The Sweet Way To Use Your Leftover Pineapple Core

We all know that a lot of food can go to waste by being left too long in the fridge or pantry, but what about the food that gets wasted because it's not conventionally seen as edible? A lot of fruits and vegetables have cores, seeds, and peels which might not be great to take a bite out of but could be repurposed to create other ingredients in our kitchens. Apple cores, peach pits, and banana peels are all common culprits, however, one of the largest pieces of fruit regularly going to waste is the pineapple core. As Dole, one of the largest providers of pineapples in the world — and creator of Disney Parks' infamous frozen pineapple treat – notes, while the core of the pineapple is "harder and more fibrous" than the rest of the fruit, it is still filled with vitamins and minerals and is completely edible, it just needs a little more preparation to be put to full use.

While you could briefly boil a pineapple core and puree it for use in smoothies, sundaes, salads, or cocktails, there's another somewhat sweeter solution to turn this hard-to-chew bit of fruit into a refreshing, summery simple syrup.

Make your own pineapple syrup

A little bit of sweet pineapple taste makes a welcome addition to a lot of dishes. So instead of throwing those pineapple cores out, why not turn them into pineapple syrup? To make this no-cook syrup, you'll take the pineapple core and other non-skin trimmings from your fresh pineapple and throw them in a glass bowl with granulated sugar — white or dark sugars both work — plus the rind of a juiced lemon. The acid in a pineapple core can dissolve about half its weight in sugar as the mixture sits so cover the bowl and leave it in the refrigerator until all the sugar has dissolved, stirring occasionally. Finally, strain the fruit remains out and store the syrup in the refrigerator!

This sweet syrup can be used for breakfast with waffles or pancakes, as a sweetener in tea or lemonade, over ice cream, or as a substitute for simple syrups in cocktails. There's also quite a list of cocktails that specifically include pineapple syrups like this one! Unfortunately, one pineapple's worth of scraps doesn't yield a lot of syrup. If you're looking for a way to get more, you could mix up the recipe by adding in other fruit scraps. The rinds and peels of citrus fruits like blood orange, cherry pits, and mango pits and peels also work well for this no-cook syrup trick. Or, if you're short on fruit, you could try freezing the core and using it to make tropical ice cubes.