Do You Peel Fruit For Smoothies? (Which Are Best Peeled)

I’ve been blending smoothies for a long time, and love the amazing tastes you can create alongside all the healthy benefits. I’ve experimented with making all kinds of smoothies using common fruit and some stranger ingredients, so I know exactly whether or not to peel fruit for smoothies.

Many fruits don’t need to be peeled for smoothies. Peel tropical and citrus fruits, but add unpeeled berries and stone fruits to boost your smoothie’s nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants. If you don’t mind their taste and texture, use unpeeled apples and kiwifruits for extra nutrition.

Are you wondering if you need to peel your fruit before making a smoothie? Perhaps it might save time if you don’t have to, or you find peeling fruit a tiresome step.

I’ll run through the different fruit you can add to your smoothies and if you need to peel them before popping them into the blender.

Do You Peel Fruit For Smoothies?

If you’re using a blender or juicer to make your smoothies, one of the things you might worry about is getting chunks of indigestible or bitter peel in your drink.

If you’re like me and don’t want extra items to clean, don’t enjoy peeling fruit, or don’t have a strainer in your kitchen, it’s good to know which fruit you can pop into a smoothie without needing to peel them first.

Thanks to my tendency to experiment with all kinds of fruits in my smoothies, I’ve found which fruit work best if you peel them first, which you can leave as is, and which can be blended, provided you don’t mind a bit of extra texture.

It can be an excellent timesaver if you don’t have to worry about peeling each fruit; some peels even have health benefits, and you may prefer to leave them in.

So let’s see if you really need to peel your fruit when making that morning banana-apple smoothie!

What Happens If You Don’t Peel Fruit for Smoothies?

Smoothies are excellent ways to use whole fruit in a drink, so you get all the health benefits of the fiber too. Unlike a juicer, which removes all the fiber and only leaves the juice, a smoothie blends the whole fruit into your drink, packing extra fiber and vitamins into your serving.

I wrote a post on which fruits are suitable to blend whole and which fruits you can’t blend whole due to being too tough or having stones inside.

In many cases, the peels add extra fiber to your smoothie and blend well, so you will barely notice the texture, and there’s no need to peel them. Peeled fruits can lose almost 33% of their fiber, so if you want the benefits of a fiber-rich drink, keep the peels.

In other cases, you will have to peel your fruit – no one wants to find bits of banana peel in their smoothie! But even with ripe bananas, sometimes you can add them peel and all. In this case, you’ll need a good blender capable of dealing with stringy banana peels.

Then there are some fruits where peeling them is subjective. For example, I don’t mind adding chopped, unpeeled apples to my smoothies as the taste doesn’t bother me. Other people may prefer not to have apple peel in their smoothies, and dislike finding bits of peel caught in their teeth.

However, keeping that apple peel boosts the nutrients in your smoothie significantly. An unpeeled apple packs nearly 332% more vitamin K than a peeled apple. Unpeeled fruit often has more nutrients than those with peels removed and can make you feel fuller for longer.

Which Fruit Don’t You Need To Peel for Smoothies

Here’s a list of fruit you won’t have to waste time peeling:

  • Cherries
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Grapes
  • Apricots
  • Peaches
  • Nectarines
  • Plums
  • Apples
  • Pears

Some fruits are fine; you don’t need to peel them before adding them to a blender. Typically, there’s no need to peel most berries; their skins are so soft and usually still quite sweet and add a lot of lovely flavor to your drink.

If you’re going to add fruit to your smoothie without peeling them first, always remember to wash them before removing any traces of dirt, pesticides, or chemicals.

Stone fruits also usually do not need to be peeled, though you will have to remove the stone or seed first. By retaining the skin, you add extra antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients, making your smoothies even healthier.

The antioxidants found in most fruit peels can help fight levels of free radicals in your body, so if your number one motivation is extra health benefits, I suggest using the peels of as many fruits as possible.

For your next smoothie, check out my 11 Tasty Fruit And Vegetable Smoothie Combination Ideas.

Which Fruits Should You Peel For Smoothies?

Most tropical and citrus fruits have inedible peels. I’d recommend peeling all of the following:

  • Bananas
  • Mangoes
  • Lychees
  • Papayas
  • Pineapples
  • Coconut
  • Avocado
  • Oranges
  • Lemons
  • Grapefruit

Some fruits have peels that taste bitter or are hairy or spiky and unpleasant to eat. Luckily, they tend to be larger and easier to peel, unlike grapes, so peeling is normally a quick, straightforward job.

Some of these fruits have peels that can be eaten, though you may prefer not to. For example, if you have an overripe banana with a very thin peel, a good blender should make light work of it, and you will get the added benefit of the extra nutrients and fiber.

While many people don’t think of it as such, avocado is another fruit whose peel I’d discard. I love adding avocado into my smoothies to provide a rich, creamy texture and tons of healthy fats. They’re also a surprisingly good fiber source and a great addition to dairy-free smoothies.

You can always save the peels of your citrus fruits and dry them out to make zest, so don’t feel as though you need to throw their peels away.

Benefits Of Eating The Peel

Eating unpeeled fruits can add nearly a third more fiber than unpeeled which can make you feel fuller for longer. The peel also contains a high concentration of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

For instance, the nutrition of an unpeeled apple contains 332% more vitamin K, 142% more vitamin A, 115% more vitamin C, 20% more calcium, and up to 19% more potassium than a peeled apple.

There are several fruits that people peel that I don’t think you need to peel.

With a powerful blender, you can often blend fruits like unpeeled ripe bananas or kiwis with great success. For some people, the texture or taste might not work, so if you want to experiment, I’d suggest adding only one unpeeled fruit at first to see how you find the resulting smoothie.

I’ve never needed to sieve my smoothies, but if you like a perfectly smooth drink with no bits of skin or seeds, you will need a very powerful blender or be prepared to filter your drink.

Do You Peel Vegetable For Smoothies?

Here are some smoothie-friendly vegetables that don’t need to be peeled:

  • Carrots
  • Zucchini
  • Celery
  • Cucumber

Not to mention other vegetables without skins – like kale, spinach, broccoli, or cauliflower.

I often add vegetables to my smoothies for extra nutritional benefits, and some veggies are very sweet. Carrots make a great addition to smoothies, and one of my favorites is to add carrots, bananas, cinnamon, dates, and coconut milk together to make a carrot cake smoothie.

Most of the vegetables I use in my smoothies don’t require peeling, though I will always scrub them or rinse them to ensure they are clean and free from dirt or chemicals.


Hopefully you now know whether you need to peel fruit for smoothies and which ones are best peeled.

Peels in smoothies are not as bad as they may sound, and most peels are perfectly edible. Peels will add fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants to your drink and are an excellent way to boost health. Because of their high fiber, adding peels to your drink can help you stay fuller for longer.

Some peels might not taste good to you, or their texture can annoy you, so it’s a personal decision if you prefer to leave the peels out of your smoothies. When keeping fruit unpeeled, always wash or rinse them first to avoid adding grit or pesticides to your food.

Have any questions? Ask me in the comment section below and I’ll get back to you.

Tom Hambly

Tom Hambly is the founder of Boss The Kitchen. With a background in cooking and building websites, he enjoys running this site to help other cooks improve. About Tom Hambly.

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