I want to give my family the fiber that is good for us, but I don’t like the spongy center of zucchini or the large stems of spinach. Still, I pay good money for cold cereal full of bran. Am I throwing away fiber in vegetable skin when I discard the outer layer of a large eggplant or the greenish tops of carrots?
You are indeed discarding some useful fiber in vegetable skin when you throw away the woody parts of vegetables, but as long as you eat
your vegetable, you’ll be getting plenty anyway, and in some cases, there are good reasons to go ahead and peel things. Most supermarket vegetables, including cucumbers, eggplant, zucchini, and peppers, are often covered with a thin layer of “protective” edible wax that cannot be washed off. The only way to remove it is to peel it. And those greenish tops of carrots are bitter as well as chewy.
If your vegetables are local, organic, or otherwise wax free, the peelings, along with spongy zucchini centers, stringy spinach stems, tough asparagus bottoms, and the like, can go into the soup pot to lend flavor to the broth. You’ll want to discard them after they’ve given their bit, but they will have been put to good use before they go.