My goal with Live Simply Natural is that it be a resource to help you feel empowered when making nourishing lifestyle choices. I’m a big believer that eating a well-balanced diet is the foundation for feeling good from the inside out. So I’m breaking down everything you need to know to unlocking the nutritional powerhouse of the most common whole food ingredients. Today I’m sharing one of my spring and summer time favorites – PINEAPPLE!
Produce Guide: Pineapple
Pineapples are generally available all year-round, this sweet and tangy fruit favorite is typically grown in Hawaii or the Caribbean, each having different harvesting seasons. Pineapples grown in the Caribbean have two fruiting seasons, December to February and August to September. Pinapples grown in Hawaii generally peek from March to July. This is great for us as pineapples once planted can take anywhere from 18 months to 2 years to produce a fruit. Aside from the irresistible taste, there are great healthy reasons to indulge in this fruit (more about that below). Pineapples are also very juicy and have a bold tropical flavor that balances the tastes of sweet and tart. It is an extremely versatile fruit to cook with and are great in appetizers, entrées, desserts, and it can be used easily in both sweet and savory dishes.
Pineapples beat all other plants with its high vitamin C content and has a reputation for suppressing coughs, colds, and flu like symptoms. A natural antioxidant, is also needed for synthesizing collagen, which is the main structural protein in the body for healthy blood vessels, organs, skin, and tissue support, heavy metal absorption, and bone strength. Pineapple’s are also great sources of vitamin B1, potassium and manganese, in addition to other special antioxidants that help prevent disease formation. Because of its high fiber content, one of the benefits of pineapple is that it can help to prevent constipation and will promote regularity and a healthy digestive tract. Many know it for its ability to help those suffering from inflammation and is very useful for treating sporting injuries including sprains and is often used to help counter pain.
NUTRIENT BREAKDOWN OF PINEAPPLE
*raw pineapple, 100g (source)
- Fiber | 1.4 g (6% DV)
- Protein | 0.5 g (1% DV)
- Carbohydrates | 13.1 g (4% DV)
- Vitamin C | 47.8 mg (80% DV)
- Vitamin B6 | 0.1 mg (6% DV)
- Manganese | 0.9 mg (46% DV)
- Folate | 18 mg (5% DV)
- Magnesium | 12 mg (3% DV)
- Potassium | 109 g (3 % DV)
- Calcium | 13 mg (1 % DV)
- Iron | 0.3 mg (2% DV)
HOW TO BUY
When shopping for pineapples, you should always look for the same things: Look for pineapple that have dark green leaves and a yellow gold color on the skin of the pineapple; this is a sign of ripeness. When picking, keep in mind that the heavier it is, the better; this also means that it is ripe and juicy. You can typically smell the pineapple to detect whether or not it is ripe. Look for a sweet fragrant smell and nothing to musty or fermented.
HOW TO STORE
When properly stored, pineapples should 3 to 5 days on the counter before cut or 2 to 4 days after cut. I recommend keeping your pineapple whole and at room temperature if you plan to use it shortly after buying. Typically I would say anywhere from 2-3 days after purchasing. Refrigerate the pineapple if it isn’t used within three days of purchase. Before refrigerating, core, peel and cut the pineapple into chunks. Place the chunks in an airtight container. Or freeze for up to six months if not planning to use right away. To prevent pineapple pieces from freezing together, spread them out on a cookie sheet and place them in the freezer. Once frozen through, put the pieces into an airtight container.
HOW TO PREPARE
I cut a fresh pineapple simply start but laying the pineapple on its side on a large cutting board, hold it steady and, with a sharp knife, remove both the top and the base of the pineapple. This allows you to stand it up right and slice away the skin from top to bottom. Don’t cut too deeply into the fruit as you don’t want to waste any of its sweet flesh. Then use a small knife you will want to remove the eyes of the pineapple really carefully so what you need to do is make a V-shaped cut on either side of the eyes. This will create a spiral of cuts around the pineapple. Once the eyes have been removed, slice the top of the pineapple and discard the off-cuts. With your large knife cut the pineapple into quarters. Then remove and discard the woody core. Eat it fresh, add it to salads, smoothie or any dish you like.
Looking for pineapple recipe? Check out our favorites here!
WHAT’S YOUR FAV?
What ingredient do you guys want to learn more about? And if you have a favorite way to eat pineapple, tag @livesimplynatural or #livesimplynatural so the LSN community can get inspired by your dish too :)