Did you know that pineapples, the favorite fruit of summertime, are actually in season during the winter and spring as well?
I rejoiced to see a beautiful pineapple at the grocery store the other day! Though they remind me of laid back summer days, I think pineapples should be enjoyed whenever in season.
How To Choose the Right One
The USDA provides a few quick tips on choosing the perfect pineapple. Choose fruits that are heavier than their size would suggest, with dark green leaves that are in good shape. The leaves shouldn’t look too dried out. Look out to avoid pineapples with soft or dark spots, the whole fruit should feel firm. Lastly, remember that color has little to do with ripeness. The pineapple can have a lot of green coloring and still be ripe.
Before being cut into, a pineapple can be left out at room temperature, allowing it to become a bit sweeter for 1-2 days. Once cut open, pineapple should be refrigerated in an airtight container. It will last about 2-3 days.
How to Cut
First, carefully slice off the top (the crown) and bottom portions evenly. Place it on the cutting board on its bottom base. The peel can be cut away in strips, starting from the top to the bottom for each. Make sure your cut is deep enough to remove the “eyes.” Alternately, you can do a second pass with the knife taking care to remove the “eyes” you missed the first time around. Once peeled, cut in half lengthwise and cut those pieces in half lengthwise as well, for a total of four even-sized pieces. This makes it easy to remove the core if you so please (I personally don’t). Then cut into chunks!
Pineapples are a low calorie, great source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is an immensely important antioxidant with multiple roles in the human body, including involvement in immunological processes. Pineapples are also a good source of manganese, a significant mineral for bone health. And, like many other fruits, pineapples are a source of fiber, helpful for keeping you regular and many other important benefits.
Here are a few ideas on how to eat pineapple:
- Salsa: a quick Google search for pineapple salsa will provide ample inspiration.
- Smoothies: pineapples sweeten and brighten green smoothies!
- Stir-Fry Dishes: add them to your next stir-fry dish to add a pop of sweet flavor.
- Salads: Have you tried adding fruit to your salads yet? If your answer is no, start by adding pineapple to your next salad.
- Grilled: add them to kebabs or grill pineapple rings on their own to make a tasty side.
- By itself! This last option is the simplest. Enjoy cut-up pineapple as a snack in all it’s natural glory.