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.
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.
3. DIY Pineapple Vinegar
It's easy to make vinegar at home using the scraps from pineapples.
This straightforward recipe from the Nourishing Traditions cookbook doesn't require any fancy equipment, and you can adapt the flavours to suit your taste.
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||Ready in||Yields|
- 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!
This refreshing drink comes from Nigeria, and it is incredibly delicious.
Dried hibiscus flowers give the drink a beautiful deep pink colour and floral taste. They're available to buy online if you can't find them near you.
- 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.
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 out that you can juice pineapple skin! Just pass the skins through a juicer or juicer attachment on your food processor, and marvel at how much comes out!
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?
Do you love pineapples?
HamzaNAhmed on December 30, 2017:
good informative article about how we can reuse instead of throwing away. Do you mind checking out my articles about the environment
Esther on May 01, 2017:
I LOVE PINEAPPLES!
Peter Geekie from Sittingbourne on September 25, 2016:
Really good article, a person after my own heart. I tend to use my skins in a nutri bullet then strain out the bits which I use in a mash to feed the wild birds.
kind regards Peter
yehet on June 14, 2016:
great ideas :) but, can pineapple skin be used for fiberglass? can you answer as quickly as possible? I have this investigatory project and I decided to use pineapple skin cause pine apple skins are wasted here in the philippines
jewlsss on July 17, 2014:
Great ideas! I usually consume one pineapple a week. I never knew there are so many possibilities for using the skin, hence I always chuck it away. But now I know it better :)
mrinfo10 lm on July 15, 2014:
I never knew about using Pineapples for the feet like that. Your recipes sound delicious, and I'm a heavy believer in Pineapple, since it really helps with inflammation as well.
asereht1970 from Philippines on May 04, 2014:
Yes, I do. Nowadays I eat them every day. There is a street vendor who goes daily to our shop and deliver us a piece each.
Charito Maranan-Montecillo from Manila, Philippines on April 21, 2014:
The Mexican tepache looks really refreshing!
rainykua on March 17, 2014:
I had no idea that there are so many things we can do with pineapple skins!
Erin Mellor from Europe on February 26, 2014:
I've just been composting it - my worms have been living a life of tropical luxury that my feet could have been enjoying.
Rosetta Slone (author) from Under a coconut tree on January 29, 2014:
@VioletteRose LM: One less pineapple wasted. Awesome!
VioletteRose LM on January 28, 2014:
I never knew pineapple skin has this many uses, I usually throw it away. I especially like its use as a foot scrub. Thank you so much, I have one pineapple sitting in my kitchen counter now :)
ColettaTeske on January 19, 2014:
I love your ideas for re-using the pineapple skins. I don't like to waste any kind of food. I will be sharing this with my friends. Great job. And, I really want to see a lens on that pineapple paper!
suepogson on September 05, 2013:
A while back, and much to my surprise, I found I had that I had pineapple growing in my garden (hence my photo). There are only a couple and the fruits are a long time coming but once they do - WOW! The sweetness makes your eyes water when you eat cut it off the plant and just eat it. I'm so glad to find ways to use the rest of the fruit that the plant took so long producing - I love the foot scrub and the drinks and am now impatient for the next free pineapple from my generous plants. great lens. Thanks.
Demaw on August 23, 2013:
Who knew. Some very good uses for pineapple skin. Will definitely try some of them.
SavioC on July 31, 2013:
We had pineapple more than a couple of weeks back and we always throw the skins out. But now we are going to make foot scrub thanks to you. Its always great to use something that we used to throw as waste.
Rosetta Slone (author) from Under a coconut tree on July 25, 2013:
@Susan Zutautas: Yay! More pineapple skins saved from the trash. Enjoy using them up in great ways.
Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on July 25, 2013:
So many great ways to use those pineapple skins. I never realized there was so much you could do with the skins. I buy pineapples all the time and will try some of your uses.
acreativethinker on July 19, 2013:
So many fabulous ideas for using pineapple. Thanks for sharing. Take care :)
cwilson360 on July 09, 2013:
if my house smelled like pineapple I would crave margaritas all the time. Love it.
angelatvs on May 16, 2013:
Wow, I never knew... Thanks so much for the wonderful ideas
jlshernandez on May 15, 2013:
I like the foot scrub idea. Great tip.
Erin Mellor from Europe on May 13, 2013:
To think I've just been composting them all this time.
