My very first memory of moving to Hawaii was landing at the Honolulu airport, departing the plane outside and being greeted with handmade leis of Pikake and Plumeria flowers. We then headed for Waikiki where we would stay until our house was ready. On the way, enjoying the sites, windows down, island breeze in our car, I soon became dizzied by this fragrant waft of what seemed to be warm, sweet pineapple upside down cake…we were privy to the downstream bliss of the Dole pineapple plant! Unforgettable!I still love the aroma of pineapple and I love how versatile it is in the kitchen. It’s perfect on its own and equally delicious added to salads, marinades, salsas and desserts. Remember that enzymes are destroyed by cooking and canning, so whenever possible, go for the fresh. If cooking with pineapple, use a little raw as well. Good example? Bake up a batch of pineapple muffins and serve with a dollop of yogurt and some chopped fresh pineapple.
Pineapple is an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese and also provides dietary fiber. Bromelain, an enzyme that breaks down protein, is found mainly in the stem of the pineapple, but there’s enough in the fruit to help make pineapple a great addition to marinades as a tenderizer.Here are some of my favorite, tasty ways to enjoy fresh pineapple:
Remember that pineapples are very perishable. Keep the whole, uncut pineapple on your kitchen counter for no more than a couple of days. Once cut, store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or freeze cut pineapple in juice for up to six months.Got a favorite way to eat pineapples? I’d love to hear!