The Absolute Best Uses For Your Leftover Pineapple Core

Pineapples are a tropical favorite, and as summer continues its warm advance, you can expect to see more and more pineapples out and about on different plates. Albeit a bit controversial on pizza, pineapples have proven themselves to be a delight on both the sweet and the savory sides of cuisine. Whether slapped on a grill as part of a pork skewer, chopped up in a tangy salsa, or nestled in a cheesy casserole, pineapple flesh is versatile and can be leveraged by the best of chefs to complement any course in your meal. 

But so is the core. Usually, the core is thrown out for being overly fibrous and incredibly tough to chew, but it is actually just as flavorful as the flesh it supports. So don't toss it out! Its hardy characteristics are just an opportunity for newer preparations and can be used in your favor if you know how to highlight the core's flavor and minimize its tough texture.

Simple preparations for the core

Eating the pineapple core can be super simple and hassle-free. For instance, you can actually just slice the core very thinly and eat it as is, according to Vegan Foundry. When sliced thin the texture is less noticeable and the flavor is undeniable. 

If slicing thin isn't your style, you can cut the core into larger chunks and freeze the pieces for a couple of hours, leaving you with the cutest yellow ice cubes you'll ever see (per blogger Real Food RN). Not only is this aesthetic fun, but these pineapple core ice cubes will slowly and subtly flavor your drink as they melt. If you really don't want to be cutting at all, freezing the entire core is also an option. You can just throw the frozen core into a pitcher of tea (or something stronger) and get lots of compliments at your next pool party for this new and innovative idea.

Grate or puree the core

The pineapple core can be grated over salads, according to Dole. (Some seasoning and a touch of vinegar or fish sauce or whatever dressing you prefer combined with the tangy pineapple would add another dimension to a typically mundane affair.) It's bright, flavorful, and can be used to dress most summer salads. Just grate the pineapple into a bowl to mix with some of your other favorite dressing ingredients or grate it on top of your salad.

Dole also suggests boiling the core in water to soften it up and then tossing it in a blender to purée. This purée can be used in a multitude of drinks, including smoothies, alcoholic mixed drinks, and even certain soups that require a sweeter tangier touch. It's also a wonderful topping for desserts or as part of sweeter dishes like these pineapple buns. The purée can even be lightly frozen and served as its own sorbet.

Pineapple core syrup

For a bit more of an involved process, Serious Eats recommends turning the pineapple core into a simple syrup that can be used on and in lots of different dishes. Just chop up the pineapple core into little pieces and toss in a bowl with some lemon juice and the lemon itself (after it's been juiced). Then add a healthy amount of sugar. Any kind of sugar will do, but Serious Eats suggests using a darker sugar to evoke notes of rum and molasses.

Then it's time to cover the bowl and let the sugar and fruit juices meld for a couple of hours, making sure to stir or shake up the bowl every hour or so. Leave it all day or overnight and after picking out the fruit pieces you'll find yourself with some pineapple syrup that's perfect for adding a sweet summer punch to any drink in need.

Boiled pineapple core for drinks and soups

Using some of the same tenets in the previous preparation methods, the pineapple core can be used to make some nice flavored drinks all by itself. Just boiling core pieces with a few spices for a little bit can make a pineapple fruit tea, which you can drink on its own or add to other teas and drinks. When pineapple core pieces are boiled with brown sugar and spices like star anise, cloves, and cinnamon, the resulting spiced drink is called chicha de piña, per Laylita. Served hot or cold, it's a delicious spiced treat.

Jodie's Kitchen recommends blending the pineapple core with other ingredients like tomatoes, cabbage, and celery and then boiling (and optionally straining) to get a fragrant broth that can be used for lots of different soups, stews, or any of your other broth-based needs.

The pineapple core can be used for a whole host of different drinks and dishes, and as summer is just around the corner, it's time to get educated and make sure that no pineapple core goes to waste.