What’s not to love about an orchard-fresh apple on a crisp autumn day? For many people, it’s the core, which often finds itself on the fast track to the trash. But did you know that you can use apple cores to make apple juice, apple cider vinegar, and much more?
It’s a great way to reduce food waste, but before you can tackle one of these apple core recipes, you’re going to need to build up a pretty big reserve of cores. Luckily, you can use your freezer to preserve apple cores while you grow your collection—just make a parade of apple dumplings, spiced apple crisp, other apple desserts, and even savory apple recipes, and stash the cores in a freezer-safe bag every time you cut your fruit.
Reusable Gallon Freezer Bags, 4 for $15.99 on Amazon
These extra thick, reusable silicone bags are perfect for keeping apple cores—or leftovers.
As soon as you gather enough cores and remove the seeds, you’re ready to get cooking!
Related Reading: Can Apple Seeds Actually Kill You?
Move over, Mott’s. All you’ll need to make your own juice is a pot, some jars to store the juice, and two or three ingredients: cores, water, and (if you so choose) sugar. You’ll bring the cores and water to a boil, then reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer for half an hour. Finally, toss what remains of the cores and use a coffee filter to catch any sediment before storing (or drinking)! Get the Apple Juice recipe
Related Reading: What Is the Difference Between Apple Juice and Apple Cider?
The recipe for apple jelly isn’t all that different from the one for juice, except that sugar is a must, and you’ll need some lemon juice as well. You can also use the apple peels in this recipe! Get the Apple Jelly recipe.
Cinnamon Apple Jelly, $7.95 at Stonewall Kitchen
This store-bought apple jelly contains a bit of brandy plus cinnamon and lemon juice.
Apple Jalapeno Jelly, $7.95 at Stonewall Kitchen
And this one brings the heat with jalapenos—an idea you can try making at home too.
Apple cider vinegar is known as an age-old remedy for all manner of health issues from sore throats to blood sugar to dandruff and more. To make your own, you’ll once again need apple cores, sugar, and water. The key difference in making vinegar is that it isn’t a one-day task: The ingredients will need to spend about two weeks fermenting. Get the Apple Cider Vinegar recipe.
Agrodolce is an Italian sweet and sour sauce that can be used to add flavor to a variety of dishes from meats to greens. This recipe calls for 10 cores to make one cup of sauce. Get the Apple Core Agrodolce recipe. (Try using it in our Roasted Onions Agrodolce recipe pictured above; just leave out the vinegar and sugar and substitute some of your homemade sauce instead. Or try it in this Agrodolce Bourbon Cocktail recipe.)
For this recipe, you will need: a few pounds of apple cores, 5 to 12 months, and an adventurous spirit. Once you’ve assembled all of those ingredients (plus sugar, yeast, and a large glass container), you’re ready to try your hand at homemade apple core wine! Get the Apple Core Wine recipe.
Header image courtesy of Shutterstock.