If you're like me, you're always thinking of more ways to include fruit in your daily diet. I like fruit but it so often gets over ripe in my refrigerator before I get around to eating it. I just don't get in the fruit mood. There are 2 exceptions to this. One is watermelon, (think I could eat a whole one in one sitting) and the other is the
subject of today's post, the simple pineapple. Actually there are several reasons that the pineapple is unique and NOT so simple.
It probably initiated from Brazil and Paraguay and eventually made it's way to the Caribbean where Columbus "discovered" it and brought in back to Europe.
It's a member of the bromeliad family and only produces one fruit in it's lifetime. It is extremely rare that bromeliads produce edible fruit. The pineapple is the only available edible bromeliad today.
It is a multiple fruit. One pineapple is actually made up of dozens of individual flowerettes that grow together to form the entire fruit. Each scale on a pineapple is evidence of a separate flower.
According to my research pineapples stop ripening the minute they are picked and no special way of storing them will help ripen them further. It seems to me that as they sit on the counter they tend to get sweeter but all I've read says this is not true, How can you pick a ripe one? Color is relatively unimportant in determining ripeness.
Choose your pineapple by smell. If it smells fresh, tropical and sweet, it will be a good fruit.
The more scales on the pineapple, the sweeter and juicier the taste.
After you cut off the top (or better yet twist it off), you can plant it.
It should grow much like a sweet potato will. According to the website BUZZLE this is the best procedure:
|Courtesy of Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/growing-pineapple-plants-how-do-pineapples-grow.html|
Preparing the Crown for Rooting: The pineapple plant is commonly cultivated from the crown. It is advisable to pull off the crown from the fruit by twisting it; this way, the crown comes out clean without any flesh adhering to the base. Removing the lower leaves reveals the base of the crown. You may find a few short roots at the base.
Rooting: The process of rooting requires the crown to be kept immersed in water for about 3 weeks. You will have to replace the water in the container regularly.
Planting: The process of planting the pineapple crowns begins with selecting a proper soil medium for its growth. Also, the layers in which these media are arranged holds great importance. For example, the bottom layer is formed of pebbles which allow proper drainage of water. Above this layer, you should spread soil that is mixed with a medium like perlite. Crown should be planted in this layer of soil and then the soil watered. It takes about 6 weeks for the roots to gain hold in the soil. By the end of 2 months, the pineapple plant gets firmly rooted in the soil.
This delicious fruit is not only sweet and tropical; it also offers many benefits to our health. Pineapple is a remarkable fruit.
- It is valuable for easing indigestion, arthritis or sinusitis.
- The juice has an anthelmintic effect; it helps get rid of intestinal worms.
- Pineapple is high in manganese, a mineral that is critical to development of strong bones and connective tissue. A cup of fresh pineapple will give you nearly 75% of the recommended daily amount. It is particularly helpful to older adults, whose bones tend to become brittle with age.
- Bromelain, a proteolytic enzyme, is the key to pineapple's value. Proteolytic means "breaks down protein", which is why pineapple is known to be a digestive aid. It helps the body digest proteins more efficiently.
- Bromelain is also considered an effective anti-inflammatory.Regular ingestion of at least one half cup of fresh pineapple daily is purported to relieve painful joints common to osteoarthritis. It also produces mild pain relief.
- Fresh pineapple is high in Vitamin C and because of the Bromelain, it has the ability to reduce mucous in the throat. It is commonly used in Europe as a post-operative measure to cut mucous after certain sinus and throat operations.
- Pineapple is also known to discourage blood clot development. This makes it a valuable dietary addition for frequent fliers and others who may be at risk for blood clots.
- An old folk remedy for morning sickness is fresh pineapple juice. My daughter-in-law said it really works! Fresh juice and some nuts first thing in the morning often make a difference.
- It's also good for a healthier mouth. The fresh juice discourages plaque growth.
Let's put together some favorite recipes with ineapple to celebrate this tropical delight. You can add your favorites in the comments or send them for future publication to info@HiddenValleyRV.net.