17 fruits & vegetables you're probably not preparing correctly

17 fruits & vegetables you're probably not preparing correctly

Always end up in a mess when peeling your orange? Do you waste flesh when deseeding peppers? Are you wasting time (and veg) peeling potatoes?

It's time to learn the correct way to peel and deseed fruit and veg. We're sharing the best ways to prepare 17 common pieces of fresh produce, that will help you get quicker in the kitchen and get your food looking better too.

 How to peel & deseed fruit correctly

1. Oranges

Oranges can be a messy business if you don't peel them correctly. There's no need to get juice everywhere - we're showing you the proper way to peel oranges to get picture-perfect segments like the ones you see at hotel breakfasts.

The video above will show you three orange-peeling methods. The first is great for segments - your go-to technique if you want a healthy snack. The following two methods involve peeling only - ideal for fruit salads and breakfasts.

2. How to hull strawberries

how to hull strawberries
Who knew it could be this easy?

Need some perfectly-cored strawberries to top your perfect pavlova? Any of the following three methods will give you great results.

  1. With a paring knife: insert the knife horizontally where the stalk meets the berry. Place your thumb tip over the centre of the stalk, and rest your thumb on the knife itself. Guide the knife round in a circle to hull the strawberry.
  2. With a straw: push a straw through the bottom of the strawberry (making sure it's central) and it will remove the stalk.
  3. Using a stem extractor tool: if you're into fancy equipment, pick yourself up a stem extractor tool. Grab the leaves, and twist to remove.

3. How to peel a kiwi

We all know the cut and scoop method for when you're casually snacking on a kiwi, but what about using one for decorative purposes?

Cut the ends off the kiwi using a sharp paring knife, then, insert a thin-edged tablespoon close to the skin. Hold the kiwi firmly, and guide the spoon around the edge of the kiwi to remove it all in one go.

Chop up and throw into fruit salads for a tropical twist!

4. How to pit peaches & plums

Peaches and plums are actually relatively easy to pit, but there's one small thing you can do wrong which will make it tricky.

When pitting a peach or plum, you should use a paring knife to slice the fruit in half vertically, not horizontally. Then, simply twist each half and the stone will stay on one side, making it easy to pop out.

5. The RIGHT way to peel a banana

Thought you knew how to peel a banana? Wrong!

The right way to peel a banana is actually how the monkeys do it - from top to bottom. Not only is this easier, but it's also less messy and won't leave you with stringy bits.

6. How to peel & deseed a mango

It's one that puzzles us all - what is the right way to peel and deseed a mango? 

It's time to find out! If you go at your mango freestyle with a knife, you won't have much success. There's a talent to preparing mango which involves cubing.

Watch the video above and get practising - you'll have it nailed in no time.

7. How to peel lemons

You may be wondering why you'd ever need to a peel a lemon. Besides making candied lemon peel, there are many other reasons to hold onto your lemon peels, including flavouring olive oil, using as drink garnishes and making natural cleaning products.

Peeling lemons is easy, so there's really no excuse to be throwing them away every time you juice. 

Take a sharp paring knife, and cut both ends off your lemon, then cut the fruit in half. Place the halves flat on your chopping board, then your knife down between the fruit and the skin to remove it.

8. How to deseed a pomegranate

Pomegranates are another tricky fruit that many of us use guesswork to prepare.

We've seen many methods over the years, including using a rolling pin and other bizarre techniques! But which is best if you want magnificent seeds without the mess?

Watch the video above to discover how the professionals deseed their pomegranates - it's really quite extraordinary!

9. The easiest way to pit cherries

Cherry juice = stains. When it comes to pitting cherries, your knife is best left well alone.

The secret tool? A paperclip! It takes a bit of practice, but yields amazing results when you get the hang of it - perfect for garnishes or in posh fruit salads.

Watch the video above to see this method in action.

10. How to prepare a pineapple

pineapple preparation market
It doesn't have to be complicated!

Don't spend a fortune on prepared pineapple - learn how to DIY at home.

Pineapple preparation may look intimidating, but it's perfectly manageable when you break it down into stages.

  1. Lie the pineapple flat on a sturdy chopping board. Cut both ends off with a sharp Cook's Knife.
  2. Stand the pineapple upright, and working from top to bottom, use your knife to slice off the skin, slowly moving around the pineapple until you're only left with yellow flesh.
  3. Carefully cut the pineapple in half, lengthways.
  4. Lie each half flat on your board, and cut into halves again to create four 'triangles'.
  5. Hold your knife at an angle and cut just above the core of each segment to remove it.
  6. You're now ready to cube your pineapple.

