The one and probably only downside to making a tasty, golden-crusted apple pie or spicy applesauce is the resulting pile of apple scraps left on the counter afterward. Don't send them to the compost just yet – we have you covered on what to do with leftover apple peels.
See if this sounds familiar: You've baked your heart out all afternoon and are staring at apple peels piled high on the counter. Rather than throw them out, why not discover the countless uses for apple peels?
There is something sure to pique your interest, from smoothies and fruit chips to apple vinegar and wine.
You can even try your hand at making some apple peel jelly, which can make a personal and inexpensive gift for your friends and family.
Wonder what to do with apple skins no more, and try out some of the recipes below.
How Do You Preserve Apple Peels?
Once you've put down the apple peeler, you don't need to use the peels of your apples immediately.
If you don't want to cook or use your apple scraps and peels right away, you can place them in a tightly sealed container. Toss the peels in orange or lemon juice to preserve and prevent browning. If you plan to use the apple peels within the next 2-3 days, place the scraps sealed in the refrigerator.
For longer preservation, you can place the apple scraps in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you're ready to use them, thaw the apple peels on the counter for an hour or so and use it as desired.
What Can I Do With Apple Peels?
1) Apple peel chips
Turn your apple peels into sweet, crispy chips that make an excellent snack to grab and munch when you're on-the-go.
Roasted and dried
You can make these apple peel chips using two different methods: roasting in the oven or dehydrating. Toss the scraps in spices of your choice, like cinnamon and ginger. Cook them on your oven's lowest setting for 2.5 hours, or until they reach your desired crispy texture. If you own a food dehydrator, use that for your apples instead.
2) Apple peel tea
Warm, spicy, and caffeine-free apple tea is the perfect way to warm up on a chilly day. You can adjust the ingredients and sweetness easily to suit your tastes. This tea is delicious, cooled down, and poured over ice in the summer.
An ounce or two of spiced rum makes this tea a delicious aperitif after dinner!
Combine the peels and cores of 5 apples, 4 cups of water, 2 whole cloves, 1 cinnamon stick, and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup (or to taste) in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer on medium-low for an hour.
3) Apple scrap jelly
Apple scrap jelly requires very few ingredients and is delicious in both sweet and savory dishes. Spread it on some warm toast or smother this jelly on a pork chop. You really can't go wrong.
If you have many apple peels to use, you can make a big batch of jelly or halve this recipe's numbers for a smaller one.
For the scraps of 12 to 15 apples, cores included, you'll need 1 gallon of water, 4 cups of sugar, and 8 tablespoons of lemon juice. Mix them all and bring to a boil, then cook until the apples are mushy and the water reduces by half.
Can them appropriately for more extended storage, or put them in the freezer in sealed containers until you're ready to use them.
4) Apple scrap vinegar
This vinegar isn't technically apple cider and is less acidic, as it's made with scraps instead of cider.
For this recipe, fill a glass jar ¾ full with your apple cores and peels. Mix filtered water with 1 tablespoon of sugar for every cup, and pour over scraps until they are fully covered.
Cover the top of the jar very loosely with a coffee filter or cheesecloth, and leave for 2 weeks in a warm, dark space. Strain the scraps out of the liquid. Do not seal the jar or tightly cover – the fermentation process releases gases that will cause the jar to explode if not released properly.
This vinegar is delicious in salad dressings or drinks. Fermented foods are great for gut health, so drink up!
5) Homemade hard apple cider
Yummy homemade apple cider is an easy way for a beginner to experiment with homemade alcoholic beverages. You'll need to invest in a few simple kitchen tools which you can then use time and time again.
Put all of your peels and cores into a fermentation bucket, and pour an equal amount of boiling water by volume. Cover and seal the bucket with a lid and leave for 3 to 4 days.
Strain the liquid from your apple peels and add one cup of natural sugar for every gallon of liquid. Pour the mixture into sterilized demijohns, airlock, and store in a cold spot for two weeks. Taste the mix, and when it's slightly sweeter than you want, pour and keep into swing-top bottles that won't explode under pressure.
6) Apple spice
Apple spice can add texture and sweet flavor to bread and other baked sweets. Oven dry or dehydrate your skin scraps for 2.5 hours at the lowest temperature setting on your oven.
Grind them in a coffee grinder or food processor, and store them in a jar until ready to use.
Apple scraps add sweetness and a dose of diet-friendly fiber into any healthy smoothie. Add them into the blender along with other ingredients, pour, and enjoy!
8) Apple garnishes
Fresh apple peels are delicious atop a fall salad with goat cheese, roasted pecans, and an apple cider vinaigrette.
We like them fresh out of the fridge, but oven-dried would be a tasty option, too.
Final Notes: What Can You Do With Apple Peels and Cores?
In today's world, it's helpful for both the environment and the grocery budget to use every bit of the food we buy.
Whether you want your apple scraps to be savory, sweet, or alcoholic, these are just some of the recipe options available to use up all of your apples. Once you’ve mastered these, you can experiment with even more recipes and incorporate other fruit scraps, like peach or mango skins.
We hope you enjoy trying out these apple scrap recipes!