10 Cool Uses for Pineapple Skins
Re-use those pineapple skins, cores and scraps
Find out how to use pineapple skins in your kitchen and home, and give those scraps a second life!
These pineapple skin uses are really simple, frugal and use up the entire pineapple so you don't waste anything.
There's nothing quite like a fresh, juicy pineapple. But nearly every time after peeling one, I look at all the scraps leftover and can't help think that most of the fruit is going to waste.
Although I use a peeling technique that wastes as little as possible, there's still so much that won't be eaten.
Now it's time to share all the great ideas and recipes I've discovered in my quest to save pineapple skins from the scrap heap. Scroll down to find your next pineapple skin kitchen project.
And if you love reducing waste by reusing kitchen scraps, here are a couple more of my articles you might like. Open them up in another tab and enjoy after reading this page.
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1. Pineapple skin sun tea
My mother in law first showed me this traditional way to use up pineapple skins. It's really easy, and is good for you, too! Pineapples contain high amounts of bromelain which have amazing health benefits.
To make your tea, combine the skin, core and any other scraps of one pineapple in a container that has a lid. A small pot or large glass jar is ideal. Cover the pineapple scraps with water, and leave out in the sun for several hours until the water turns yellow. Strain the tea, chill completely and drink sweetened or as is.
Don't have any sun? There's a similar recipe you can make on the stovetop, known as Pineappleade
2. Pineapple Pot Pourri
Pot pourri is surprisingly easy to make at home, but most people associate it with dried flowers and leaves. In fact, you can use most fruits to make pot pourri, and pineapple skins work wonderfully this way.
To make your own pineapple pot pourri, follow these simple instructions subbing in pineapple skins for the other fruits. You can experiment with different spices, herbs and perfumes to make your perfect mix. I personally love the aroma of pineapple paired with dried ginger, dried coconut and vanilla.
The best low-price dehydrator to make dried pineapple
Using a food dehydrator makes it really easy to make home-made fruit pot pourri.
Just collect your leftover pineapple skins, dehydrate them until crisp and cut into small pieces ready to release their sweet fragrance into your home.
This Nesco dehydrator is a really great price and performs well. Seriously, for the cost of a couple of good pizzas you can make home-made pot pourri - as well as fruit chips, jerky, dried herbs, raw foods and more - for years. Not a bad investment.
The best quality dehydrator in this price range, it won't break the bank.
Perfect for someone who likes to dehydrate foods regularly without spending hundreds on equipment.
It does a great job. The only downside is it can be a little noisy, so plan to use it when you won't disturb anyone else in the house.
3. DIY Pineapple Vinegar
It's easy to make vinegar at home using the scraps from pineapples.
I love using it for cleaning, because it leaves a faint fruity smell in the house. You can add a half cup to the rinse cycle as a natural clothes softener. For cleaning, I make a plain version, leaving out the spices.
It's also great in vinaigrettes, in Mexican dishes and diluted with honey and water as a drink when you feel a cold coming on.
Make sure your water is filtered, or at least non-chlorinated. Chlorine will kill all the bacteria necessary for fermentation.
- Cook time: 36 hours
- Ready in: 36 hours
- Yields: 2 quarts
- Skin & core of 1 pineapple
- 2 quarts water
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- pinch red chile flakes
- Place all the ingredients together in a large glass bowl or jar.
- Cover with a cheesecloth to protect from flies.
- Leave at room temperature for around 36hours. The vinegar should be lightly acidic, with an aroma of pineapples.
- Skim any foam off the top, remove pineapple pieces and strain the vinegar into clean jars.
- Close the jars tightly. The vinegar will keep for several months in a cool place.
4. Pineapple peel body scrub
Pineapples are rich in bromelain, which is often used to tenderise meat. Little surprise, then that they are great at softening the tough skin on our feet. Something to keep in mind next time you're giving yourself an at-home pedicure.
