Pineapples can be more than just a sweet tropical treat. Besides simply cutting them up and eating them, there are a few other uses of pineapple.
How to choose a pineapple
When choosing a pineapple at the store, look for the ones with healthy green leaves. Gently press them. They should feel firm with no soft spots. Smell the bottom. A good pineapple should have a sweet scent.
You can find Hawaiian pineapples year-round, but the best season is in the spring. Caribbean pineapples are in season in the fall and winter.
Grow your own
Pineapples are easy to grow. All you need to do is twist off the leafy top in a circular motion so that you leave no fruit on the stem. Then remove about a dozen of the small, bottom leaves from the stem. You’ll see little brown or white roots already in place to grow. Put the stem in a jar of water about one inch deep. Leave it in a warm sunny place for a couple of weeks. Once the roots grow out, you can plant it in a pot. If you live in a warm, frost-free area, you can plant it in your garden. To water your pineapple plant, pour water into its crown and on its roots.
Other than simply eating a pineapple, there are a few other uses.
- To keep roasting meat from getting tough, place slices of pineapple on top. It will tenderize the meat.
- Make homemade pineapple juice with the leftover trimmings. Put the trimmings and even the core into a blender with just enough water for processing. Blend them up, then strain the juice through a fine sieve or cheesecloth-lined strainer. Fresh pineapple juice is quick to ferment, so drink it immediately.
- Keep fresh cut fruits from browning by coating them with pineapple juice.
- Keep gelatin from firming up. Include pineapple in a gelatin dessert or salad to prevent the gelatin from firming up.
- Pineapple juice, rum, lemongrass, brown sugar, and olive oil makes an excellent poultry marinade.
Storing cut pineapple
To keep fresh pineapple longer, cut slices from the bottom as you need them. Wrap the unused part, with the green top growth still attached, in plastic wrap.
Fresh cubed pineapple: 2 lb. = 3 cups, or one medium pineapple
Frozen chunks: 13.5 oz. = 1.5 cups
Canned chunks or tidbits: 29 oz = 3.75 cups
Canned crushed: 29 oz = 3.75 cups
Canned slices: 20 oz. = 10
Canned juice: 46 fluid oz. = 5.75 cups
5 pounds of fresh pineapple = 4 pints of frozen pineapple
Haley’s Hints: A Compilation, by Graham Haley and Rosemary Haley
Rodale’s Book of Hints, Tips & Everyday Wisdom, by Carol Hupping
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