Tuesday, November 9, 2010

PEEL APPEAL

Just read that you should eat banana skins.  They're very nutritious and may combat cancer. But in further reading about bananas I find there are about a billion different varieties of banana, whereas usually only one, the "Cavendish" is commercially available where bananas don't naturally grow.  Cavendishes have rather thick skins and may not be conducive to baking. Many cultures bake bananas in their skins and eat the whole fruit.  Here in Morelia, I have found tiny bananas in the market with very thin skins, so I think I may stick those in a blender drink and see how it tastes.  

In general, lots of nutrition is available in fruit and vegetable skins -- potatoes, apples, eggplant... the skins (particularly colorful skins) have nutrients the fruit inside may lack. Carrots are more wholesome on the outside than inside, making those "baby carrots" you buy at the grocery store of less nutritional value than the whole unpeeled kinds because babies are really carrot cores.

Dr. Cynthia Geyer in the talk that induced me to start eating 1/2 a plate worth of fruits and vegetables at every meal, explained that scientists trying to find the healthiest part of the blueberry so that it could be synthesized into supplements, found that it was the WHOLE blueberry -- the pulp plus the skin working together -- that made it nutritious.  Why wouldn't the same hold true for other plant foods?  It certainly appeals to my common sense.

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