packed with info, but what about an avocado?

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Val,

      We suggest avoiding the avocado skin. It’s not edible, and we haven’t come across any studies on any nutritional benefits. But don’t let that keep you from blending avocado! We love that avocado is packed with healthy fats + makes our smoothies extra creamy!

  10. Pat says:

    Hi Jen and Jada. Just wondering, my LTC Home Is In A Outbreak Of Flu. I work in Retirement and we have not yet had a flu case, but will probably get it. i was wondering what smoothies you would suggest for building up my immunity as I’m going on vacation in 3 Weeks?
    Thanks Pat

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Pat,

      Oh no! We’re sending plenty of healing vibes your way in hopes of keeping the flu at bay (that rhymes!). Looking to really boost your immunity? Check out these tips + one of our favorite immunity boosting recipes…

  11. WIlliam says:

    wow thanks a lot for this beautiful page!!

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi William!

      Thanks so much for your kind words!

      Cheers 🙂

  12. Jhenelle says:

    Thank you for sharing! I was just about to make the cilantro lime smoothie and wasn’t sure about the peel. I will add a little this time and maybe more next time. I also had no idea that I could eat banana peel! I will try this as well 🙂 Thanks again!

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      You’re so welcome! So glad you found it useful :). It’s amazing how many peels we can actually eat (and how many nutrients are there!).


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