I’m a firm believer that shopping locally and seasonally for fruits and vegetables is the way to go. The produce tends to taste better and cost less. Plus, foods have a lighter carbon footprint when hauled from 50 miles away instead of 5000. I do make some exceptions, however, most notably for one of my favorites in the fruit aisle: fresh pineapple. Unless I happen to be in an exotic locale, it’s one fruit that’s never going to be available in my neck of the woods. So when I do buy a pineapple, I want to make it count. Here are a few good things to know:

1. Pineapple Doesn’t Ripen After it’s Harvested

So, what you see is what you get. Its sugar content won’t increase once picked, although the exterior will appear more golden over time.  Your nose is one of the best tools when choosing a pineapple. Smell the stem end, looking for a fresh, pineapple scent. If it has a sour or fermented smell, give it a pass.

2. The Outside Matters!

The exterior of the pineapple should be yellow or green without browning on the shell or leaves.

3. It’s Full of Nutritional Benefits.

It’s a sweet, juicy, nourishing fruit that is about 80 calories per cup, with about 2 grams of fiber, a good dose of vitamin C, and the enzyme bromelain, which is a digestive aid.

4. It’s Easy to Cut, Once you Know How.

How to Choose, Prep, and Cut a Pineapple (and 7 scrumptious recipes) #pineapple #cookingtips Click To Tweet

How to Choose, Cut, and Use Fresh Pineapple

Start with a fresh pineapple that is firm, without much browning at the leaves.

How to Choose, Cut, and Use Fresh Pineapple

 Wash the pineapple and use a large, sharp knife to cut off the top and bottom.

How to Choose, Cut, and Use Fresh Pineapple

Set the fruit upright and use the knife to shear off the skin, including the brown pineapple “eyes”.

How to Choose, Cut, and Use Fresh Pineapple

Cut the pineapple into quarters through the center core. Trim off the little triangle of core on each of the four pieces.

How to Choose, Cut, and Use Fresh Pineapple

 

Cut the pieces of pineapple as desired: sliced, chopped, or diced.

How to Choose, Cut, and Use Fresh Pineapple

 Enjoy your fruit straight up or check out the gorgeous line up of recipe ideas below:

Kid-friendly green apple juice from Weelicious

A kid-friendly green apple juice from Weelicious

Coconut Shrimp with Pineapple Salsa from Shutterbean

Coconut Shrimp with Pineapple Salsa from Shutterbean

Hawaiian Pulled Pork Sandwiches from Heather Christo

Hawaiian Pulled Pork Sandwiches from Heather Christo

Grilled Chicken and Spinach Salad with Spicy Pineapple Dressing from Cooking Light.
Grilled Chicken and Spinach Salad
with Spicy Pineapple Dressing from Cooking Light

A pretty Roasted Pineapple for Two from Hola Jalapeno

A pretty Roasted Pineapple for Two from Hola Jalapeno

Blackberry Pineapple Smash from What's Gaby Cooking
And for the grown-ups in the crowd, Blackberry Pineapple Smash from What’s Gaby Cooking

How do you do up pineapple in your house?

How to Choose, Cut, and Use Fresh Pineapple