Hii h-steppers! How ya doing? Yes, we are diving into this succulent fruit today! Pineapples are one of my favorite fruits and if you even dislike them, by the time you finish reading this article I hope to change your mind.
What is pineapple?
So, this is usually one of the biggest questions out there, whenever we introduce a fruit, plant, herb, tree or spice. But guess what? It’s a joy to tell you more about whatever topic is at hand, every single time! So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!
Why? Well, did you know, that pineapple is ranked the second most important tropical fruit in world production? It’s that amazing. And yes, for all my mango lovers it is ranked as first, but let’s get back to pineapple.
The tropical plant is grown as a small shrub that grows its fruit from its inflorescence (a group /cluster of flowers formed from the shoot of its seeds where reproduction occurs) and is an herbaceous perennial.
This means that its stems have no wood but grows to their full height (3.3 to 6.9 ft or taller) while producing flowers within one year, dies during the winter season, then blossoms again during spring, lasting for more than two years. The leaves are normally hard, long, green, and waxy while its stem is usually short.
What many probably didn’t know was that pineapples are actually flowers first, that are in groups called an inflorescence. Where each flower (around 200) produces a fruit, after it blooms, that will join together to form multiple fruits.
Once, the process is over it is now called an infructescence. Cool right? Once it matures it is ready to be plucked and eaten!
But what does ripe pineapple taste like?
Sweet, juicy, citrusy, and has a tropical aroma. The texture varies from a bit chewy to soft where it depends on how ripe the fruit is.
What does a pineapple look like?
The fruit has a cylindrical shape with a spiky, hard, and diamond pattern exterior which is normally green-yellow in color but gradually changes to yellow-orange once it matures. The inside (pulp) has a light yellow color that is quite juicy and is used commercially worldwide.
How to eat ripe pineapple?
So, we told you about the fruit, how it tastes and what it looks like. But now it’s time to expound on how a ripe pineapple is eaten. Keyword, ripe because unmatured or green pineapples may be poisonous and irritate your throat. It may have other side effects too, hence, eat only ripe pineapples.
How To Tell If Pineapple Is Ripe?
You can tell when a pineapple is ripe when it’s gently squeezed it feels a bit soft and you can even know by the color of its skin-which is greenish-yellow to yellow-orange. Once, the fruit is ripe before picking, then you are good to go for consumption!
Now, one of the best parts-how to eat it.
If the bract/crown is still attached to the fruit, put on a mitten or cloth glove. Hold the protruding bracts together and turn anti-clockwise. You will find that the green stems are now ripped out. Another way is a part of the method that answers the popular question:
What is the best way to cut a pineapple?
Use a clean and sharp knife to gently slice a small portion of the top off- with the green leafy bracts- horizontally. Once the green bracts are removed, discard them-do not consume.
Do the same for the bottom of the pineapple. The next step is to wash the fruit properly and set the fruit upright (vertically) on a clean countertop.
Then use a clean knife to start slicing the skin downwards until the entire fruit is peeled. Once there’s only the pulp left, put aside the skin, then at this point, you can dice the pulp into cubes or into slices.
Place the chopped/sliced pulp into a bowl and then enjoy! It’s ready to eat.
How To Store Pineapple
if you want to add it to other meals (organic pineapple only) store it in an airtight container then refrigerate until you’re ready to use it. Remember I said to put aside the skin and not discard it? That’s because the skin can be used for many things too! These include:
- Tea– Put the skin into a small pot of water (1 ½ cups) then boil for 8 minutes. Drain the liquid into a teacup and drink it as it is or sweeten with a sweetener of your choice. Another way is to put the skin into a small pot of water then cover it. Then it in the sun for two hours and drain the liquid into a teacup then consume it either with a sweetener or without. It’s quite refreshing! I’ve done it many times. Sometimes, I even add the liquid to gravies and sauces.
- Pineapple Juice.
- Foot scrub (the inside of the skin where remnants of the pulp are present is used to gently rub on the feet in circular motions).
Some popular uses for ripe pineapple are:
- Eaten raw
- Pineapple Ginger Shot
- Pina Cola Smoothie
- Pineapple Upside Down
- Fried Rice
- Fried Quinoa
- Medicinal uses
- Hair and skin health
- Toppings e.g. pizza
Season and storage Of Ripe Pineapple
Now, it is quite important to know if the fruit is seasonal, when to purchase and how to store it. That’s why we like to provide you with thorough information.
Ripe pineapples normally have the highest harvest during March- July but what’s great about this fruit is that its available all year round! Yes, even in the winter season. In the Caribbean pineapples have two seasons where it yields abundantly, and they are December-February and August to September.
Uncut ripe pineapples are to be stored on the top shelf in your refrigerator while cute pineapples are to be stored in an airtight container either in the refrigerator or the freezer, in order to last longer. A resealable zipper plastic bag is quite ideal too.
Where can I buy ripe pineapple?
Well, because it is so popular on an economic scale, many supermarkets and local farmer’s markets will sell this fruit. You can purchase it whole or as canned pineapple.
Health Profile of Ripe Pineapple
Let’s not even waste any more time, you’ve read the title so let’s get down to business!
Pineapple has a plethora of health benefits but what are the components that project these benefits?
- Dietary fiber
- Vitamin C
- Thiamine (Vitamin B1)
- Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
- Niacin (Vitamin B3)
- Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5)
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
- Vitamin B9 (Folate)
- Phenolic acids
Traces of other nutrients/minerals:
- Vitamins A
- Vitamin K
I know, I know, quite spectacular. But it’s not over yet!
Top 3 Health Benefits of Ripe Pineapple
Pineapple has amazing antioxidants that are bound, this means that they last longer within the body and can withstand the temperatures and other conditions that minimize its effects. Antioxidants are known to neutralize free radicals that are caused primarily by oxidative stress. These free radicals are highly reactive and can activate other processes or cells that may lead to cancer and other diseases.
Immune System Advocate
The numerous components present in ripe pineapple-like; iron, Vitamin A, B6, B9, C, and E, zinc, and protein- gives a massive boost to your immune system which in return helps it to repair damaged cells, create and activate T ‘killer’ cells that activate other helper cells. They mitigate and fight against bacteria, viruses, diseases, and other microorganisms.
Phenomenal Digestive Enzymes
Ripe pineapple has amazing digestive enzymes present known as, bromelain! These enzymes are really beneficial for digestion. They function as proteases- an enzyme that acts as a catalyst for the process of proteolysis (the breakdown of protein molecules into their building blocks, such as amino acids and small peptides).
The broken-down enzymes are absorbed quickly across the small intestine and assist in reducing pancreatic insufficiency-a condition in which the pancreas cannot make sufficient digestive enzymes (PubMed Central, 1981). In several studies, the results show that persons who take bromelain supplements have better digestion than those who didn’t. Read More.
Other Health Benefits
- May reduce the risk of cancer
- Reduces inflammation
- Treats cough and colds
- Strengthen bones, muscles, and teeth
- Improves vision and good for overall eye health
- May reduce risk of arthritis
- Helps to prevent hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Reduces the risk of blood clots
- Helps to prevent nausea
- Energy booster
- A stress reliever
- Helps to treat acne
What do you think about pineapples now? I hope we changed your mind if you didn’t like it before. But in the interim be safe and have a nice bowl of pineapple to eat. Bon Appétit!t
Other Exotic Fruits
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