Think of a fruit that represents tropical holidays (and more Hawaiian shirts than you can poke a stick at) – pineapples will be high on the list.
But even in subtropical Sydney, pineapples are a luxury purchase. Add organically grown to the equation and even a very small one can be quite an investment. Once topped, skinned and de-cored there’s often not a lot of fruit so make the most of the whole fruit with these clever ideas.
Zero waste pineapple hacks
There’s more to a pineapple than the delicious flesh!
Tops: Use the foliage as decoration or grow a new plant from the crown. While it won’t produce fruit, as a member of the bromeliad family, pineapples can be grown as a houseplant in a sunny spot.
Just put the crown in a jar or vase of water and watch it grow.
Skin: this is perfect for wild soda, especially paired with a generous amount of grated ginger for a pineapple-y ginger beer flavour. As conventionally grown pineapples may be treated with fungicide, invest in organic ones as wild soda relies on a certain amount of natural yeasts on fruit skins to start the fermentation.
Cores: pickled pineapple cores are delicious. Heat 2 cups apple cider vinegar, 1 cup of water and ½ cup of sugar until it just comes to a boil and the sugar dissolves. Slice the core into long thin batons, arrange in a clean jar and pour over a warm pickling mixture. If you’d like a bit of spice add some chilli or star anise. Tap the side of the jar with a knife to disperse air bubbles and firmly screw on the lid. If you’ve not pickled before, read these instructions first.
If you don’t have enough core batons to fill the jar, add carrots sliced the same way. They take on some of the sweetness from the pineapple and pair perfectly. The pickles taste great in wraps, salads and even pasta, packing an exotic punch to the most mundane vegetables.