Okay, after two days of cooking our way through the rainbow, we bet you saw this one coming... Today's color is yellow! And what better way to get this radiant color on your plate than with pineapple, a fruit with a flavor that is as bright and sunny as it looks? Read on for some of the health benefits of this spiky selection (and a few tips for picking a good one at the grocery store).
Don't be deterred by this fruit's prickly exterior. Fresh pineapple is the perfect fruit to enjoy all winter: It has a tropical flavor that'll brighten up even the dreariest of days, and it is packed with immunity-boosting vitamin C. I fact, a single, 3/4 inch slice of pineapple has two-thirds of the vitamin C you need in a day.
Because pineapple doesn't ripen further after being picked, select a ready-to-eat one. Look for fruit that's heavy for its size, with a rich, sweet fragrance. The leaves should be green and fresh-looking. If you can pull one from the center of the stem with only slight resistance, you'll know it's ripe.
Ripe pineapple will keep at room temperature for about 2 days and in the refrigerator (either in a plastic bag or in the crisper) for about 4 days. The flesh could develop dark spots from temperature changes, so refrigerate pineapple that was bought chilled.
To Use and Cook
Slice away the spiky skin to reveal the juicy golden flesh, and cut it into chunks or rounds. Use raw pineapple in smoothies or salads, or bake in desserts. It's also wonderful for savory fare: An enzyme in pineapple breaks down protein molecules, making it a great meat tenderizer in marinades. Plus, it pairs well with fresh herbs, fish, soy sauce, or chile peppers.
Did you know?
Once rare in the United States, pineapple was served only on special occasions, so it became a symbol of hospitality.