Pineapples are the perfect summer fruit! They are refreshing, hydrating, and full of health-supporting vitamins and minerals. Pineapples are fun to eat, and with some know-how, easy to pick out and cut. Follow these tips to locate and prepare your own fresh pineapple at home!
The Health Benefits of Fresh Pineapple
This tropical fruit is identifiable with its green, leafy stem; its rough, brown-in-color, scaly rind; and, its yellow, sweet-tasting fruit. Fresh pineapple is low in calories, with no saturated fat or cholesterol. It is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin A, and beta-carotene. It also contains riboflavin, copper, manganese, and potassium. Pineapple also contains bromelain, which helps the body to digest food. Bromelain has anti-inflammatory, anti-clotting, and anti-cancer contributions to the human body.
How to Pick Out a Fresh Pineapple
- To locate the freshest pineapple available, make sure you watch out for brown spots on the outside or on the bottom.
- There should be no soft spots and it should not be rotten on the bottom of the fruit. Pineapples can sometimes sit on grocery store shelves for a while, so be aware of rotting and/or bruised fruit bottoms.
- When tapped, fresh and ripe pineapples should have a dull, solid sound. Pineapples that aren’t ripe or are of poor quality will sound hollow when tapped.
- Another indication of a fresh, ripe pineapple is that the middle leaf should easily come out and it should have a sweet fragrance. Avoid any fruits that smell sour.
How to Cut a Fresh Pineapple
- Using a serrated knife, locate the top of the fruit, just below the green, leafed top and cut it off.
- Using your knife, slice off the bottom of the fruit.
- Position your pineapple so that the bottom is flat against your cutting surface. Using your knife, and working your way around the entire fruit, slice off the hard outside. When finished on this step the pineapple should be free from any brown spots or pieces of the hard rind.
- If you have a pineapple corer, use it to remove the inside core. Then, use your knife to slice the pineapple into uniform, circular rings. Sliced ring pineapples pieces are great for baking recipes (like pineapple upside down cake), drinks, and desserts. They are also good for placing on the grill.
- To cut the pineapple into chunks: with your fruit bottom still positioned and stabilized on your cutting surface, slice your pineapple in half, from top to bottom. There should be two pieces after this step.
- To remove the core, half both the pieces. There should now be 4 total pieces.
- Next, cut off any portions of the core on all 4 pieces.
- To cut long pieces, take each piece and lay it flat on the cutting surface. Using your knife, slice it lengthwise in half. These long, lengthwise pieces are great for grilling.
- To dice, take your already cut, long, lengthwise pieces and dice into small blocks or chunks. These large, diced pieces are perfect for adding to skewers, adding to fruit salads, or mixing in with favorite recipes.
Want more information? Be sure to check out our video on the steps above to help you pick out and cut fresh pineapple!
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