You may be thinking that a whole post on "how to use a potato peeler" is a little basic even for our Vegan Cooking 101 section. And if you are an experienced cook I'm sure it is. But there are lots of new young vegans out there who have grown up in households where not a lot of true cooking has happened.
And while it isn't hard to learn how to use a potato peeler (the short video below does a really good job of showing you that) it is an important skill to have under your belt. My potato peeler is my go-to tool for everything from peeling fruits and veggies to making veggie ribbons and julienne strips for salads, steaming and garnishes.
And yes, you can use a paring knife to get the job done but honestly, you'll waste a lot of your veggies or fruits if you peel them that way. There is just no way a knife can consistently take off as thin a slice as a veggie peeler. Just don't try to convince my mother of this or you WILL get an ear full!
Something she touches on in the video, but doesn't go into detail about, is that with the potato peelers like the ones pictured above you can peel both toward yourself and away from yourself. I always peel away from myself and I encourage you to do so as well for two reasons...
- You are less likely to have an accident and hurt yourself.
- It is much easier to direct your peelings into the trash. Whether you place a shopping bag in the sink like I do in the image here or peel straight into your trash can.
Vegan On A Budget Tip: You can save your various WASHED veggie peelings in the freezer and use them to make your own vegetable broth.
Ok, for those of you who just don't have the time or have a thing about watching videos, in a nutshell, here's how to use a potato peeler.
- Grip your veggie in one hand.
- Hold your peeler in the other hand (all potato peelers work for both lefties and righties so no worries there).
- Place the blade of the peeler against your vegetable near the end closest to your fingers.
- Press down and away from yourself using firm but not hard pressure.
- Watch the veggie peel slide away and fall off.
Some veggies take more pressure (or work) to peel than others. If you are totally new to this we suggest you start with carrots, cucumbers, zucchini and other soft skinned but durable foods until you get the hang of it.
Watch How To Use A Potato Peeler...
SPOILER: What she does with raw ginger and a grapefruit spoon is mind boggling!
Check Out These Potato Peelers on Amazon...
OXO Good Grips Swivel PeelerLinden Sweden Jonas Peeler OriginalSpring Chef Premium Swivel Vegetable PeelerOXO Good Grips Y PeelerOXO Good Grips 3-Piece Peeler Set, Green/Orange/RaspberryUberChef® Premium Ultra Sharp Stainless Steel Julienne Peeler & Vegetable Peeler with Cleaning Brush | UC-JP101