Introduction: Pineapple Rind Tea Experiment
The other day while cutting pineapples, I thought of how wasteful it was to throw away the rinds, so I started to search for ways to do something with it instead. From the World Wide Web, I learned that you can use these rinds to make tea by steeping them in hot water (Method #1) or fermenting (Method #2) them and so I decided to do a little experiment.
Surprisingly, Method #1 turned out to be my favorite of the two. I like that I don’t have to wait to enjoy the tea, and it was the most delicious tea of the two. Method #2 had the most beautiful color of the two, but its funky flavor was too overpowering for me.
Hypothesis (And of course I have to have a hypothesis, this is an experiment, after all, LOL)
Since there is not much pineapple juice left in the pineapple rinds, Method #1 will taste plain, more like a diluted pineapple juice. Method #2 will taste more like a pineapple flavor kombucha. I love kombucha, so I will probably like Method #2 over Method #1.
Step 1: Method #1 — Steeping Pineapple Rinds Tea
- 1 whole pineapple rinds
- 8 cups of water
- 1/4 cup of brown sugar (optional if you like sweet)
- ~1 tsp of ginger peels (or as much as you like)
- 1 tsp. of turmeric powder (fresh turmeric is better)
- 1/2 lemon, sliced
I added all ingredients into a pot and brought it to a rolling boil. Once boiled, I removed the pot from the heat and let the tea cool down to room temperature before removing the rinds and spices. I stored the tea in the fridge and enjoyed it over ice.
Step 2: Method #2 — Pineapple Rinds Fermented Tea
Method #2 is based on tepache, a fermented Mexican drink made from pineapple and piloncillo aka Mexican brown sugar.¹ Piloncillo is sugar cane juice syrup that is shaped into a cone and is often used in Mexican cuisine.
The original Tepache recipe calls for piloncillo, but since I don’t have it, I decided to substitute it with brown sugar.
- 1 whole pineapple rinds
- 2 1/2 cups of water
- 1/4 cup of brown sugar
- 1 cinnamon sticks
- 3 whole cloves
I dissolved the sugar in water prior to adding the rinds and spices and then added it along with all the other ingredients to a 32 oz mason jar. I covered the mason jar with two paper towels and held it in place with the jar lid ring. I let the tea ferment on the counter at room temperature in a dark place for 2 days.
Step 3: Results
Method #1 — The tea had a light yellow color from the turmeric and was a little cloudy.
Method #2 — The tea had a beautiful brown color similar to the brown sugar color. There were a few brown sugar crystals at the bottom of the tea, but as the tea ferments, the sugar crystals disappeared. Bubbles started to form along the inside edges of the glass and rise to the top of the liquid.
Method #1 — The tea was not too sweet and had a slight hint of pineapple and turmeric aroma. It tasted like pineapple and turmeric-infused water. Over ice, this tea was refreshing. Add a splash of Malibu Coconut Rum and you are definitely in a Hawaii retreat.
Method #2 — The tea had a strong pineapple and a funky aftertaste flavor. It tasted like a badly fermented pineapple flavored kombucha.
Step 4: Conclusion
Overall, my favorite tea of the two methods was the one from Method #1. It produced the most refreshing tea that had a hint of pineapple flavor. I enjoyed my over ice with a splash of Malibu Coconut Rum.
The turmeric in Method #1 was a little overpowering and the brown sugar didn’t really make the tea that much sweeter, so I would omit the brown sugar and turmeric.
Method #2 funky flavor was too strong for me. After doing some research, I learned that in order to substitute for piloncillo I need to add molasses in addition to the brown sugar. If you are going try Method #2, try it with molasses and brown sugar, and if you can find it try to use piloncillo.
Give it a try and let me know which one do you like the most.
1. Kenyon, Chelsie. “Learn How Piloncillo Is Used in Authentic Mexican Recipes.” The Spruce Eats, The Spruce Eats, 25 Mar. 2020, http://www.thespruceeats.com/how-to-use-piloncillo-2343039.
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