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King of All Fruits
The pineapple — nicknamed King of Fruits — traveled up the western coasts of the Americas as trading between tribes and Spanish colonists increased.
Successful pineapple plantations began popping up in Central America, Mexico, and Hawaii, which still export some of the world’s best (and most expensive) fruits. Mainland Americans and Europeans have only been able to enjoy fresh pineapple since the advent of fast aerial shipping.
Today, in the United States the pineapple can be marketed as fresh or canned and it is most widely used as tropical canned fruit in recipes. (Wellness Encyclopedia of Food and Nutrition, 1992)
The essence of the pineapple is its juicy, sweet taste, which is best while the fruit is fresh.
Like most fruits, pineapples are extremely nutritious. Pineapples contain little or no fat or cholesterol, and provide significant amounts of fiber, digestive enzymes, vitamin C, calcium, and potassium.
Varieties of Pineapples
There are four types of pineapples mainly found in the marketplace. These include the Gold, smooth Cayenne, Red Spanish and Sugar Loaf. They are sold fresh and canned and all have a sweet flavor. The Gold variety features an extra sweet flavor, golden color, and higher vitamin C content.
Select pineapples with a nice fragrant smell. If possible choose pineapples that have been jet shipped from Hawaii or Central America because they will be the freshest. Avoid those pineapples with sour or fermented odors. It is really ripe if you can easily pull one of the leaves out of the top.
Plan to eat the fruit within three days of purchase, and until then preserve the freshness by refrigerating the fruit in a closed container.
Avoid the freezer
The enzyme bromelain in the pineapple promotes proper digestion. It may also relieve stomach upset and heartburn.
Canned pineapples make easy additions to smoothies, pizzas, and ice cream and are extra sweet when canned in their own natural juices. Plus, canned pineapples can be kept at lower temperatures for cold summer snacks and fruit salads. Pineapple juice often contains an extra boost of vitamin C. It can serve as a refreshing drink or added flavor for teas and meat sauces.
Store at room temperature for 1 or 2 days before serving to allow the pineapple to become softer and sweeter. Store in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days or cut pineapple into chunks and store for up to 7 days. Cut up pineapple also freezes well.
How to Cut a Pineapple?
- Cut off the top of the pineapple.
- Cut off the bottom of the pineapple.
- Slice the skin off of the pineapple’s sides in long strips.
- Cut the pineapple into 2-inch slices.
- Use the tip of the knife to remove the hard, circular center.
Pineapple for a Hangover?
Possibly…pineapples are rich in bromelain, an enzyme with anti-inflammatory and pain relieving power. This makes them a good choice for a hangover-snack (providing you feel up to eating).
- Pineapples contain little or no fat or cholesterol.
- Pineapples provide significant amounts of fiber.
- Pineapples provide digestive enzymes, vitamin C, calcium, and potassium.
- 1 pint water
- 1 quart ice water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 can grated pineapple
- Juice 3 lemons
Make syrup by boiling water and sugar ten minutes; add pineapple and lemon juice, cool, strain, and add ice water.
Honeyed Pineapple Recipe
1/4 cup honey
Peel the pineapple, cut into four wedges, and slice off and discard the core from each piece. Cut each section into narrower wedges or triangles. The pineapple triangles can be threaded onto skewers. Put the pineapple in a glass or stainless steel bowl. Coat it with the honey. Let it rest for at least 15 minutes or up to several hours.
Preheat the broiler. Line a baking pan with parchment paper or foil coated with nonstick spray. (This greatly eases cleanup — broiled honey can really stick to a pan.) Place the pineapple on the baking pan, then put it under the broiler. Cook for about five minutes, until the edges turn light brown. Turn thick pieces once during cooking, using long-handled metal tongs. Recipe makes eight servings.
Nutritional information per serving: Calories: 61; Fat: trace; Protein: 16g; Carbohydrates: 16g; Fiber: 1g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 1mg. Exchanges: 1/2 Fruit, 1/2 Other Carbohydrates
Pineapple Banana Cream Pie
A quick and easy to prepare banana pineapple cream pie using fat free vanilla pudding and fresh fruit.
Prepare one large box sugar-free, fat-free vanilla pudding with 3-1/2 cups skim or 1-percent milk. Pour into reduced fat graham crust.
Place sliced bananas across the layer of pudding. Then take a 20-ounce can of crushed pineapple, drain it well and spoon evenly over the bananas. Top with 16-ounces of Fat Free or Lite Cool Whip. Refrigerate for at least one hour to allow flavors to blend.
- 1 quart water
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 2 cups chopped pineapple
Boil water and sugar and pineapple 20 minutes. Add fruit juice, cool, strain and dilute with ice water.
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