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The Wonderful Pineapple - Benefits of Pineapple
How to Prepare a Pineapple for Consumption
Northeast United States has been in the grip of a ferocious heat wave which shows no signs of abating after so many weeks. Many people lose their appetite in the heat. To keep up your strength and support your health, it is a good idea to eat lots of cooling fruits.
See how to prepare pineapple beautifully
Pineapple has to be the most delicious and healthful fruit, in my humble opinion. It is also quite pretty in its prickly coat of green or gold. But cutting off that coat to prepare it for consumption is an art in itself. I have never seen it cut so artistically or frugally as in Malaysia, Thailand and other countries in Southeast Asia. There is no waste of the edible part of the fruit when it is done well. This video shows the art of pineapple preparation.
Most skillful way to peel a pineapple
Is the pineapple ripe?
A ripe pineapple is bright gold on the skin’s eyes around the base, although a green one may be ripe as well. The color of the pineapple depends on the amount of sunshine, and the color does not really matter. Thankfully there are other tests for ripeness. If overripe, the skin is reddish bronze and wrinkled. The fruit ripens from the stem end, so that is the ripest. part. The higher up the yellow goes, the more evenly ripe is the pineapple. A pineapple does not ripen more than when harvested, but it may bruise or rot in transit.
There should be a slight pleasant aroma. If it smells vinegary or acetone, it is beginning to rot. The skin should feel firm, not mushy, which suggests deterioration. If it is withered, with brown withered leaves, cracks, mould, and juice leakage, the pineapple is as near rotten as it can get. Chop it up for the compost!
Usefulness of the pineapple
Although pineapple is absolutely scrumptious eaten raw as is, it is also used in a vast array of foodstuff like yogurt, jam, salad, juice, smoothie or cake, as in the ubiquitous pineapple upside down cake. In the Philippines its leaves are made into a textile called pina. It is also a component of wallpaper and furnishings.
Here are a couple of recipes for the hot weather you're sure to like:
Pineapple & Jalapeno Salsa - from Eating Well.com
1 small ripe pineapple
1/4 cup minced scallions
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoon minced fresh jalapeño pepper (about 1 large)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Cut the top and skin off pineapple, remove the eyes and core. Finely dice the pineapple (you will have about 4 cups diced pineapple) and place in a medium bowl. Add scallions, cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno and oil. Toss to mix. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour to allow flavors to blend.
This salsa is an excellent complement to fish such as halibut, tuna and salmon.
Per 1/4-cup serving: 30 calories; 1 g fat ( 0 g sat , 1 g mono ); 0 mg cholesterol; 6 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 0 g protein; 1 g fiber; 37 mg sodium; 56 mg potassium.
Active Time:15 minutes
Total Time:30 minutes
- 2 cups fresh strawberries
- 1 8-ounce can pineapple chunks, juice drained
- 1/2 cup strawberry jam, preferably “all-fruit”
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 cups nonfat vanilla frozen yogurt
- Mint sprigs, for garnish (optional)
- Pull green tops off strawberries. Slice the strawberries and put half in a small saucepan. Add pineapple chunks, jam and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the strawberries are soft, about 5 minutes. Carefully stir in the remaining strawberries (the sauce will be very hot). Set aside to cool.
- To serve, spoon most of the sauce into 4 ice cream dishes and top with scoops of frozen yogurt. Spoon the remaining sauce on top. Garnish with mint sprigs if desired.
Per serving: 181 calories; 0 g fat ( 0 g sat , 0 g mono ); 0 mg cholesterol; 44 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein; 4 g fiber; 46 mg sodium; 291 mg potassium.
Sophia Loren, a pineapple lover.
Health benefits of pineapple.
Pineapple is of the bromeliad family, and from its stem is extracted bromelain, an enzyme that aids digestion by breaking down protein. It is an anti-inflammatory and a general health supplement. It breaks down fibrin, which clots blood, thus preventing strokes, heart attacks and circulatory problems. Bromelain prevents bruising, swelling and redness in wounds, helping them heal.
As an aid in asthma, it thins mucus which clogs bronchial tubes, so helping in freeing the airways.
Bromelain is contained throughout the fruit, but the ingested enzyme probably does not survive the proteolytic process of digestion. Hence only the supplement, from the stem, is useful as a health aid.
Pineapple is one of the fruits that do not contain pesticide residue and is a fruit not known to be allergenic. It is often used in a hypoallergenic diet.
Before the days of fast transport, when pineapples degraded very quickly, it was a status symbol for a hostess to display a pineapple in her home.
How to grow your own pineapple
You can grow your own pineapple in your garden or in a container garden in your apartment. This video shows you how.
You can also plant the crown straight into a pot of soil instead of rooting it in water first, as shown in the video.
Growing from a crown takes the plant longer to flower and fruit. You could grow the plants from suckers too. Plants grown in early spring produce flowers earlier than those grown in early autumn. From suckers, you can expect flowers in 16 months, and from crowns, 28 months. The developing fruit will take another 6 months to mature. The following video shows propagating pineapple with suckers.