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Welcome to The Sensitive Kitchen where home cooks are inspired to Cook to Enable Those You Love to Flourish. I’m Cindy Sullivan, registered dietitian, passionate nutrition, educator, and accomplished home cook. Whether you’re changing how you cook for food sensitivities, allergies, intolerances, or just trying to eat healthier on a budget, you’re in the right place.
Most episodes, I will share favorite recipes as well as modification tips and nutrition benefits. Occasionally I’ll have a guest or special episode like modifying holiday favorites. My favorite foods? They’re raspberries and homemade chocolate chip cookies. My latest cooking project was long fermented sourdough bread,
Have you made apple sauce this fall and apple pie or apple cake? What did you do with the apple cores and peels? Using your apple throwaways, the apple peels and cores,you can make a delicious beverage that you can serve warm or cold.
Right now, we’re in the middle of a three podcast series about making the most of your grocery budget. Many of you must already purchase pricier alternative products due to food allergies, sensitivities, or restrictions. Last week we talked about pickling green tomatoes. Today we’re discussing apple tea and next week orange peel tea, so start saving your orange rinds either drying on the counter or in the fridge or freezer for next time. One of the ways you can make the most of your food budget is to fully use the food that you purchase. For example, I save my bone in steak bones and lamb shank bones to make soup stock. I make refrigerator pickles out of my green tomatoes, and for several years, I’ve turned my apple peels and cores into a spiced apple tea.
Okay, what is apple tea? This is not apple juice, and it’s not a real tea either. It’s rather a flavored beverage made from apple throwaways, the peels and the cores. You can easily modify it to suit your tastes. It’s all natural, contains no added sweeteners, very few calories unless you decide to add them.
Well, is apple tea good for you? This is a delicious low calorie beverage that only contains water, apple, and spices. I use cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and cloves. So some of the goodness of the cinnamon sticks and ginger may leach into the tea, but I don’t count it as a major source of nutrients. Think of it as a wonderful free replacement for any other beverage you would normally purchase.
So how to make apple tea? It is simple, and first of all, this is not an exact recipe. It’s rather a method, and you’re going to find what works best for you. You’re going to start with about the same volume of apple peels and cores and water.
So if you have about three cups of apple peels and cores, add about three cups of water to your pot. I honestly don’t measure, I just eyeball it. Cover your pot and bring the water and the apple peels and cores to a boil, gently simmer for about an hour. This is a very mild tasting tea, so you need to simmer for a long time to get more of the apple flavor out of the peels and cores.
You can simmer for longer, but if you’re using the spices, you wanna simmer them in the apple tea for about 15 minutes. If you add the spices about 15 minutes before you’re ready to stop simmering, I find that works best because then when you strain everything, the spices will automatically be strained out or you can tie them in a cheese cloth or something else and put them in for about 15 minutes and just pull them out. You’re then going to strain your tea and either serve it immediately or refrigerate it for later use.
Okay, sometimes when I’m making a big pot of apple sauce or an apple pie, I have a lot of peels and course to use at one time, but a lot of times I’m just cutting one up to eat for lunch or packing one for one of my family to go out of the house, and then I will save the cores, put them in a rubber made container in my freezer and hang onto it. Or you can use any kind of container or even a plastic bag in your refrigerator or your freezer, so you can hang onto those peels and see, excuse me, cores, until you’re ready to use them.
As I already mentioned, you need about the same amount of peels and cores and water, and so just hang onto them. They will store for a week or more in your fridge or for months in your freezer. Right now I have a freezer container in my freezer accumulating cores from when I cut apples for lunches and snacks.
Now the next question is, is about seeds. Because many of you are aware that it’s not recommended that you chew on a lot of apple seeds and eat them an occasional one that you swallow whole is not a problem.
Let’s talk a little bit about this. Apple seeds contain small amounts of a compound that easily turns into cyanide with your digestive enzymes. However, the coating on the outside of the seeds protects you from this toxin. It’s only when you ch thoroughly chew or grind up those apple seeds that you might have problems, and in order to cause toxic results, you have to thoroughly chew anywhere from 83 to 500 seeds.
