No Waste Fall Simmer Pot Recipe

How to make fall stovetop potpourri using leftover fruit scraps in a simmer pot to make your home smell good naturally.

orange and apple scraps to make no waste stovetop potpourri

Whenever our kids get home from school, they make a beeline to the fruit for an after-school snack. (Truthfully, some days it feels like fruit is my biggest parenting win. I fail a lot as a mom, but I’m at least winning the fruit-eating battle.)

We always have lots of orange peels and apple cores and peels leftover, so I thought, “Why not make fall stovetop potpourri part of our evening routine to make the house smell amazing?”

As the days grow shorter and the air turns crisp, there’s no better way to embrace the magic of autumn than by filling your home with the warm and inviting scents of the season.

It has made homework time and family dinner time in our home so much more enjoyable. Plus, it helps eliminate funky after-dinner cooking smells.

fall simmer pot recipe

How to Make a Fall Potpourri Simmer Pot

If you usually have fruit scraps on hand, it’s easy to create a fall simmer pot with apples, oranges, cinnamon, cloves, or any other ingredients already in your kitchen.

I’ll walk you through the steps of creating this delightful and fragrant fall simmer pot recipe.

Simmer Pot Ingredients

This recipe is very easy to adapt, and the measurements don’t have to be exact. Just use as much or as little as you have on hand.

  • Apples: Peelings and cores of 2-3 apples, any type will work
  • Oranges: Peelings of 2-3 oranges, clementines, or mandarins
  • Cinnamon Sticks: 2-3 sticks of fragrant cinnamon
  • Cloves: A small handful of whole cloves
  • Water: 4-6 cups of water, depending on the size of your pot.

If you don’t have spices on hand, a tablespoon of vanilla extract or a few sprigs of fresh rosemary or bay leaves smells great too.

apple peels and cores and orange peels for simmer pot ingredients

Steps

1.Gather Your Pot: Choose a medium-sized saucepan or a small slow cooker. Ensure it’s heat-resistant and can be safely left on the stovetop on low or plugged in for an extended period.

2. Add the Ingredients: Place all apple and orange scraps in the pot with the cinnamon sticks and whole cloves.

ingredients for fall stovetop potpourri

3. Add Water: Pour enough water into the pot to cover the ingredients. Usually, 4-6 cups of water will suffice.

4. Simmer: Place the pot of water and ingredients on your stovetop or plug in your slow cooker. Turn the heat to low or medium-low. As the water heats up, the aromatic compounds from the ingredients will begin to release into the air.

5. Monitor and Enjoy: Keep an eye on your simmer pot to ensure it doesn’t run out of water. You can continue simmering for hours, adding more water as needed to maintain the aroma. Always make sure to turn off your stovetop when you are not nearby to monitor it.

potpourri ingredients simmering on a stovetop

Tips and Variations

  • Experiment with additional ingredients like star anise, nutmeg, fresh herbs, a vanilla bean, or vanilla extract for a unique twist.
  • Customize the recipe to suit your preferences; for a sweeter aroma, add more citrus and apples. For a spicier scent, increase the number of cloves and cinnamon sticks.
  • You can store any leftover simmer pot mix in the refrigerator for a few days and reuse it by reheating it on the stovetop.

Regan, our 4 year-old, loves helping me make this simmering potpourri pot.

stirring a pot of fall stovetop potpourri

Next time someone in your household has leftover fruit scraps from a snack, grab those cores and peels to make this. You might as well get a little something extra out of the grocery money, right? 😉 It’s a great natural alternative to a scented candle.

As the sun sets, turn on some lamps, get a pot of yummy fall potpourri going on the stove, and soak up the coziness. It’s one of my favorite things to do in fall and winter evenings, or any time of year really.

If you need an inexpensive gift idea sometime, you can even dry the ingredients to make a stovetop potpourri jar gift.

Have you ever made one of these before? Definitely try it, if you haven’t.

More Natural Living Ideas

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4 Comments

  1. Lovely post!
    I, also, have learned to turn to fruit for a healthy snack. I will definitely try this as the weather cools down!
    It is still pretty hot here in Georgia, but even reading about fall projects makes me happy. I know those days are right around the corner!

    1. It is happens gradually here in the south I know. But if Georgia is a lot like the Carolinas, the mornings and evenings will let you know fall is coming. We have a 34 degree increase for the day here. So it feel really nice in the morning. And then summer let’s us know it is still here by mid morning.

  2. Great idea! You can also use all those citrus peels to make a great, inexpensive DIY cleaner. Pack a quart jar full of peels, fill the jar with a white vinegar, and let the peels steep in the vinegar for up to a month. Strain out the peels and mix the resulting citrus vinegar 50/50 with water and a couple drops of dish soap for a great kitchen citrus grease cleaner!