Pineapple wears a crown for a reason. It is royally healthy. In fact, it may be the healthiest fruit we can eat.
Pineapple reigns in the tropics. The plant stores the goodness from the sun year-round and gives us its fruit from January to June.
Picking pineapples stops the ripening. They don’t sweeten up for you on your counter. Choose one that smells great and eat it in a day or two. Or store it in the fridge to prevent spoiling. Pineapple cut into chunks and stored in a sealed container keeps for up to a week without loss of nutrients.
And pineapple is silly-rich in nutrients. Check out Dick and Dana’s blog for lots of easy-to-read details on pineapple’s bounty. Or for a more scientific treatise, try The World’s Healthiest Foods. Here are just a few of pineapple’s incredible benefits.
- If you have worms in your innards (and I sure hope you don’t), pineapple juice can help kill them off. Whew!
- Pineapple is high in manganese, a mineral we need to activate many essential enzymes in our bodies. Among other things, it’s used to strengthen our bones.
- Bromelain is another key to pineapple’s value. This enzyme breaks down protein efficiently. It improves digestion and reduces inflammation. As inflammation is the cause of many serious diseases, like arthritis, cancer and heart problems, pineapple is an exceedingly valuable food.
- Fresh pineapple is high in vitamin C to fight off colds. Its bromelain also gets rid of the mucous that hangs out with colds and sinus problems.
- 1 pineapple peeled (and cored if you want… but know that the core fruit has the most nutrients)
- 1/2 sweet onion (like Vidalia)
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (a big fistful)
- 2 jalapeno peppers (or to taste)
- juice from one lime
- salt and pepper
The hardest part about this recipe is the chopping. You need to chop up the pineapple, red onion, cilantro and jalapenos. Do this by hand for a chunky salsa, or put it in your food processor if you like a more soupy variation (and are rushed for time). Next, transfer to a serving bowl and squeeze the juice out of one lime and season with salt and pepper.
If you don’t like foods too hot, leave out the seeds from the jalepenos and reduce the amount. But don’t leave the peppers out entirely. A little spiciness revs up your metabolism and galvanizes your taste buds. You won’t need nearly as much salt… And that’s a good thing.
That’s it. You’re done!
Enjoy your pineapple salsa as a side dish for barbecued salmon, tuna, or halibut. Or use it as dip for lime corn chips. I especially like the ones made from blue corn! Or even more wicked, you can try it with dried banana chips.
Pineapple is easy to get along with. Here are a few other pineapple friends to bring together for a tasty party.
- Combine diced pineapple with chopped shrimp, grated ginger and a little olive oil. Season to taste and serve this fragrant shrimp salad on a bed of spinach.
- Drizzle maple syrup on pineapple slices and broil until brown. Serve plain or with a dab of Greek yogurt.
- Serve a mix of chopped pineapple, grated fennel and walnuts as a side dish for chicken.
A fun project
Get your kids to plant the pineapple’s crown in a small pot and put it in some bright sunshine. Grow yourselves a little tropical atmosphere without leaving home. Click on photo from Nothing Right for more instructions.