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Pineapples

While the exact origins of the Pineapple are still being debated upon, botanists all agree that it originated in the Americas, specifically around the area near Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina. Just like America, Christopher Columbus is credited with discovering the pineapple on an island called Guadeloupe in the Caribbean. Legend has it that the Pineapple is George Washington’s favorite tropical after having tasted one in Barbados in 1751.

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Order: Poales
  • Family: Bromeliaceae
  • Genus: Ananas
  • Species: A. comosus
  • Binomial name: Ananas comosus

Pineapple Trivia

  • Pineapples contain the enzyme bromelain, which you can use to tenderize meat. A lot of meat tenderizers exact this enzyme from pineapples and bottle it in its powdered form
  • A Pineapple is not a whole fruit, but rather a cluster of hundreds of fruitlets
  • You can use the pineapple leaves/tops to grow another plant. Regeneration!

Pineapple Buying Guide

Pineapples range from dark green to bright orange. The perfect pineapple is when it has that yellow-orange hue with still some green visible in the “eyes” of the pineapple. Choose ones with the tops still green and avoid any pineapples with discolored leaves. The “shell” should still be firm and have just a little bit of give when you press down on it.

The riper pineapples are, the more pronounced the pineapple smell will be when you smell it on the bottom part of the fruit. If it smells overripe, it probably is. And if it doesn’t smell like anything, then it’s probably underripe.

Pineapple Production & Farming in Texas

The US pineapple production is limited to two areas, namely: Hawaii and Southern Florida. Pineapples are very sensitive to cold weather making commercial pineapple growing in Texas next to impossible. While home growers can grow pineapples in their homes by moving their plants indoors during the colder months, it would be cheaper to buy them out of state or from your local grocers.

Pesticides:

Testing has shown that 90% of Pineapples show little to no detectable pesticide residue in the meat due to the thick and inedible skin that provides a natural layer of protection. But despite this, pesticides and fertilizers used to grow pineapple can still contaminate the water supply and harm fish due to runoff, this is why buying organic and encouraging eco-friendly farming is always the way to go.

Geography:

Pineapples thrive in very warm weather and tropical countries, and this is why most of the world’s pineapple supply comes from South Asian countries and South America. Pineapples can also help in water retention in the soil, which makes it the perfect plant for areas with little freshwater supply.

Packaging:

After picking, the pineapples are washed in pools that contain chlorinated water to wash away dirt and any gunk that may have accumulated on the Pineapple’s thick skin. It is then loaded into conveyor belts for sizing and sorting. Pineapples with visual defects, undersized or oversized, are usually sent over to canning facilities where they are canned in either a light or heavy syrup. The rest of the pineapples are then polished before being packed into boxes before being sent off to their final destinations.

Enjoying Pineapples

Pineapples are usually enjoyed raw, in juices, as part of dishes or as part of a dessert. The pineapple has made it into the limelight due to the fame of the pineapple upside-down cake. Another famous (or infamous, depending on which side you take) pineapple preparation is as a topping for pizza. Pineapples have also been a mainstay for alcohol-based tropical drinks with pina kooladas taking center stage.

Storage:

A whole pineapple (uncut) can last on the kitchen counter for up to three or four days, or inside the fridge for up to four days. Cut pineapple with the skin removed can be safely stored inside the refrigerator for up to five days and in the freezer for up to five months providing proper storage guidelines are followed.

Cooking:

Pineapple can be grilled and caramelized as a dish on its own. Many Asian cuisines also add pineapples to their dishes in stews. Pineapple (arguably!) can also be used as toppings for pizza. Another popular use for pineapple in cooking is its versatility when added to sauces and glazes.

Nutrition:

Pineapple is a tropical fruit that is readily available in most stores and is a staple in homes around the world.

Nutritional Guide for 1 cup (165 grams of raw pineapple)

  • Carbs
    • Contains 21.6 grams of carbs per cup
    • Pineapple is considered to be a medium glycemic index fruit, meaning it has a lower glycemic load than overripe bananas and watermelon, but higher than berries, apples or pears.
  • Fiber
    • Pineapples contain 2 grams of fiber per cup which is about 10% of the RDI
    • Dietary fiber can help move things along and flush out unwanted toxins in the body
  • Protein
    • Pineapple is not a significant source of protein
  • Vitamins and minerals:
    • Bromelain – Pineapple is an excellent (and the only known) source of Bromelain which helps in overall gut health and aids in digestion
    • Bromelain also helps in fighting cancer and reduce oxidative stress and reduce inflammation in the body
    • Pineapples are also loaded with antioxidants known as flavonoids and phenolic acids, which help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.
    • High Vitamin C Content
      • A cup of pineapple has 79 mg of Vitamin C which is roughly the same as the daily recommended intake
      • Vitamin C promotes a healthy immune system
    • High Copper content
      • A cup of pineapple has 181 mcg of copper, which is about 20% of what the body needs every day.
    • Fat-Free!

Nutrition

DV%

  • Serving Size: 1 Serving
  • Calories: 84.7 4%
  • Carbs: 22.4g 7%
  • Sugar: 17.1g
  • Fiber: 2.3g 9%
  • Protein: 0.9g 2%
  • Fat: 0.2g 0%
  • Saturated Fat: 0g 0%

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