Apple Peel Tea

We have peeled many, many apples recently.A few years ago this handy little gadget came into our lives.  It peels, cores, and slices the apples all at once.  These functions are handy, of course, but the thingamajig’s real value lies in its ability to produce a lengthy, swirling, snaking apple peel that can stretch clear across the kitchen and be used as a jump rope.  (Note: jumping rope with a fresh apple peel may cause juice to fly all over your kitchen.)  The girls find the apple peels irresistible both as toys and as snacks, and I love the sight of all the sticky little-girl fingers cradling tangles of this healthy treat.

But recently I sneaked a bowl for myself to try out this wacky idea of making apple peel tea (technically a “tisane,” apparently, as no tea leaves are involved).  I steeped them in hot water with a cinnamon stick and a touch of vanilla and, I must say, I quite liked the result.  This isn’t the hearty flavor of apple cider; instead it’s a light and unmistakeably apple-y infusion.  Mine was a little pink from the red apple peels.

My kids observed that it tasted like watered-down juice.  That might not sound like a compliment, but I think I liked it precisely because they were right.  (We sometimes make watered-down “hot juice” as a hot beverage in cold weather.  Is that a thing?  Adding hot water to cold juice?  Does anyone else do that?)  And aside from the warmth-and-comfort factor, making something from nothing always makes me a little gleeful.  You know how I like that.

You don’t need fancy apple peels for this project, of course.  Try it out next time you bake a pie or peel an apple for your finicky toddler.  You’ll probably want to use unsprayed and unwaxed apples, though, which are abundant at farmers’ markets at this time of year.

Apple Peel Tea (inspired by The Kitchn*): Combine 4 c. apple peels and 4 c. cold water in a pot and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and add 1 cinnamon stick and a little splash of pure vanilla extract.  Simmer for 45-60 minutes.  Strain into mugs and sweeten to taste with honey.

*By way of illustrating the flexibility here, I will tell you that The Kitchn’s recipe recommends simmering a handful of apple peels in a saucepan of water for 5-10 minutes.  I personally preferred the stronger flavor produced by the higher ratio of peels and the longer simmering time I recommend above, but if you only have a handful of peels and five minutes, don’t let that stop you.


17 thoughts on “Apple Peel Tea

  1. ieatthepeach

    Your family sounds like mine–we love love love snacking on apple peels. If I can ever restrain myself enough to collect enough peels to make tea, I will definitely try this.

  2. tea_austen

    So pretty! Now I know what to do with all the apple peelings we create through our apple chips. I usually toss them in smoothies, but this is much prettier and more romantic :-)

    1. emmycooks Post author

      You WOULD like a tea recipe, of course. :) Tell me about your apple chips–do you make them in the oven? Can you tell me how? I have to return my borrowed dehydrators but my kids are loving the dried apples and I still have a fridge full of apples!

  3. Sobremesa DC

    Brilliant and perfect for fall! I always munch on the peels when I’m making apple pie – now I have something else to do with them :)

  4. Little Sis

    Cheapskates unite! I too love getting something out of all the parts – I just don’t always realize that I could make something with the bits I’m collecting. Thanks so much for sharing – sounds lovely.

  5. Allison

    Genius idea! I also love making something from nothing, and not letting edible things go to waste!

    My old roommate used to insist that things like this were not tea but just flavored water (even though that’s what tea made with tea leaves is, too!) whenever I’d offer her some Korean tea, e.g., made with roasted barley or roasted corn kernels. But I think you can make tea out of almost anything! I will definitely try this the next time I need peeled apples in a recipe. : )

  6. Tammie

    Great recipe! I’ve made an apple tea for several years – it’s good for the stomach, stimulates kidneys and if you have arthritis/gout you should drink it daily to help relieve the symptoms.

  7. Pingback: 14 Ways to Cook with Food Scraps | Care2 Healthy Living

  8. Marina

    I just tried this tonight with peels left over from an apple strudel and it was delicious. First I made a batch simmered for 20 minutes, then I went for the full hour – so worth it. I want to make this more often. :)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s