Pineapple In Season | Tips for Picking, Storing & Prepping

pineapple-in-season-tips

April is peak season for Pineapples.  Not only are they in peak supply and taste, but it’s also when you will find the lowest prices.  Bottom Dollar and Aldis are offering them for $1.28 each. 

Pineapple Nutrition Facts

Pineapples are high in dietary fiber, but their most important nutrient is vitamin C.  In addition, the stem of the pineapple plant contains the enzyme bromelain which stops the spread of tumors and aids digestion.  So don’t throw away that core.  It works great in smoothies.

Here are some great tips to make the most out of the Pineapples you buy during peak season.

Tips for Picking Pineapples

  • Pick out Large Heavy pineapples.  If it’s heavy it means it’s juciy and the bigger the pineapple the more edible flesh you will have.
  • Find Green Leaves.  Make sure your pineapple is fresh by picking pineapples with green leaves on the crown
  • Smells Like Pineapple look for a rich, sweet, fruity  aroma
  • Listen for a Solid “Thunk” — tap your finger against the side and it should make a solid thunk.
  • Don’t rely on the color of the shell — Some varieties of pineapple stay green longer simply because they contain more chlorophyll.  So a pineapple with a green shell could be ripe.
  • Stay away from Shriveled, Soft or Dry pineapples
  • For more vitamin C pick the “gold” variety — this has 4 times the vitamin C of regular pineapple.

Storage Tips for Pineapples

Store either at room temperature or in the refrigerator.  Neither will effect the sweetness of the fruit.  However, to keep the taste as fresh as possible, loosely wrap the pineapple in plastic and refrigerate for as long as 5 days.

To get it softer if it’s not ripe enough, store it at room temperature, but away from heat or strong light.  This won’t occur too often because a pineapple is only picked when it’s ripe.

Once you cut the pineapple, store cut pieces in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Prepping a Pineapple

**I’ll admit this is the part that keeps me from buying many pineapples, but these steps seem pretty easy**

  1. Cut off the spiky top about 1” below the leaves and cut 1/2” from the base so it’s stable.
  2. To remove the rind and spiky eyes at the same time, cut off the rind in vertical strips from top to bottom following the spiraling rows of eyes and contour of the fruit.
  3. Cut about 1/8” to 1/4” deep
  4. Trim away any remaining eyes with the tip of a vegetable peeler

To cut rings, cut a peeled, but uncored pineapple into rounds and use a small round cookie cutter to cut out the core from each slice.

To Cut Wedges or Chunks — Cut the peeled, uncored fruit lengthwise into quarters.  Remove the core by slicing along the length of each piece just under the core.  Then slice the cored fruit into wedges or chunks.

More Helpful Pineapple Tips

Tips for using with Jello — The Bromelain in pineapple can keep gelatin from jelling.  To prevent this, heat the pineapple or juice before adding to gelatin.

Tenderize Meat with Pineapple — This will work because of the bromelain in the pineapple.  When making a marinade for tough meat, like flake steak, add some pineapple juice or layer thin slices between steaks and refrigerate for 1 year.  If doing this with poultry or seafood limit the time to 30 minutes.

Soften Calluses with Pineapple — Just apply a piece of pineapple rind to the callus and cover with a band-aid overnight. 

So now you know how to pick, store and prep your pineapples and also why you shouldn’t throw away a single part of it.  Make the most of this great healthy fruit while it’s in season and at it’s lowest price.

Here are tips for other produce items in season in April so you can save and enjoy.

Strawberry Tips
Asparagus Tips

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