Zero Waste Apple: How to Use Every Part of This Amazing Fruit

Did you know that there’s a waste of over 4.4 million apples every single day in the UK? Before we moved out of London, my fiance, Iasmina (@lajatattoo) and I, picked up only windfall / unripe apples in Walthamstow Marshes and turned them into something valuable for our house.

We managed to turn the windfall apples into apple cider vinegar, fruit leather, and pectin. In this blog, I’ll show you the ingredients and how you can do it in easy and simple steps.

Alessandro Vitale aka Spicy Moustache holding unripe apples

DIY Apple-Based Projects

For those who love DIY projects, apples offer endless possibilities. Here are the things that we made and the instructions on how to do them.

Apple Cider Vinegar:

  • 1/2 Jar of unripe/ripe apples
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar for each cup of water
  • Enough water to fill the jar
  • Cover and leave for 6 months

Cut your apples into small pieces and add them to a jar. Cover with enough water to fill the jar and add 1 tablespoon of sugar for each cup of water. Cover and label it, and leave it at room temperature for 6 months. Stir every day for the first 2 weeks. Strain and leave the liquid to ferment for one month or longer. If you see a pellicle forming, it’s called a mother, and you can save it and use it for another batch.

Vinegar could be used not only in the kitchen but also as a great natural surface cleaner and to improve the health of your hair!

Fruit Leather:

  • 4 cups of peeled, chopped apples
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 2 Tbsp. of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Chop apples and place them in a large pot. Add 1/2 cup of water and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Cook the fruit until it softens by boiling it in an average heat. It can help soften the apple and make it easier to blend.

Place the apple in a blender to puree until it’s completely smooth. Spread the apple puree onto the lined baking sheet. Aim for a thin, even layer, about 1/4 inch thick. Dehydrate the apple leather in the oven for 3–4 hours, or until the center is no longer sticky to the touch. Cut parchment paper straps and roll fruit leather before you store it in a jar.

Fruit leather can be stored for up to 9 months in the fridge or freezer!

Pectin:

  • Any kind of apple, including peel, etc.
  • Add enough water to make them float
  • Boil for 2 hours
  • Strain & simmer until it reduces
  • Can in a sterile jar

Wash the apples but leave the peels on. Cut them into quarters. Place the apples in a large pot and add enough water just to cover them. Bring it to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 40–45 minutes, or until the apples are very soft. Strain the mixture through cheesecloth or a thin kitchen towel.

Discard the solids in the cloth and return the strained liquid to the pot. Bring the liquid back to a boil and simmer for another 15-20 minutes, or until the liquid thickens and reduces by half again. You’ll know it’s done when the consistency is syrupy. Let the pectin cool completely. You can use it right away in your jams and jellies, or store it for later.

Making your own pectin helps to save money and reduce your wastage as you can use any part of your apples!

Unripe apples

Final Thoughts

Adopting a zero-waste mindset when it comes to apples not only helps the environment, but it also allows you to reap the full benefits of this incredible fruit. From nutritious bites to homemade vinegar, skincare, and even new garden seedlings, every component of the apple serves a purpose.

So, the next time you eat an apple, think carefully before dumping the crumbs. Embrace zero-waste methods and explore the limitless possibilities that apples have to offer.

Happy gardening, and happy cooking!

zero waste apple cover image