“ Do you grow pineapples? Tell the rest of us how! „
A fresh pineapple can be bought for 99p at Tesco at the moment. This tropical fruit is packed full of vitamins and minerals and suitable for all the family.
The awkward part is peeling the thing which I always fine to be quite a pain. There are various ways of doing this but I usually cut off the leaves at the top and the stalk bit at the bottom. Then I cut it in two long ways and peel off the thick skin.
Some people like to remove the core which tends to be a bit tough in larger, older fruit but I usually leave that in place. Once it's peeled it can be cut into slices and placed in a covered dish in the fridge.
Pineapple has a number of health benefits.
Pineapple can give you a useful boost to your health if you add it to your diet. Pineapple is a tropical fruit which contains high levels of an enzyme called bromelain and vitamin C. These assist the body's healing and renewal process.
Bromelain is an anti-inflammatory agent, which can help with bruising, and sprains by reducing swelling. This,in turn, reduces pain. Anti-inflammatories can also help to relieve rheumatoid arthritis, so pineapple may have a beneficial affect on this condition.
The bromelain in fresh pineapples can also relieve indigestion because the enzyme breaks down proteins and speeds up the digestive process.
The vitamin C content helps to protect the body and boost the immune system. Vitamin C repairs the body and speeds healing and it also metabolises fats and cholesterol.
Tests have shown that the large amounts of vitamin C in pineapple can help prevent gum and mouth diseases.
Fresh pineapples and fresh juice are the best way to benefit from this fruit because the tinned variety has a lot less bromelain. Processing destroys this vital enzyme, so fresh pineapple is best.
Certainly a good time to buy them as they are very cheap at present.
Hawaii still produces the largest amount of domestically consumed Pineapples but the major producer of the fruit is China.
Now when you go to Tesco to pick your pineapple you have to get it right first time around. Due to a lack of starch reserve pineapples don't ripen after they are picked, so you could choose the best looking fruit on the shelf but if it isn't ripe then you have had your chips!
The green leaves that sit at the top of the fruit should be deep green and perky looking, its no good squeezing the pineapple or seeing if it is soft as that doesn't indicate ripeness at all.
The pineapple needs to smell good, a good ripe rich fruity sweet smell. Watch out for leaky areas or soft patches on the fruit , this is a sure sign that all is not what it should be.
You need to cut your pineapple...so first of all take off the top and the bottom, right down to the flesh using a good sharp knife.
Then using a paring knife or a good sharp knife ( using extra care ) hold the pineapple upright and trim the hard thick scaly skin off. Then make little cuts into the flesh to access the `eyes`. These are the knobbly studs that are in the puffy squares of thick skin.
Then you need to take out the core by either slicing the fruit and taking out the centre with a biscuit cutter or stand it upright and pare off the fruit all the way around until you reach the core.
The fruit is ready to use then.
As long as you wrap the sliced pineapple in a plastic bag it will keep for a few days in the fridge. I have sometimes slipped up and not wrapped it tightly enough, gone back into my fridge later on and found it has tainted the other food stored in there-maddening.
Pineapple is good with meat, on kebabs, ham and pineapple, in curries. It looks and tastes good used in salads too.
Fruit salad tastes good with a few chunks added and if you ever make homemade punch for a family party then the acidity of the pineapple tastes great with it.
The fruit makes a really good Upside down cake, use a few cherries to add some colour though.
Any recipe that contains gelatin isn't any good for pineapple, it just doesn't set properly, I thought I was being dead clever one day and instead of using canned peaches I made a pineapple sponge flan, im afraid it ended up in the bin!
Pineapples are rich in Vitamin C and Bromelain ( Bromelain is a natural anti-inflammatory) Sipping the juice can ease a sore throat.
Tesco value pineapples can be as low as £1 which represents good value for money.
They are juicy and very delectable, I have one problem though, I have to limit myself to a small amount at a time or the acid takes the skin off of the roof of my mouth!
Browsing the fruit and veg in Tesco a few days ago I decided to try one of their cheaper pineapples, part of the Market Value range and just 98p for a fair sized fruit.
These are not as large or polished looking as the £1.78 Gold premium pineapples, but it still looks nice with shiny scales and a lush green top.
I noticed that the skin was rather more difficult to peel than its more expensive counterpart, but once inside the pineapple flesh was succulent and juicy. It has a refreshing and fresh taste with just the right amount of firmness to assure me this was a perfectly fresh quality fruit.
It was easy to core the pineapple and the resulting rings kept their shape well while I was chopping and slicing. I skewered some on cocktail sticks with some cubes of cheddar and the pineapple was the perfect accompaniment to the creamy cheese.
I think this is a perfect pineapple and won't be buying the more expensive version again. I live alone so this smaller fruit is actually better for me as it means less waste as pineapple doesn't keep well once cut up, and no way could I eat a full one in a day!
I made a pineapple upside down cake with a couple of these pineapples yesterday for my granddaughters' Halloween party and can confirm they are excellent for cooking and retained a good texture and level of flavour. Needless to say the children and adults all thoroughly enjoyed the cake and the reasonable price of these pineapples made for a cheaply made cake, especially as I had all the other ingredients I needed in the cupboard.