Whether you’re slicing it, placing it on a sheet pan with some parmesan to roast, or cutting it into chunks to add to a slow-cooked stew, there’s no need to peel zucchini, notes The Modern Proper. Unlike tougher, more fibrous vegetables, zucchini has a soft skin that will grow even more tender during the cooking process and is easy to digest. Plus, because the interior of the vegetable is so watery, the skin helps it maintain its shape, especially during longer cooking times. While you can certainly peel your zucchini for aesthetic reasons or for personal taste, it’s not necessary.
There’s also a nutritional benefit to keeping your zucchini unpeeled. Healthline shares that the vegetable’s highest level of nutrients, including powerful antioxidants, is in the skin itself. These include lutein, beta-carotene, and zeaxanthin, all of which may help to fight off cancer-causing free radicals. Those at risk for type 2 diabetes may find zucchini especially beneficial, as its fiber content “may increase insulin sensitivity and stabilize blood sugar levels.” Nutrition and versatility considered, it’s worth finding some great ways to add zucchini to your diet.