Appealing Apple Peels (and Cores)
I really despise throwing out food scraps before they’ve served more than one purpose. It saves money, trips to the grocery store, and makes me feel like I’m doing something really good for the earth, by using things up before I just toss them away (even if we’re tossing them into the compost… which is a whole other topic for another day!)
Anyway, to the point: After you use up the flesh of all of those tasty, in season (and hopefully, organic!) apples, don’t forget to use the scraps. Here are a few of the ideas I found while searching for ways to squeeze every last bit of goodness from the apple harvest!
-Apples have resveratrol, among other things, that help you retain your “youth,” and to put it simply: help you regenerate cells to fight things like cancer. They can also help you regenerate collagen (that stuff they inject to fill in wrinkles…) Try rubbing fresh apple peels on your face for a tightening mask. Rinse when your face is dry and moisturize with something simple and organic, like coconut oil. Wondering what other fruit peels would work for your skin? Look no further.
-Ferment them into your own batch of apple cider vinegar. Toss the peels and cores into a wide-mouth container of water, cover with a cheesecloth and let sit for about a month at 60-70*F. For more detailed instructions, click here.
-Eat them. I know, obvious, huh?
Search online for recipes, and you’ll come up with some great ones, like this example for
clementine and apple peel butter.
-Turn applesauce a pretty pink color when you leave on the peels of red or pink apples.
You can peel the apples on a rotating peeler for long strands that make “apple peel spaghetti” and then sprinkle with honey, lemon, and cinnamon. Warm it up for a little treats.
-Cut peels into slivers, soak in a mixture of lemon juice and water, and use to garnish/brighten foods like salad or fish.
-Candy them for dessert garnish:
Preheat oven to 400*F
Toss peels with sugar & arrange on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. TURN OFF the oven before placing peels inside, then close and let sit overnight. Remove the next day and place cooled peels in airtight container for future use.
OR make gummy worms with them, as suggested here.
You can also just pat fresh peels dry on the fleshy side, and dip them in chocolate for cute and fruity chocolate curls.
-Make pectin. There are recipes all over the internet if you search for “apple peel pectin.” Here is just one of the few.
-Make jelly. Here is a great, easy recipe for making a pretty rose-colored jelly from red peels.
-Make apple-flavored syrup. Scroll down to the last paragraph on this page, for how to combine apple peels, cinnamon sticks, water, lemon juice, and raw sugar into delicious syrup!
-Juice them! I’m not a big fan of running the seeds through a juicer or blender, since they do contain some arsenic. (Some debate whether it’s enough to harm you, but I know someone firsthand who was poisoned like this, so better safe than sorry!) The rest, however, can definitely go in, and I’m sure some juice will come out!
-Feed them to your chickens and/or rabbits- they love ‘em! (Chickens also appreciate corncobs…)
-Use them to deter deer by placing them far, far from your other delicious edibles in the garden, so hopefully they will feast there and NOT on other goodies.
-Make tea. Dehydrate the peels and chop them into small bits for teabags and brew with a cinnamon stick, or for fresh peels use this recipe. You can also add them to cold lemon water or lemonade for additional flavor and sweetness.
-Flavor alcohol. Cover fresh cores and peels with brandy or vodka, cork and let sit to age. Drink
-Wait! Before you drink up, use more peel as a garnish, like shown here.
-Shred up the peels and use them in other foods, like coleslaw or salsa, for color and flavor.
-Use them in crafts like this adorable idea for making necklaces with kids and then hanging them out for the birds in fall/winter.
-Keep the doctor away, by using them as a supplement. Dehydrate the peels, grind them, and use the powder to sweeten foods (like smoothies, maybe, when you’re out of fresh apples?)
-Apparently the peels, boiled for 10-30 minutes in water, will restore aluminum cookware and flatware to their original beauty. I can’t recommend it, since cooking with aluminum is quite toxic, and we try hard to never let any of our food touch aluminum at all, ever.
-The seeds themselves are great fun to try to sprout for little windowsill plants for kids, and if you have a few, they make a fun substitute for beans if you put them in a coffee can or plastic bottle for a little musical shaker.
-Here’s a neat little sensory craft for kids, from Crayola.
-Use in crafts and homemade gifts. Put the dried peels into potpourri, grind into powder and use in handmade soaps or bath oils for a wonderful scent (and again, nourishing your skin!,) or string some that are cut into squares for a cute “ribbon” on a brown paper package.
-Tell your fortune. There is a lot of folklore surrounding apples. One saying is that if a single woman throws an unbroken piece of apple peel over her shoulder, it will land in the letter shape of her future husband’s initials. Another concerns twisting the apple stem while saying a letter for each twist; the letter on which the stem breaks, will be the first letter of the name of your spouse-to-be. Peeling an apple in front of a candle-lit mirror is supposed to reveal, in the reflection, what else? Your future spouse.
Peel an apple in one long strip. The longer the unbroken strip, the longer your life expectancy.
Curious about uses for other fruit peels? Check out this page!
*Obviously, if you’re doing the Feingold program, this is one post that won’t serve you well. However, think about using lemon rinds in some of the same ways instead of tossing them next time you make lemonade!
*Linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesday