Scarfin’ Some Skin

Nah, I’m not going all Modest Proposal on you. (Mad props, btw, if you get that reference. If you don’t, get thee to google and read it – best 20 minutes you’re ever going to spend. As you read it, bear in mind that Swift (like me, naturally) is a slightly deranged satirical whackadoodle genius.

Since my palette isn’t quite expansive enough to include real skin, I’m talkin’ fruit and veggie skins here.

When I think potato skins, the T.G.I.Friday’s sour cream, bacon, and cheese smothered variety is the first thing to pop into mind, which for obvious reasons counteracts any health benefits to be found. When consumed as part of a simple roasted or boiled potato, however, the skins are extremely nutritious portions of the veggie, carting around 18% DV of iron and 6-8 grams of protein. It’s also a great source of fiber.

The rich, red peels of ripe mangoes are antioxidant powerhouses, packing alpha and beta carotein, lutein, polyphenils, flavonoids, and other free-radical counteracting acids. As in the potatoes, the fiber content (and resultingly, the satiety factor) skyrockets when you down some of the skin with the pulp. The same antioxidant elements and fiber can be found in the peels of kiwis and bananas.

While I’m not quite adventurous to chow down a whole kiwi or unpeeled banana, I accidentally discovered that I like mango skins when I pulled out a particularly ripe one for a workday snack, and faced with my office’s silverware of indeterminable cleanliness, I figured I’d be better off using my teeth to break the skin and peel it from there. Odd duck that I am, that turned into a decision to sample the peel, which was incredibly reminiscent of a fresher fruit jerky. It was incredibly tender and carried the same flavor as the pulp.

Now that you’re entirely convinced that I’m a peel-chomping nut job, I may have to redeem myself with a recipe, no?

When I came across Giada’s simple recipe for chocolate covered orange peel I instantly decided to try it, upping the healthy factor (albeit only slightly) by subbing out agave nectar for the refined sugar.

Dark Chocolate Candied Orange Rind

Knowing full well I’m able to knock back ridiculous amounts of chocolate covered orange peel, I based my recipe on one lonely little Florida orange.

The supporting cast:

  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • slight drizzle of canola oil (to smooth out melted chocolate)

1.) Slice your orange into quarters.

1.5) Don’t waste. It’s a party foul. Snack on the orange itself while ya cook 😉

2.) Further cut your orange into slices about 3/4-1 inch thick. Don’t go too thin; you’ll see why later.

3.) Place peels in boiling water for two minutes, then drop into colander and rinse with cool water.

4.) Using a spoon, scrape each peel to remove as much of the fleshy white “gump” (for lack of better technical term) out of the peel.

This is why you can’t cut them too thin: they’ll be too flimsy to actually hang onto and the spoon will cut them in half.

5.) Repeat steps 3 & 4 two more times.

6.) Bring 3/4 cup water and 1/4 cup agave nectar to a boil in a saucepan. Immerse peels, reduce heat, and simmer for 4-7 minutes.

7.) Using tongs or a fork, remove peels from agave water and place onto a paper towel to cool and drain. Blot as necessary once cooled.

8.) Melt together chocolate and very small (less than 1/2 tsp) drizzle of oil using either a double boiler, stacked-pan method, or microwave.

9.) Dip orange peels into chocolate and fully coat, then place on wax or parchment paper. (I had neither, so I used a plastic ziploc baggie).

10.) Pop into fridge until hardened and pray for self control. After this whole shpeal about the nutritional benefits of fruit skins, I would have to go coat them in chocolate to remove any healthiness they once possessed… 😉

Do you eat any fruits with the skins still attached?


One Comment on “Scarfin’ Some Skin”

  1. Hi Faith 🙂 I have to admit that I do eat whole kiwis. I am not sure why I started eating the peal but it tastes wonderful to me. I could see where people wouldn’t kiwi skin due to the hairy texture of the fruit 😉

    Those orange peels look incredible!! I will definitely be making those very very soon.

    I am so happy that you found my blog, so that I was able to find yours. Eating disorders, as you know, are very difficult to be able to overcome. Congratulations on all of your progress! I have had several friends growing up with eating disorders and I believe that we all do to an extent. We all seem to struggle with what we should and shouldn’t look like. You also have a wonderful story to tell and I am blessed to be able to read about it 🙂 Keep up the good work!

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