Question: I have a friend who uses entire fruits in smoothies - she throws in whole apples, whole oranges, whole lemons, like the peel and everything. I've not tried it yet. Is it okay to use the whole fruit like that?
- Meghan F.
Answer: Hi Meghan, I too have seen and heard about this before, and I definitely don't recommend using whole fruits in their entirety for several reasons. First, many fruit seeds and pits are really not designed for humanconsumption: aside from imparting a bitter taste to the smoothie, they can sometimes be high in minerals that are potentially toxic to humans (apple seeds are notorious for being high in arsenic, for example.) Secondly, while small amounts of the colorful citrus peel (zest) can be used as a wonderful flavor addition to smoothies, the white pith of citrus fruits is quite bitter, and offers no real nutritional value â€¦ in other words, there's no good reason to include it in a smoothie. Lastly, if the fruit is not organic, using the skin of these types of fruits transfers a higher level of pesticides into your otherwise health-promoting blend, undermining your efforts, to say the least!
The bottom line is that using whole foods in smoothies is great habit to engage in â€¦ but for both flavor and health reasons, just make sure that you're trimming away the parts that are not commonly consumed.
-Julie Morris, Navitas Naturals Executive Chef
Have a superfood smoothie question of your own? Ask away! Just post it below and we may feature it in an upcoming segment of Ask The Chef.