Homemade Fruit Juice from Scraps

 photo IMG_1309_zps1380439f.jpgFor a while now, I've known about the food waste reduction technique of saving veggie scraps and bones and using them to make broth. Other than homemade vinegar, or compost, I didn't know what you could do with fruit scraps.
Then my friend told me that she saves her fruit scraps and uses them to make fruit juice! What a revelation! I'd never thought of doing that. Never even crossed my mind. My kids drink water and kombucha, but sometimes we want something else as a treat, and this way we can have fruit juice without having to pay anything!

What you need for this is any fruit scraps that you can't use in other ways. If you have apple peels or half eaten apples- it's a waste to use it for this- might as well chuck it in the freezer until the next time you make applesauce.
Examples of what you can use is apple cores, pear cores, prickly pear peels, strawberry tops (including leaves), pineapple peels, cherry pits, peach pits,  kiwi peels, date pits, quince cores, etc... I would not use orange or other citrus peels for this, since they'd just make the drink bitter. However, if you have the inside of a squeezed orange or lemon, minus the pith and peel, you can use that as well. (Use the citrus peels to make a great citrus cleaner or candied citrus peels.)

Since most people won't have a lot of these available at one time, each time you eat fruit scraps and have some left over, chuck them into a bag or container in the freezer, and when you have enough saved up, then it's time to make your juice.

Stick them all in a crock pot and cover with water. Cook for a few hours on high, or 12 hours on low. Alternatively, if you don't have a crock pot, you can bring to a boil, and then simmer for around an hour on the stove.

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Taste the water. If it is sufficiently sweet, then it's ready. If it's not so sweet, take off the cover and let some of the water boil off, to concentrate the flavor.

Strain the liquids out of the solids with a colander.

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You should get a decent amount.

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But you could still get more. And since this is about frugality, we want the most bang for our... no bucks. :-D

Whatever solids are left in the colander- stick them in a cheese cloth, and strain out the liquids, squeezing the cheesecloth to remove as much liquid as possible.

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If you're, perhaps, tempted to try blending the fruit scraps before straining... don't. It'll be a gross, unappetizing mess that won't strain easily at all.

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You should now have a pitcher of fruit juice ready to use for anything. Each time you make this, the variation of fruits used will likely change, so the flavor will be different every time, but always good.

Since we don't need things so sweet and like to stretch our treats further, I tend to dilute this juice with water before serving it.

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For a variation- try adding a stick of cinnamon or piece of ginger or star anise in with your fruit scraps while they're boiling for some extra pizzazz. 

Enjoy hot or cold!

Have you ever made fruit scrap juice? What else do you do with your fruit scraps? Does this look like something you'd want to try out?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. I've done this and made "spiced 'cider'" but I don't think this can truly be called "juice". It's a fruit drink.

  2. I regularly make this with pineapple and mango skins (we get lots as we're in the tropics) but instead of boiling I put the scraps in a big jar or pot and leave it in the sun for a few hours before straining. Even cheaper than paying for electricity/gas!

  3. What about using banana skins?

    1. It wouldn't work. It would be bitter. But here's something you can do with banana peels-

  4. I am going to try it with my iced tea as the sweetener.

  5. I'm saving fruit scraps right now to try this. I have apple, pear, and peach right now. I've been trying to find ways to reduce our waste and get as much out of my dollar as possible. Thanks for this!

  6. I just made apple,strawberry,peach, pineapple raspberry juice!!! DANG it's delicious. will make again!!

  7. I have a large pot on the stove right now from making Apple pie filling I put through the canner. I was going to make Apple scrap jelly... But I think I will try this instead as I have enough jam/jelly anyways...

  8. we have met in real life and i just found this by googling. small world!lots of love!
    saving up fruit scraps in the freezer, but do you use apple cores that people have bitten? right now i am sticking to ones i cut up for baking and such

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