Uses for Apple Peels

by Merissa on September 10, 2016

in Frugal Living Tips

Uses for Apple Peels - Little House Living

Uses for Apple Peelseasy

We are now in the middle of apple season and that means lots of apple recipes! Apple Pies, Applesauce, Baked Apples, and anything else you can think of are such a treat this time of year.

But many of those apple recipes leave behind a great deal of apple peels. In the past I've always fed apple scraps to my chickens, but in the last year I wanted to try something new and see if I could find some great new uses for apple peels. Even a moderate sized batch of applesauce can leave a decent pile of apple peels. Many of the apple’s nutrients are stored in the peel so it seems a waste to throw them out. Here are just some of the great uses for these peels!


The peels can be simmered on the stove to create the scent of fresh-baked apple pie. This is ideal for anytime you want to relax or are having guests. If you don’t want to do this right now, the peels can be frozen and then simmered when you are ready to enjoy their fruity scent. Simply place the peels in a saucepan with water and toss in a cinnamon stick. Add water as needed.

For potpourri, dehydrate the peels. You can also dehydrate a few apple cores and slices, if desired. Combine 1 cinnamon stick broken into several pieces, 3 ginger slivers and 1 teaspoon of whole cloves. Add enough dried peels and cores to make 1 full cup. Store in an airtight container or the freezer until ready to simmer. Dump the contents into a teapot and fill about two-thirds with water.

Apple Peel Jelly

In a saucepan, bring 4 cups of apple peels and cores and 5 cups of water to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Pour through a jelly bag. Measure the juice. Return 2 cups of juice to the saucepan. Add 1 1/2 cups of sugar and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Return to a boil, stirring frequently. Take pan off the heat and pour into two 6-ounce jelly jars previously sterilized. Skim foam from top, seal and store in the refrigerator or process in a water bath canner.

Uses for Apple Peels

Apple Tea

Pour 4 cups of water into a saucepan along with 6 apple peels, 1 cinnamon stick or ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Boil for 15 minutes. Strain out the peels and cinnamon stick and add 1 tablespoon of honey to sweeten.

Apple Peel Vinegar

Using the peels and cores, pack a half gallon mason jar tightly, leaving an inch of space at the top. Fill the jar with water, completely submerging peels and cores. The contents must remain under water. Cover with a towel or cheesecloth, held in place with a rubber band. Store somewhere warm for about a month. Pour off liquid and store it in a glass jar.

Apple Peel Syrup

Re-purpose those peels into something delicious like a big batch of Apple Pelly Syrup! You can use any type of apples to make the syrup and it's a perfect canning project if you are already working on applesauce or something similar.

Apple-Up Some Recipes

Apple peels are a nutritious and tasty ingredient for many other food recipes. Add them to coleslaw recipes, hot oatmeal and smoothies.

Non-Food Uses

Of course many animals enjoy apple peels as a treat. Rabbits, goats and other herbivores will love any extras you might have. Apple peels can also be used to remove stains from aluminum pots and pans. Add some water to the peels in the pot or pan and simmer for roughly 30 minutes.

I love finding uses for things such as apple peels. Once you start exploring what you can really do with them you never know what frugal uses you might be able to benefit from!

Love finding uses for old foods? Here are some Uses for Banana Peels to check out! And don't miss my Uses For page with all kinds of frugal ideas.

What are some of your favorite uses for apple peels?


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{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Beks September 17, 2014 at 7:39 am

I remember when we got a peeler from the Pampered Chef when I was a kid, my mom told us to take the apple peels to the deck, and we’d watch birds attack the long string of peel. They loved it!


2 Merissa September 17, 2014 at 7:49 am

What a fun memory 🙂


3 Jenny September 17, 2014 at 8:25 am

Fun idea! Reminds me how my grandpa would do that with his McDonalds french fries!


4 Jenny September 17, 2014 at 8:24 am

Thanks for the great tips! I am so excited for apple season! Our “orchard” is still twiggy trees, but someday I will have our own apples! One question – do the chickens do ok with the peels loose, or should I enclose the peels in an old dishwasher caddy so they get smaller pieces? I’m thinking how they shouldn’t have potato peels, and that is similar. Thanks?

Oh, and thanks to your post about the sauce maker, I got myself one :). My husband has justified many incidental purchases of yard equipment since moving to our hobby farm 1.5 years ago, I figured the kitchen could use a new implement, too :).


