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Should you peel peaches before making a smoothie?

Making a delicious peach smoothie is easy and only requires a few simple ingredients. However, one question that often comes up is whether you should peel the peaches before blending them or leave the peels on. There are pros and cons to both options, so let’s take a closer look.

The Case for Peeling Peaches

Here are some of the main reasons why you may want to peel peaches before using them in smoothies:

  • Smoother texture – Peeling removes the peach skin which can give smoothies a gritty, fibrous texture. This is especially true if using firm, underripe peaches.
  • Better flavor – Some people find peach skins to have a bitter, tannic taste. Peeling removes this potential bitterness and highlights the sweet peach flavor.
  • Fewer pesticides – Peach skins may contain higher levels of pesticide residue compared to the flesh. Peeling removes this.
  • Easier digestion – The skin contains insoluble fiber that some people find hard to digest. Removing the peel creates a smoother puree that may be easier on sensitive stomachs.

Overall, peeling can help create a silkier, sweeter and more easily digestible smoothie with a pleasant mouthfeel.

The Case for Leaving Peach Skins On

On the other hand, there are also some benefits to leaving peach skins on for smoothies:

  • More fiber – Peach skins contain insoluble fiber that can help promote gut health and keep you feeling full.
  • Additional nutrients – Peach skins provide small amounts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants like vitamin C and polyphenols.
  • Natural color – The reddish-orange peel adds lovely color to smoothies instead of a pale beige hue.
  • Saves time – Not having to peel saves precious prep time in the kitchen.

So if you don’t mind bits of skin and want to maximize nutrition, you can blend peaches skin-on.

Best Peaches for Smoothies

To get the best results from your peach smoothies, choose ripe, soft peaches that yield to gentle pressure regardless of whether you peel or not. Unripe peaches have tough skins and flesh and do not blend well in smoothies. Look for peaches that smell sweet and flowery.

Good peach varieties for smoothies include:

  • White peaches – very sweet, delicate flavor
  • Yellow peaches – classic peach flavor, very juicy
  • Nectarines – smooth skin, bright taste
  • Donut or Saturn peaches – small, tender and sweet

Avoid firm, underripe peaches as they will not blend smoothly and lack flavor. Overripe, bruised peaches may also have an off-putting taste.

How to Peel Peaches

If you opt to peel your peaches, here is a simple method:

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with cold water and ice.
  2. Use a paring knife to score the bottom of each peach with an X shape.
  3. Drop the peaches into the boiling water for 30-60 seconds until the skin starts to loosen.
  4. Remove from boiling water and immediately submerge in the ice bath. This stops the cooking process.
  5. The skins should now easily peel off. If not, return to the boiling water for 10-15 more seconds.
  6. Peel off all the skin with your fingers or a paring knife.

This blanching method loosens the skins for easy removal. Be careful not to overcook the peaches.

Nutrition of Peaches With and Without Skin

Below is a nutrition comparison of 1 cup of sliced peaches with and without peel (source: USDA).

Nutrient With Skin (173g) Without Skin (165g)
Calories 59 57
Carbs 14 g 14 g
Fiber 2.3 g 1.5 g
Protein 1.4 g 1.4 g
Vitamin C 10 mg 8.7 mg
Vitamin A 539 IU 487 IU

As you can see, peeling peaches does lower the fiber content slightly. But the difference in vitamins and minerals is fairly small. Therefore, the extra fiber and nutrients gained from keeping the skins on is not a major factor.

Do You Have to Peel Peaches for Smoothies?

So what’s the verdict – is it necessary to peel peaches for smoothies? Here are some quick answers:

  • No, you do not have to peel peaches for smoothies. Many people blend them skin-on.
  • Peeling is optional and comes down to personal preference for texture and taste.
  • For smoother smoothies, peeling is recommended but not strictly required.
  • Leave skins on if you want more fiber and don’t mind small bits of peel.
  • Always use ripe, soft peaches regardless of whether you peel or not.
  • If you do peel, blanching makes the skins easy to remove.

Tips for the Best Peach Smoothies

Here are some final tips for making delicious peach smoothies:

  • Use very ripe, soft, sweet peaches for maximum flavor.
  • Toss in a handful of fresh spinach or kale to add nutrients.
  • Add banana or mango for extra creaminess.
  • Blend in vanilla yogurt or almond milk for a dairy-free option.
  • Sweeten with honey, maple syrup, pitted dates or stevia to taste.
  • Garnish with sliced peaches, toasted almonds or chia seeds.
  • For an immune boost, include fresh ginger.
  • Play around with mix-ins like peanut butter, oats or your favorite protein powder.

Simple Peach Smoothie Recipes

To get you started, here are two simple and delicious peach smoothie recipes:

Basic Peach Smoothie

  • 2 cups diced ripe peaches
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup (optional)
  • 1 cup ice

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Taste and sweeten if desired. Pour into glasses and enjoy!

Peach Green Smoothie

  • 2 cups diced ripe peaches
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup ice

Blend all ingredients until creamy and green. Pour into glasses. For extra peach flavor, garnish with slices.

The Bottom Line

So should you peel peaches for smoothies? It’s really up to your personal tastes and what kind of texture you prefer. Peeling does result in a silkier consistency, while leaving the skins on provides more fiber and nutrients. Just be sure to use ripe, juicy peaches for maximum flavor and sweetness either way. With a simple blender and fresh peaches, you can easily whip up delicious and nutritious smoothies in minutes for a healthy breakfast or snack.