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Pineapple

Find everyday uses for this exotic, tangy treat

Best to buy
Fresh pineapples are available all year, peaking from March until the end of July.

Cut & clean
Slice off the top and bottom to steady the fruit, then with a sharp knife shave off the spiked skin. To remove core, slice off sweet flesh right along edge of core.

Power food
Pineapples are an excellent source of vitamin C.

Fire up the grill
Spruce up savory dishes by giving pineapple a quick grill. Simply add to grill, turn once, and serve as a garnish on meat, poultry, fish, or with other grilled vegetables.


Also indexed as: Baby Pineapple, Cayenne Pineapple, Pernambuco Pineapple, Queen Pineapple, Red Spanish Pineapple, Sugarloaf Pineapple, Variegated Pineapple

Preparation, uses, and tips

Blended in the food processor by itself, frozen pineapple becomes a delectable treat rivaling ice cream, but with fewer calories. The fruit is very versatile, and can be juiced, dried, candied, and used in baking; it is often served as an accent with meat and seafood. Pineapple is often the sweet quality in sweet-and-sour preparations. Served with cottage cheese, rice, or in fruit salad, it makes a healthful meal. When slicing pineapple, use a dish with curved sides to preserve the juice.

Buying and storing tips

Fresh pineapples are available year-round, peaking March through July. Canned and dried pineapple are available year-round. Pineapples do not ripen after harvest, and are therefore difficult to export. Avoid green ones as they will not be sweet. Inspect the fruit and avoid those with soft or dark spots and mold. The ripe fruit should have a pleasant fragrance; if not, it may indicate that fermenting has begun. Another indication of ripeness is if one of the green spikes can be removed easily from the crown. Fresh pineapple can be stored in the refrigerator up to five days. For longer storage, the fruit may be frozen; just remove the rind and core and cut the fruit into chunks.

Varieties

Pineapple varieties are plentiful, but only a few leading types travel well and are sold commercially. The Cayenne variety is large, firm, and quite sweet, and is perhaps the one most commonly available. Queen pineapples are small, and a little drier and less sweet than the Cayenne. The medium-sized Red Spanish pineapples have purple-hued skin and light yellow flesh. Among the other varieties found at the market are the sweet and medium-sized Pernambuco, the large, heavy, and mildly sweet Sugarloaf, the sweet, white-fleshed Variegated, and the very sweet Baby.

Nutrition Highlights

Pineapple (raw), 1 cup (155g), sliced
Calories: 76
Protein: 0.60g
Carbohydrate: 19.2g
Total Fat: 0.667g
Fiber: 1.86g
*Excellent source of: Vitamin C (23.8mg)

*Foods that are an “excellent source” of a particular nutrient provide 20% or more of the Recommended Daily Value. Foods that are a “good source” of a particular nutrient provide between 10 and 20% of the Recommended Daily Value.

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