5 Merissa September 17, 2014 at 8:27 am

I like to give all chicken scraps in some kind of shallow dish just so they don’t make a mess of them but either way will work. Yay for the new sauce maker! I hope you love it 🙂


6 Stacy September 17, 2014 at 8:47 am

Thank you so much for sharing! I just picked 85 lbs of apples Sunday to use for canning applesauce. I wanted to make apple jelly. Now I know a way to do it!! 🙂 Do I have to use pectin?


7 Merissa September 17, 2014 at 9:54 am

No need for pectin as long as you have some apple cores in with the peels 🙂


8 Laura September 17, 2014 at 9:07 am

I’m able to make copious amounts of natural Apple Cider Vinegar just using apple scraps! Recently posted about it too, if you’d care to see what that looks like…


9 Jackie Mann September 17, 2014 at 9:50 am

Make your applesauce with peels–it makes it go a lot faster, and if you puree it in the final smoothing out step you can’t even tell.


10 C September 17, 2014 at 2:43 pm

I have a recipe for apple-peel twigs from a Martha Stewart mag a couple years ago. Toss peels with cinnamon and sugar. sprinkle with water. Spread on parchment-lined baking sheet and bake in 250′ oven until peels are curled and crisp about 2 1/2 hours. Rotating halfway.


11 Amy September 18, 2014 at 12:13 pm

What great ideas! I’m definately going to have to try some of them. When I make applesauce I always feel bad when I throw out all of the apple peels. Now I can make something else with them. I think I will try the potpourri first.


12 Amy September 18, 2014 at 12:14 pm

Oh, and I also wanted to tell you that I love your blog banner. The eggs were a great idea!!


13 Merissa September 18, 2014 at 12:29 pm

Aw thank you! 🙂


14 J @ A Hot Southern Mess September 18, 2014 at 3:02 pm

Those are some really good ideas. I never would of thought of aromatherapy. Stopping in from the link up today.


15 Sheri September 18, 2014 at 7:02 pm

What about freezing bags of them for later use? Has anyone done that?


16 Debra September 19, 2014 at 1:01 pm

I have frozen apple peels before to use later, they work great! I just made some apple peel jelly last night, once I strained the juice from the peels and cores, I put the remaining scraps in my flower/strawberry bed. Its great compost! I did this last year and my strawberries and flowers went crazy this last spring!


17 Christine U September 19, 2014 at 1:55 pm

Make applesauce with your peels! After I have peeled apples for the freezer, I cook down the peels & cores and run them through my sauce maker. I am amazed at how much applesauce I am able to get from what would otherwise be considered “waste”.


18 Elissa September 19, 2014 at 8:38 pm

I just seed and quarter my apples for sauce. I never peel. Just heat then throw in my vitamix then can. Easy. The color of the peels makes it look pretty.
Also, if I have peels from pie, then I dehydrate them and put in my granola recipe. As
On gas they’re crunchy, they work great.


19 Dina September 19, 2014 at 9:15 pm

Just wondering if it’s safe to use the cores with the seeds in them. In my juicing books, they mention removing the seeds from the apples before juicing because the seeds contain cyanide. I don’t really know enough about this issue. Maybe it’s only dangerous for juicing and not for boiling? Any info appreciated.


20 Merissa September 19, 2014 at 9:21 pm

You would have to grind or chew up many seeds to cause an issue. With boiling and removing the seeds it shouldn’t be an issue.


21 Dina September 19, 2014 at 9:25 pm

Thank you Merissa!


22 Merissa September 19, 2014 at 9:26 pm

No problem 🙂


23 Charlene September 19, 2014 at 10:36 pm

I love your RV. Can I ask what kind do you have it seems extra roomy compared to the ones we have looked at.


24 Merissa September 20, 2014 at 10:30 am

Our rv was an Open Range 413RLL 🙂


25 Cheryl@ Sew Can Do September 21, 2014 at 8:13 pm

Great ideas and just in time since we’ll be going apple picking soon. I really want to try the apple tea & jelly. I know my kids have fed the chickens at 4-H apple peels recently, but had no idea there were so many other uses. Thanks for linking to the Craftastic Monday party at Sew Can Do. Would love to feature this, but can’t seem to find your link party page or a party button/link – if you have it somewhere just let me know:)


26 April September 22, 2014 at 8:42 pm

These ideas are great. I am most excited to try the apple peel Jelly; we really love apples in our house. Thanks for linking up to Merry Monday. Hope you will share more great tips with us.


