June 20 marks the first day of summer this year. Although this summer may have a rockier start than years prior due to the ongoing quarantining to help quell the spread of COVID-19, that doesn’t mean there aren’t tons of ways to make this summer feel as vibrant as every other year. One way to do that is to incorporate summer fruits into your cook out! A versatile fruit with many health benefits that can be used in many dishes is pineapple, the ultimate summer fruit.
According to Pure Gold Pineapple, the Australian pineapple company, pineapples are an excellent source of vitamin C, manganese and fiber while also being low in calories, sodium, saturated fats and cholesterol. Pineapples also contain an enzyme called bromelain, which aids in digestion.
“The bromelain enzyme is generally found in the stem or core of a pineapple and helps to digest food by breaking down the protein particles within it,” according to Pure Gold Pineapple. “Promoting a healthy digestive system [bromelain] is great for a natural detox and has also been known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-clotting properties.”
Aside from being good for you and providing antioxidants you might not be getting from other foods, pineapple can bring an added brightness to your meals and is the perfect way to liven up dinnertime. To make sure that you’re able to jump in with a perfectly ripe pineapple, look for these indicators so you know that you’re picking out the best one every time!
SELECTING PINEAPPLE PROS
- The best and most ripe pineapples should be a yellow or golden color all the way through from base to stem.
- Ripe pineapples should give off a sweet, fresh scent if you smell the base of the fruit.
- The skin of the pineapple should be firm with a little bit of softness when pressure is applied. Just make sure not to poke yourself with the spikes!
SELECTING PINEAPPLE WOES
- Green pineapples indicate that they are not ripe enough, and orange coloring on pineapples indicate that they may be overripe.
- Bad pineapples will begin to smell like vinegar when they’ve begun to rot, so smell with caution.
- If you check the pineapple’s skin and it’s either as hard as a rock or feels mushy, this is not your perfect pineapple. These can indicate underripe and overripe fruits respectively.
YUMMY PINEAPPLE CREATIONS
- Try PORK TACOS with little chunks of pineapple! You’ll be surprised how well the flavors blend together, especially with grilled pork. To take it up a notch, try grilling the pineapple, too!
- PINEAPPLE SALSA is the perfect summer side dish. Swap out your tomato for pineapple! Some standard salsa ingredients to add are chopped onion, cilantro, salt and lime juice to taste!
- Throw some pineapple in the next time you make a SMOOTHIE for an extra tropical kick!
- Want something sweet for DESSERT, and not in mood for chocolate? Try grilling this ultimate summer fruit in slices and serving them topped with vanilla ice cream, coconut flakes and almond slivers.