Banana Peels - photo by Julia Kouzenkov, Unsplash

Fruit and Vegetable Peel Creative Reuse

Composting is a great way to dispose of fruit and vegetable peels, but here are lots of ways you can creatively reuse peels as food, cleaners, crafts and more.

You can listen to my podcast episode on creative reuse of fruit and vegetable peels in this YouTube video. It originally aired in April 2019.

Baking and Cooking Ideas

Many people reuse citrus peels as a zest for baking.

While camping, bake a muffin or cinnamon roll in half an orange peel.

Bake apple peels and vegetable peels to make a delicious chip snack.
Apple chips
Vegetable chips

Candied orange peels

Candied banana peels

Banana peels as a meat substitute

Banana Peel Vegan “Bacon”

Cleaning Ideas with Citrus Peels

Dehydrate citrus peels and grind them up in your coffee grinder to add their scent to baking soda and Borax

Natural insect repellant by putting peels in areas where you see ants or rub peels on your skin to ward off mosquitoes.

Deodorizer by putting peels at the bottom of your garbage can, garbage disposal sink or even in a pair of shoes to add a fresh scent.

Decorating Ideas with Citrus Peels

Votive candle from half an orange peel

Miniature pumpkin decorations

Dehydrating Citrus Peels

Dehydrate citrus or apple peels for tea.

Dehydrate citrus peels and grind them up to add to cleansers or a body scrub.

Craft supply by cutting peels into shapes like stars, trees, flowers, animals or any theme you like, punch a hole in them and now you have a long-lasting natural ornament.

Orange peel roses by peeling an orange in one big swirl and then twirling the swirl around itself.

Mix Peels with Vodka or Water

Lemon extract by soaking lemon peels in vodka

Apple juice by boiling peels and cores in water

Apple cider vinegar by soaking peels and cores in sugar and water

Vegetable broth from vegetable peels

Dehydrate peels and grind in a coffee grinder to make a vegetable stock powder

Grow New Veggies from Scraps

Grow fruits and veggies from the parts that are too tough to eat. This works with celery, bok choy, green onions, lettuce, bean sprouts, ginger, pineapple tops and potatoes.

Natural Dyes

Dye egg shells with purple cabbage, red and yellow onion skins, beets and turmeric

Dye fabric with peels

Grape Peels

You probably don’t peel too many grapes, but wine makers do and that results in a lot of grape peels. An Italian company named Vegea has figured out a way to make a leather substitute from grape peels, stalks and seeds. 

Pineapple Leaves

Piñatex  – a fiber from pineapple leaf fiber

Artists Who Incorporate Fruit and Vegetable Peels into Their Work

Avocado Stone Carving – An avocado stone breaks in half when you dry it, so you get two sculptures from one stone.

If you would like to try carving an avocado stone, you can check out a video from an artist who shares how she dries the stones and prepares them for carving. For inspiration, check out the hashtag #avocadocarving on Instagram. Some people carve the actual fruit, but most of the results are the stone.

Margaret Dorfman makes dishes, trays and jewelry from 45 varieties of fruit & vegetables.

Chi semina raccoglie makes jewelry from dried citrus peels

Yoshihiro Okada creates animal portraits from citrus peels which he called Orange Origami

Support Organizations Which Make Products from Surplus Produce

For example, there is an organization near me called Fruitcycle which employs women in need to make fruit chips.

Show Details

More Resources

How Orange Peels are Saving the World from Garden Collage magazine

Pineapple peel mask by Trashmagination
Pineapple peel mask by Trashmagination