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.
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
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!
What are some of your favorite uses for apple peels?
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