27 Rose September 28, 2014 at 5:18 pm

That apple tea sounds delicious! Plus since it’s using the peel, it must be healthy, too 🙂

I love just munching on apple peels as a snack, but true, there’s a limit to how much you can eat in one go!


28 Barb @ A Life in Balance September 29, 2014 at 8:48 am

Thanks for sharing your post at Motivation Monday! You’re one of our features this week!


29 Merissa September 29, 2014 at 10:28 am

Thank you for the feature Barb!


30 Jessica October 7, 2014 at 12:19 pm

I use my peels and cores to make pectin for other jams and jellies. Just boil them down, like the way you said for apple peel jelly, strain and boil some more. The juice should reduce by half. I test it but putting a little into a dish of rubbing alcohol. If it’s thick enough to pick upn with a fork, it’s done.

Then I can it in half pint jars for future use.


31 Rita October 9, 2014 at 5:57 am

I love the ideas on apple peelings. When I do apples, I wash them good first, then use my apple peeler, corer, slicer.. I either dry the slices, or freeze them in zip lock baggies for fried apples, apple pie, or even chunky apple sauce. I collect the peelings and cores in a big pan, and when I’m all done peeling and coring a bushel of apples, I cook those peelings and cores with just enough water to keep it from scorching. When all done cooking, I put them through the fruit and vegetable strainer on my mixer. I get about 5 quarts of smooth apple sauce. There isn’t much left after this, and what is left, goes onto the compost pile. I like putting the applesauce I get into small containers, like about a half cup, to be used in recipes, along with containers to just eat. If after a year in the freezer, the apple sauce isn’t gone, I recycle it into apple butter, cooking that in a crock pot.


32 Lesley January 18, 2015 at 6:13 pm

Thanks for this, Merissa. Some great recipes, many lost to today’s cooks, especially the apple cider vinegar!


33 Chana Holzkamper September 6, 2015 at 8:05 pm

I just made your apple peel pancake syrup and it was a HUGE hit with my family! Thank you for posting it.


34 Margaret September 6, 2015 at 10:49 pm

You could add them to smoothies too, and if there are lots of peels, freeze them to use in smoothies later.


35 Eliza September 9, 2016 at 10:09 am

I just keep most of the peels with the apples when I make apple sauce & it turn out yummy. Thanks for the great suggestions!


36 David Brown September 10, 2016 at 5:49 pm

Thanks, Merissa! I dislike wasting anything of our produce and appreciate your wisdom here. Am making Apple Peel Jelly right now as I make Crock Pot Applesauce with some of our apples. Keep up the good work! -Dave


37 Jessica Nuttall September 12, 2016 at 9:39 am

Excited to try out the apple jelly!


38 Donna Vincent September 12, 2016 at 11:23 am

I buy the juicing apples from Azure co-op to make applesauce with. Price is great


39 jodie filogomo September 14, 2016 at 8:28 pm

What great ideas…I hate to waste anything, so these are great tips!!


40 Carol September 14, 2016 at 8:59 pm

Great ideas!


41 Angie Rose September 18, 2016 at 8:32 pm

Such great ideas! Thank you so much for sharing with us at Dishing It & Digging It! Hope to see you back this week 🙂


42 Terry September 19, 2016 at 2:37 pm

When making applesauce I just wash and quarter my apples and then cook 20 minutes in my pressure cooker with just enough water to cover. The resulting apples are strained out and put into a food mill. The juice left is wonderful apple cider. The sieved applesauce needs almost no sugar. There is almost no waste at all and that little bit goes into the compost pile


43 Mary Sorensen October 18, 2016 at 6:18 pm

Hi! I just tried your apple peel jelly, but it remains in a liquid state. It didn’t gel. What are your suggestions? Is there anything I can do with it in the liquid state? Mary S.


44 Tina October 29, 2016 at 11:02 am

A humble thank you for sharing your knowledge. I love and aspire to live by your motto, Making the most of what you have.


45 Liz January 14, 2017 at 9:15 am

When I have a glut of apple peels, I like to dry them and eat them instead of junk when I need a quick snack. But I must admit that I especially like the idea of giving the long peels to the birds–that would be so fun to watch!


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