Do you know how to pick a good pineapple? If you want to include this delicious fruit in your diet, the information is indeed necessary.
Pineapples do not continue to ripen after being harvested. Hence, making sure that you get the ripe ones from the market or the plant itself is essential.
You can find pineapples all year round, but the peak season will be between March and July.
Good Reasons to Include Pineapples in Your Diet
Luckily, pineapple is not only a refreshing and tasty fruit, but it also provides you with many advantages.
This tropical fruit has a bunch of fiber, minerals, and vitamins, making pineapple a good snack for your daily well-balanced diet.
Consuming pineapple may help your weight loss program since it does not come with saturated fats and is low in calories.
Besides, eating pineapple can also encourage your immune system since the fruit contains high vitamin C. The other benefits to expect include the following:
- Pineapples are the source of a plant compound named bromelain that can help to prevent cancer and enhance wound healing.
- Bromelain also helps digestion and treats digestive disorders, such as lessening the effects of diarrhea.
- Antioxidants in pineapples can help in fighting free radicals and inflammation in your body, protecting your overall health against heart disease, eye problems, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.
- The manganese in pineapples is important to keep your bones strong.
How to Pick a Good Pineapple to Consume
When choosing pineapples, you should look for fresh-looking ones that come with a firm shell and green leaves.
The pineapple should feel heavy as well, not hollow. When you squeeze the fruit gently, it must have a little amount of “give” too.
A good pineapple must have a distinctive fragrance that you can smell when your noses are close to the undersides of the fruit.
What Does a Ripe Pineapple Look Like
Sometimes the hard, spiky skin of the pineapple does not tell you everything about how the yellow, juicy fruit inside will taste.
Generally, you should stay away from pineapples that are dark green since they are under-ripe. The overripe fruits, on the other hand, are orange or gloomy yellow.
Instead, you must find a pineapple with a light or medium yellow shell. The undersides’ color should not be either too dark green or orange as well.
If the above general methods are not enough to help you identify a good and ripe pineapple, check one of the following tests to make sure.
- The bottom of the pineapple should smell fruity when you sniff it. If your fruit has no fragrance, it can be under-ripe.
Meanwhile, a funky aroma may refer to overripe pineapple.
- When it comes to pineapple, the ripe one should be heavy for its size. This also hints that the fruit is juicier and much tastier to consume.
- You can also check the fronds (the pineapple’s spiky green top) to tell whether the fruit is ripe or not.
If it seems loose when you tug on the foliage gently, the fruit is ready to serve.
- If you feel too much give when squeezing the pineapple, it means that the fruit is too ripe. You should avoid one that is as solid as a rock since this must be under-ripe.
How to Prepare a Pineapple the Right Way
If you have already understood how to pick a good pineapple, it is time to prepare the ripe fruit to consume.
Firstly, you should cut off the bottom and the top parts of the fruit. Then, stand the pineapple up to trim away the peel in strips.
Peel the fruit deep enough so that the eyes get removed. Cut in half and halve each part, so you have four quarters.
Next, you can get rid of the core. After that, slice the pineapple in any shape you like and enjoy it.
You can also take advantage of gadgets designed for cutting the fruit easily. For instance, there is a pineapple corer that makes it easier to prepare this tropical produce.
Healthy and Tasty Pineapple Recipes to Try
If you are getting bored of eating raw pineapple, you can try some recipes to turn this tropical fruit into a healthy and yummy dessert.
Making it into smoothies along with mint is one of the easiest recipes.
A mix of sweet pineapple and the minty flavor not only refreshes your body but also gives a boost to your mental alertness.
Pineapple also makes a great match for other smoothie ingredients such as apple, kiwi, mango, cucumber, banana, and strawberry.
Moreover, try these recipes to consume pineapples in more distinct ways.
Desserts with Pineapples
Are you craving something sweet? If you have some slices of pineapples in your refrigerator, try to make this chocolate-dipped recipe.
Use dark chocolate to dip the sliced pineapples and frost them for a delicious dessert. It makes a healthy snack that can control your appetite and sugar teeth.
Expect it to help lower your blood sugar and to diminish your body fat as well.
However, make sure not to consume the chocolate dipped-pineapple slices too much since the health benefits can unravel.
Creamy pineapple sorbet is another tasty recipe to try if you want something that does not have many calories and saturated fat.
Main Courses with Pineapples
Pineapples are not only suitable for desserts, but also for main courses. This summery recipe proves the flexibility of this tropical fruit as a food ingredient.
You can simply season a chicken breast and cover it with sesame seeds and teriyaki sauce. Then, wrap it in a whole wheat pita along with sliced pineapples, lettuce, and tomato.
If you prefer pork to chicken, making slow cooker tacos mixed with diced pineapples will also make your day.
Besides, you can also try tropical skewers that contain grilled pineapples and sweet chili shrimps. This nutritional food will help to protect your vital organs and shrink your waist.
How to Pick Pineapple from Plant Properly
Aside from the harvested ones, you should also know how to pick a good pineapple from the plant. This is particularly necessary if you have successfully grown some of these plants in the garden.
If you do not know how to pick up the fruits, the following techniques can help to harvest them.
- Monitor your mature pineapple plants to bloom their blue flower and produce the fruit subsequently.
- Around six months after the emergence of the flower, the pineapple fruit is mature. You will see the shell turns yellow at this point.
- To pick the fruit, you can use a sharp kitchen knife to cut it from the plant. Trim in the location where the pineapple joins the stalk.
Tips to Store Pineapples for Soft and Fresh Fruits
Once you pick a pineapple from the plant, it will not get much sweeter or ripen more like some other fruits.
However, you can still help to soften them and keep them fresh with several tricks.
- Store your pineapple upside down for a few days so that the natural sugars from the underside of the fruit pass through the rest of it.
- Consider storing your pineapple with bananas or others that can give off ethylene (a natural gas that accelerates ripening) to help soften the fruit.
- If you will use the pineapple within one to two days, store it at room temperature.
- To keep the pineapple longer (up to three to five days), you can put the fruit in a perforated plastic bag and store it in the refrigerator.
How to Grow Pineapple Plants in Your Garden
If you are interested in growing and harvesting your pineapples after reading the above information, do not hesitate to do so.
Start with buying the best pineapple from the nearby fruit market and save the crown for planting. Meanwhile, the fruit can be used as usual.
To grow a pineapple from its crown, you must get rid of the bottom leaves so that the lower stem gets exposed.
Leave it upside down in a cool, dark space for a week until dried out.
After that, you can let the pineapple crown rests in a jar of water and put it on a sunny windowsill for several weeks or until the roots sprout.
Then, plant the pineapple in potting soil and water it sufficiently (at least once per week). You must give the plant a half-strength fertilizer too once every two weeks throughout summer.
When growing pineapple plants, you must be aware of common problems like mealybugs and bacterial heart roots since they can infect the fruits.
You may like to use a natural insecticide to control mealybugs and make sure to discard infected parts of bacterial heart rot immediately to avoid its spread.
After all of your effort and patience, you will be ready to harvest the pineapple fruits and prepare them for consumption.
Finally, your knowledge on how to pick a good pineapple and other tips related to storing and processing this healthy fruit will be useful.