It is really not a problem in apple tea since you’re gonna strain out the seeds and you’re not gonna crush them. But just to be on the very, very safe side, I actually take the seeds out before I refrigerator freeze my course. It’s the most time consuming part of this recipe, but it takes less than 30 seconds per core.
Just take your finger crack them open, or a knife. and put the seeds in the trash. Don’t worry if an occasional seed slips into your tea, you’ll be fine. If you want to know more about this, I’ll put a link to one of my references, which has links to lots more references in the show notes at this episode, foodsensitivitykitchen.com/episode056.
Okay, so how long does apple tea keep? It keeps several weeks in the refrigerator or up to a year in the freezer this August. I just finished the apple tea from last fall. It was delicious iced. In fact, I think it’s my favorite way to drink it is cold.
So how do I flavor my apple tea? Let me give you some options: cinnamon sticks, fresh or crystallized ginger pieces, cardamon pods, whole cloves. My favorite way to do this is the same way I make decaf chai, except instead of using tea bags, I use apple tea. So for about 10 to 12 cups of apples and 10 to 12 cups of water, I use two cinnamon sticks, 10 to 15 cardamom pods about a one inch piece of ginger sliced,or two to three pieces of crystallized ginger, depending how big your crystallized ginger is, and about 10 to 12 whole cloves. You can add or subtract any of those.
Okay? Now, if you’re using fresh spices, meaning they’re the first time that those spices have been used, you won’t want to boil them for more than about 15 minutes because if you boil them for a really long time, it could make your tea bitter and it will overwhelm the flavor of apple tea. Apple tea is a very mild tasting beverage, and all you’ll taste is spice. So about 15 minutes.
Now, when you take the spices out, put them in a jar, throw them in your fridge, and you can use them again. I usually use them about three to four times before I’m done, and the very last time, after using them three or four times, you can boil them for up to an hour and they won’t make your tea bitter because you’ve lost much of the flavor of those spices.
So how much does apple tea cost? The tea is free since you’re using apple cores and peels that you’ve already purchased for some other reason. However, if you use whole spices, there’s a significant cost in the spices. Cardamon pods and cinnamon sticks are expensive. There’s no two ways around it. The good thing is, is that purchasing these once is a large expense, but they will last you a very long time. I use my cardamom pods regularly, and they last me way more than a year.
So for the price of about 10 chai tea lattes from Starbucks, I can have spices to last me more than a year, and everything else is something I’m purchasing anyway, so I’m not spending anymore.
People ask, where do I purchase my spices? Because frankly, cardamom pods are not sold at my local grocery store. I purchase my spices at a place called The Spice House, and I have them shipped from Chicago. It’s a Chicago store that’s been in business for a very long time, and see that accompanying blog post foodsensitivitykitchen.com/episode056 for more information about that.
So save your apple peels and make this mild comforting taste of fall, freeze some to serve cold next summer. Put it in a crock pot and serve it warm for holiday gatherings when people come in.
Also, speaking of holiday gatherings, holiday eating is coming. I know this can be a really stressful time for some of us. I would love to hear from you. What would help you navigate these food holidays?
Would a workshop on modifying family favorites help you or suggestions on what to serve?
Some of my favorite recipes?
Or maybe a live two week masterclass class where you would go try new recipes and come back to report results, get more ideas and substitutes?
Let me know.
Drop me a line, email@example.com, or you can go to my website and just leave me a comment or reply there. This is episode 056 on Apple peel tea. Until next week when we talk about Orange peel tea getting ready for the holidays, both would be a great combo to have!
Keep Cooking to Enable Those You Love to Flourish.
Have a wonderful day. Thank you so much for joining me today. Bye-bye.
Are apple seeds poisonous?
Medical News Today
Medically reviewed by Miho Hatanaka, RDN, L.D. — By Atli Arnarson Ph.D. — Updated on May 14, 2020