Ode to the Pineapple

Pineapple. I am obsessed. Pineapple and mangoes are my favorite juicy fruits. It pains me to think about the carbon footprint required to transport these delicious tropical fruits from their warm homes to a rainy, cold Jersey Shore for me to enjoy. But I can’t help it. I am addicted. I love tropical fruit! I will save the mango love for another time, this post is all about my prickly tangy sweet yellow love. Not only is fresh pineapple juicy, delicious, and refreshing, but it is also very good for you. Pineapple belongs to the bromeliacea family Bromeliacae foods are named as such because they are packed with bromelian enzymes. Bromelian enzymes help the body balance and neutralize the fluids in the body, ensuring the body is neither too acidic nor too alkaline, it stimulates the pancreas to secrete hormones that aid in digestion and is also an anti-inflammatory. These awesome enzymes promote healing in the body and can only be found in fresh pineapple. The enzymes are destroyed during the canning process (heating/pasteurizing for preservation).

In addition to the bromelian enzymes, pineapples are packed with vitamin C, B1 (smaller amounts of B2, B3, B5 and B6) and it’s a great source of manganese, copper, magnesium, potassium, beta-carotene, folic acid and even dietary fiber (that vitamin list makes pineapple a GREAT pre-conception food!). For a detailed nutritional analysis check this site.

Considering the globalization of this great big world of ours, pineapple is readily available throughout the United States 12 months of the year, even if you don’t live in Hawaii. Many grocery stores such as Wegmans, Whole Foods and even Acme now neatly package fresh pineapple. If you don’t want to pay extra for the convenience purchasing the full pineapple and cutting it yourself is a bit more economical.

When shopping for pineapple, choose one that is golden, heavy and smelling sweet. Be sure to check the bottom is free from decay or moldy spots. Cut off the crown of the pineapple, turn it upside down on a plate and leave it in the fridge a few hours before you plan to eat it. This allows the sweetness of the juice (at the bottom of the pineapple) to evenly distribute throughout the entire fruit. To store cut pineapple, keep it in an airtight container and let it soak in it’s own juice. It should keep for up to 1 week.

Please note, pineapple is an extremely sweet fruit with high fructose levels. If you are in good health, pineapple should not pose a problem, however diabetics or those with blood sugar issues should consult their doctor.

I am off to eat some pineapple and plain Greek yogurt for breakfast. Yum!

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