I love pineapple. Besides coconut (which really can be considered a fruit, a nut and a seed by loose definitions) it’s my favorite fruit. Yeah, I know, I should have been born in the tropics. But through modern (and old) technology, you can grow pineapple in places where it is not indigenous. For example, by using a solar powered greenhouse or simply by placing it inside your house you can keep a pineapple plant alive through the winter in most climates. Pineapple is on the “Clean 15” list, the list of fruits and vegetables you don’t necessarily have to buy organic in order to stay away from pesticides and other chemicals.
Part of the reasoning for this is that the pineapple has a thick skin that is mostly discarded by consumers, so the argument goes that most of any pesticide residue will be thrown away with the skin. So that’s good news for pineapple lovers everywhere. However, it turns out that those skins have some pretty hearty nutrition in them. The skin is were most of the bromelain, a protein that helps in digestion and healing, is located. That’s why many people who juice for nutritional intake don’t peel or remove the skin before they juice a pineapple.
Right, well, that changes things a bit. If we’re going to use pineapple skin anyway then can we still put pineapple on our list of ‘clean’ fruits and vegetables if we don’t buy organically? Honestly, I can’t answer that question for you. I do know that a quick Google search shows that there has been a lot of controversy surrounding pineapple grown in Costa Rica lately. I also can tell you that there are more and more sources of organic pineapple becoming available, and then if you decide to grow your own you’ll also have your garden as a great source.
So with all that out of the way, I want to share a way to use those pineapple skins other than just throwing them in the compost. You can take them and make pineapple skin tea. Trust me, it’s so good and worthy of having delicious pineapple in the title.
How To Make Pineapple Skin Tea:
You will need:
First you must acquire some pineapple skin. Here is a great idea for using the pineapple. Once you have accumulated a good amount of skin, you can just throw the skins in the freezer until you have enough, then place the pineapple in a large pot.
Fill the pot to about an inch over the pineapple and bring to a boil for about 5 to 10 minutes. Then let the pineapple skins simmer on medium to low heat for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Take the pineapple skins off the heat and strain the liquid. Be sure to catch the liquid in a bowl, that’s the part we’re after. I wanted to get every bit of juice out of my pineapple skins so I used a potato masher to mash down the pineapple skin after I had strained the liquid off. Then I strained the pineapple skins again. I wound up with about 1 and 1/2 gallon of liquid. Place liquid in a bowl or back into your pot and set aside.
To make the ginger syrup start with fresh ginger.
Slice 5 oz of ginger into 1/4 in. slices.
Add two cups of water and your sliced ginger to a pot and bring to a boil for about 10 to 15 minutes. Simmer on medium to low heat for about 30 minutes, making sure that the ginger is cooked completely. You may need to add a bit more water, add up to 1 cup as needed.
Take your cooled cooked ginger mixture and blend. You can just use a hand blender if it’s more convenient.
Place your pureed ginger mixture back into the pot and bring back to a boil. Once the ginger mixture is boiling add 1/2 cup sugar. You can actually add up to 2 cups sugar here for a sweeter syrup but I am always trying to watch my sugar intake, so I went with the lowest amount. Cook until sugar is dissolved. For a thicker syrup boil down to desired thickness.
My yield was about a pint or 2 cups. At this point you can strain the ginger if you like. I didn’t bother because my husband and I love ginger, so I wasn’t worried about tiny bits floating around in my tea. However, if you’d like to serve this for guests or for a function you might consider straining the syrup.
All of these measurements are approximate. There is really no correct recipe. You’ll have to pay around with fixing your pineapple skin tea to your liking. I added 1/2 cup honey to my 1 gallon and 1/2 half of pineapple liquid.
Then I added 1/2 cup of the ginger syrup to the pineapple liquid as well. I was able to add these things while the pineapple tea was still warm. If yours has cooled too long you can place it back on the stove before adding the ginger syrup and honey. Make sure both are well dissolved before bottling.
Store in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks. You can serve this either hot or cold.