JimHofman on May 09, 2013:
I love pineapple! We just threw out the skins. Thanks for the great ideas here!
Cynthia Haltom from Diamondhead on May 03, 2013:
I was just about to cut open a pineapple tonight, you have some very interesting suggestions for pineapple use. I usually just eat it raw and grow the tips into plants.
Mary from Chicago area on April 26, 2013:
This is very cool! I think my only concern with using pineapple skins for consumption (juice etc.) would be cleaning them adequately, with all those nooks & crannies. Perhaps a good scrub with Veggie Wash spray or a homemade version of that. Love these ideas.
anonymous on April 16, 2013:
What a unique lens! We all had pineapple tonight. I don't know what my wife did with the skin. Probably put it in the compost pile. Thanks for some great ideas!
Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on April 15, 2013:
I usually buy them from a vendor who peels it right in front of me. I never thought there are all these wonderful things you can do to those skin.
Cynthia Haltom from Diamondhead on April 13, 2013:
Wow! Sound like you have some great uses, I usually just eat them and root the tops for my garden.
Katie Hazel on April 12, 2013:
Can I just say I love this lens! It's awesome! thanks for all the ideas :)
MasterDripper on April 08, 2013:
I love pineapple and never thought of using the skin. I would try the tea and the Jeep (I mean car) freshener...great ideas...cheers and thanks
Gloria Freeman from Alabama USA on March 26, 2013:
Hi I love fresh pineapples, I ate pineapples a few days a go. Love these great ideas on how to use pineapples skins.
NibsyNell on March 20, 2013:
I love pineapples! And that pineapple tea sounds lovely. :)
Stephen Bush from Ohio on March 06, 2013:
Since we just had several inches of snow where I live, your wonderful lens provided an added bonus by transporting me to the tropics as I read it! SquidAngel Blessings.
john9229 on March 03, 2013:
I love pineapples juice! Is very easy for me to get a fresh pineapples, my grandmom's garden :)
alenmic on March 01, 2013:
I love pineapples, both fresh and cooked. Thank to this lens, i know there are many things to do with pineapples ^^..great.
jayavi on February 27, 2013:
nicely arrange. love this lens
Vikki from US on February 24, 2013:
I do love them and I love the pineapple potpourri idea! Must try ;) #blessed
Monica Lobenstein from Western Wisconsin on February 17, 2013:
Forgot to mention... Blessed
Monica Lobenstein from Western Wisconsin on February 17, 2013:
I love to buy fresh pineapples in season, and you're right... So much goes to waste. I love these ideas! I never would have guessed there were so many ways to use the skins.
Rosetta Slone (author) from Under a coconut tree on February 14, 2013:
@irminia: Hmmm, I'm not sure if pineapples are a high spray crop. A friend told me she washes hers with bi-carb to eliminate the sprays on the skin. Off to investigate...
irminia on February 14, 2013:
I adore pineapples and I do use your peeling technique. But pineapples don't grow where I leave - they are imported from far away and treated with a fair amount of pesticides/fungicides/whatever-cides. So I guess I better shouldn't use the peel ...
sybil watson on February 14, 2013:
Wow, so many fantastic ideas! I've always thought all that leftover skin was a huge waste - now I know what to do with it. Great job!
Rosetta Slone (author) from Under a coconut tree on February 12, 2013:
@happynutritionist: I'm glad to hear I may have rescued a few skins from the trash can!
happynutritionist on February 12, 2013:
I do love pineapple! The skins, unfortunately, usually end up in the trash...that is until seeing all of this wonderful advise! Nicely done and *blessed* :-)
Kathryn Grace from San Francisco on February 06, 2013:
This is one of the most informative and interesting lenses I've ever seen. I want those guitar ice cube sticks! And I really want to try every one of your tips. I've always disliked the waste of a pineapple. For that reason, much as I love to eat them, I buy them infrequently. Thank you for inspiring me to spend more time with one of my favorite fruits.
Rosetta Slone (author) from Under a coconut tree on February 05, 2013:
@Aunt-Mollie: I'm so happy you learnt something new here!
Aunt-Mollie on February 05, 2013:
These are such interesting ideas. I never knew you could do anything with pineapple skins!
Ellen Gregory from Connecticut, USA on February 03, 2013:
I do love a fresh pineapple. These are great ideas. So many people do a square cut on a pineapple and waste so much of the fruit.