How to peel & deseed vegetables

 11. Peeling tomatoes

If you've ever tried to peel a tomato with a peeler, you'll know it doesn't end well.

Peeling tomatoes takes a while, but requires very little effort. Boil your tomatoes whole in a saucepan of water until the skins start to split, then place them in ice cold water. Once at a manageable temperate, use your hands to gently pull the skins off - it should be effortless.

12. How to peel ginger

ginger peeling spoon
Easier than ever.

Although not strictly 'a vegetable', many people peel ginger wrong, so we thought we'd include it on our list.

The key to easy-peasy ginger peeling that doesn't waste any flesh? A spoon. Use the tip to scrape the skin off - it's great for getting in and around all those lumps and bumps too.

13. Peel garlic...in a jar

garlic cloves
It takes just seconds!

Garlic can be fiddly and time-consuming to peel, but not with this trick.

Cut the end off your garlic cloves, then place in an empty jar, lid on. Now, all you need to do is shake. The force will do all the work for you, and your garlic cloves will come out skin-free.

14. The right was to deseed peppers

Do you struggle to remove all of the seeds when it comes to preparing peppers? Chances are you're using the wrong method.

We were amazed when we watched the video above. In just a few simple steps, the entire pepper stalk and seeds can be removed from the flesh of your peppers.

Try the technique above next time you're cooking stir-fry.

Do you have any clever ways of peeling and deseeding fruit and veg? Share your tips with us in the ccomments below!

Author

Stephanie C

Editor

Lover of all things fashion & foodie...I look to satisfy my tastes without obliterating my budget. Wannabe interior designer, I'm an avid cushion cover maker and charity shop hunter.

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  1. Author Judith on June 18, 2018 at 8:37 am

    Mangoes: all that cubing business is silly. Once you've cut the "cheeks" off, cut right through them, top to bottom, and peel each piece, THEN cut into smaller pieces. Pineapples: top and tail pineapple then stand it upright. Now slice through, from top to bottom, into four quarters, the core can now be cut away, and the skin is easier to remove from each piece. I sometimes cut those four again, making eight spears which makes it even easier to remove skin!

    1. Author Joanne A on July 24, 2018 at 5:07 pm

      That's a great idea, Judith!

    Reply
  2. Author Louise Comb on June 18, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    Brilliant. Can't wait to try out several of these. Thanks XXX

    Reply
  3. Author Lucy Ambrose on June 19, 2018 at 8:11 am

    A plastic straw to hull strawberries? Please do not promote plastic in this way.

    1. Author Stephanie C on July 2, 2018 at 12:58 pm

      Hi Lucy, I actually have reusable plastic straws which I was after each use. These are also more effective for hulling, and of course, reduce waste :)

    Reply
  4. Author Rav on June 19, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    Great list! I'm sure a lot of people will be amazed! The cherry and ginger tricks were new to me, so I might give them a try next time. The orange video looked a bit too messy though; there must be a better video out there. It almost felt like she had never dealt with oranges before X__X

    1. Author Stephanie C on July 2, 2018 at 12:57 pm

      Hi Rav, I'm so pleased you enjoyed the article :) Thanks for picking up on the orange article - we'll look into replacing it.

    Reply
  5. Author Sandy on June 20, 2018 at 12:01 am

    Hi Steph - What a beautifully curated hack! I've tried a few of these and some are new to me. #4 - to pit peaches and plums - I've always cut round the centre (the equator?) as I was taught in Italy many moons ago, but now I'll have to try it cutting vertically and see if it's better. #6 - Mango - I love the taste of this exotic fruit but have always struggled to peel it. Now I know how. #11 - Tomatoes - I put them in a bowl, pour on boiling water and leave them for a minute or two, turning them if necessary. If you boil them in a pan, you're cooking them, surely? Sandy xx

    1. Author Stephanie C on July 10, 2018 at 9:50 am

      Hi Sandy, So glad you enjoyed the post :) Regarding the tomatoes, providing you don't boil them for longer than a few minutes, they'll be fine - it doesn't take much time at all for the skins to begin to peel. I hope this helps.

    Reply

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