Pineapples are refreshing, hydrating, and full of health-supporting vitamins and minerals. Pineapples are fun to eat, but many people are unsure of how to choose the right one or how to cut it correctly. Follow these tips for picking and preparing the perfect pineapple.
The Health Benefits of Fresh Pineapple
This tropical fruit is identified by its green, leafy stem, it’s rough, brown color, it’s scaly rind, and, it’s yellow, sweet flesh. Pineapple contains no saturated fat or cholesterol, is an excellent source of vitamins C, A, and beta-carotene. It also contains riboflavin, copper, manganese, and potassium. Bromelain, an enzyme that aids in digestion, is found in pineapple, too! Bromelain is the reason that, after eating pineapple in large quantities, your tongue starts to feel a burning sensation! Don’t worry, pineapple in moderation typically doesn’t bother people in this way.
How to Pick Out a Fresh Pineapple
- Watch out for brown or rotten spots on the outside or on the bottom of the fruit.
- There should be no soft spots.
- When tapped, fresh and ripe pineapples will have a dull, solid sound. Pineapples that aren’t ripe, or are of poor quality, will sound hollow when tapped.
- The middle leaf should easily come out and it should have a sweet fragrance. Avoid any fruits that smell sour.
How to Cut a Fresh Pineapple
1. Using a serrated knife, locate the top of the fruit, just below the leafed top, and cut it off.
2. Using your knife, slice off the bottom of the fruit.
3. Position your pineapple so that the bottom is flat against your cutting surface. Using your knife, and working your way around the entire fruit, slice off the hard outside. When finished with this step, the pineapple should be free from any brown spots or pieces of the hard rind.
4. If you have a pineapple corer, use it to remove the inside core. Then, use your knife to slice the pineapple into uniform, circular rings. Pineapple rings are great for baking recipes (like pineapple upside down cake), drinks, and desserts.
5. To cut the pineapple into chunks: with your fruit bottom still positioned and stabilized on your cutting surface, slice your pineapple in half, from top to bottom. There should be two pieces after this step.
6. To remove the core, half both the pieces. There should now be 4 total pieces.
7. Next, cut off any portions of the core on all 4 pieces.
8. To cut long pieces, take each piece and lay it flat on the cutting surface. Using your knife, slice it lengthwise in half. These long, lengthwise pieces are great for grilling.
9. To dice, take your already cut, long, lengthwise pieces and dice into small blocks or chunks. These large, diced pieces are perfect for adding to skewers or fruit salads.
Want more information? Be sure to check out our how-to video!