To make a pineapple foot scrub, place your pineapple scraps in a food processor or blender and blend until you get a coarse paste. Apply the paste to your feet, and leave for 20 minutes while you relax. Rinse and continue your pedicure.
For a simpler version of the pineapple foot exfoliant, use the entire pineapple skins without chopping them up. Simply rub the inside, fleshy part of the peels over your skin for a few minutes, using small circular motions.
Edit: (July 2014) I've just come across a great little blog entry about making pineapple peel body scrub. Check it out!
- skin of 1 pineapple
- 1 handful dried hibiscus flowers
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh ginger
- juice of 2 limes
- 1 tsp lime zest
- sugar to taste
- - Combine all the ingredients (except sugar) in a lidded pot.
- - Add 2 litres water, and bring to boil.
- - Simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from heat and close lid.
- - Leave to infuse for 10 minutes, before straining into a jug.
- - Serve chilled, with plenty of ice and sugar to taste.
How to peel a pineapple - With the least waste possible
This is the exact same technique I use. Once you've done it a couple of times it's really easy and quick.
6. Pineapple car freshener
A few years ago, I bought a used car that I thought was a great deal...until I went to drive it for the first time. The previous owners were heavy smokers, and the car stank of cigarettes!
I tried airing the car out, vacuuming, and using a mixture of bi-carb and vinegar to neutralise the odours. Nothing worked. Then a friend told me her trick for making a car smell great - pineapple skins.
To make a pineapple air freshener, collect the scraps from one or several pineapples and place them in a plastic bag. Leave the bag on the dashboard, or another place exposed to plenty of sun during the day. After a couple of weeks, the pineapple pieces will shrink and dry out, and your car will smell like a fruit cocktail.
7. Tepache - Pineapple drink from Mexico
A quick search online will result in dozens of tepache recipes, all different. Some ferment for 24 hours, while others are left for 2 weeks. Traditional tepache used only pineapple scraps, while modern versions use the whole fruit, and add beer to speed up the fermentation process.
For a completely authentic Mexican tepache recipe, check out this page which features a step-by-step tutorial with pictures and tips.
For a simpler version, scroll down for the recipe I use at home.
Whichever version you choose, know that this drink is delicious, and because of the fermentation process is great for your digestion and general health.
Simple tepache recipe
The piloncillo, or unrefined cane sugar used in this recipe gives it that wonderful, authentic taste. You can also use raw cane sugar, jaggery, palm or coconut sugars.
- Skin & core of 1 pineapple
- 12 cups water
- 2.5 cups piloncillo
- 1 small canela stick
- 2 cloves
- - Wash the pineapple skins and cut into large pieces.
- - Place the pineapple skins in a large glass bowl and add 8 cups of water, piloncillo, the canela and the cloves.
- - Cover with a cheesecloth, and let sit for about 48 hours. You should notice small bubbles in the liquid.
- - Strain the liquid and add the other 4 cups of water, then let sit a further 12 hours.
- - Strain again; and serve cold with ice cubes.
These are the best drinks glasses, of all time. They keep your beverages icy cold, and look absolutely amazing. Imagine sitting outside in summer and drinking some ice cold, refreshing tepache with your friends.
9. Make juice from pineapple skin
Even if you peel your pineapples in the least wasteful way possible, there's plenty of juicy goodness still stored in the skin. Which is why I was so happy to find this article about how to juice pineapple skin.
Juicing machines filter out all the tough bits of skin, anyway, so don't worry about the eyes, spikes and tough bits ruining your juice. It'll be exactly the same as normal pineapple juice. And to think you would have thrown it away!
10. Pineapple Skin Paper
I haven't tried this at home yet, but am planning on experimenting and posting my results with making pineapple skin paper sometime soon.
In the meantime, you can read about the process of making pineapple paper in Thailand. Basically, the pineapple skins are chopped up, the fibre is released and the pulp is set onto frames to dry in the sun.
When's the last time you ate pineapple, and what do you usually do with those skins?