The fruit, the whole fruit and nothing but the fruit.
This is up my alley – the desire to explore the entirety of a fruit. From skin to core and many fruits lend themselves beautifully to this.
This desire, this knowledge comes from my father. My late father who taught my sisters and I to cook. He was an extraordinary cook, who hated waste and thus found ways to be efficient in the kitchen.
I can’t remember when he first made pineapple juice – not the sweet nectar from juicing the flesh, but a drink of the simmered flesh and core. From all the other ‘inedible’ parts of the pineapple. Formerly discarded, now a liquid that captured the very essence of the fruit.
But we loved it, my siblings and I. We drank it and made it often as teenagers.
The first time I made it as an adult, it brought back so many memories. Of being young and carefree. Of being parented and cared for. Without responsibility.
Now it’s different. Now I am the one buying the pineapples and doing the teaching to my own children. ‘Learning’ them the ways. Teaching them. Showing them how to use the entirety of fruits.
Take Pawpaw, papaya. Every part can be used. The skin to tenderise meats, the flesh to eat. The seeds can be dried and used like black peppercorns.
And apples. The skins and core, especially of the green ones are high in pectin – liquid gold for making apples and jellies.
And what we can’t eat or repurpose, we can plant or compost.
Here’s how to make Pineapple Juice
You’ll need – pineapple skins, ginger, vanilla, and maybe sugar or some other sweetener of your choice.
I make my juice in batches, gathering the peels of 2/3 pineapples and refrigerating or freezing them till I’m ready to make the juice (with no ill-effects in taste).
In a large pot, combine the crown, base, the peels and the cores and cover with cold water.
Add a smashed knob of ginger and bring the mixture to the boil. Reduce the heat to and allow simmer for 20 – 30 minutes.
Turn off the heat and let the juice cool down, almost ready to store.
Some like it sweet and some like it not. I like the natural sweetness enhanced with some sugar, but it doesn’t need much.
To two litres of juice, I added 3/4 cup of white, granulated sugar. In the end it all depends on what you like.
When the juice cools down, there will be sediment at the bottom, with a clear column of juice. I usually ‘decant’ what I want to serve without shaking the bottle .
Good for me. And could be good for you, for memory banks and good for the environment.
*Written by Ozoz Sokoh