Last Updated on August 14, 2023 by Create Better Health
Pineapples, with their distinct tropical charm and sweet tang, have long been a favorite among fruit enthusiasts. But have you ever stopped to wonder: are these spiky, juicy wonders truly berries? The answer might just surprise you. In this exploration, we delve into the intriguing botanical classification of pineapples, unraveling the mystery behind whether they can be officially crowned as berries. But that’s not all—alongside settling this fruity debate, we’re serving up a platter of bonus tips and delectable recipes that showcase the versatility and deliciousness of this beloved fruit. Get ready to unlock the secrets of pineapples, from their berry status to enhancing your culinary adventures. Let’s dive in!
In this blog you will find:
- Are Pineapples Berries?
- How Does Pineapple Grow? And Other Fun Facts
- Tips to Getting the Most Out of Your Pineapple
- Can Pineapple Be Frozen?
- Our Favorite Pineapple Recipe: Pineapple Sweet and Sour Chicken
Are Pineapples Berries?
Yes, pineapple is botanically considered a type of berry. It is classified as a multiple fruit, which means it develops from the fusion of multiple flowers into a single fruit. The individual “scales” on the surface of a pineapple are actually individual flowers that have fused together. Each scale produces a small, fleshy fruit, and all of these individual fruits together make up what we commonly know as a pineapple. So, while it might not fit the typical image of a berry, pineapples do fall under the botanical definition of a berry.
How Does Pineapple Grow? And Other Fun Facts
How Does Pineapple Grow? Pineapples grow from the top of mature fruits called “crowns.” Planting a crown in well-draining soil lets it develop roots and new leaves. After about 1-1.5 years, the plant produces a central stem with pinkish-purple flowers at the top. Each flower becomes a small fruit, which fuses with others to form a pineapple. The fruit changes from green to yellow as it ripens, ready for harvest. Side shoots called “suckers” can grow new plants. This unique process showcases the pineapple plant’s tropical adaptation and reproduction.
Bromelain: Have you ever had a sore mouth from eating too much fresh pineapple? Did you know, this could be caused by an enzyme called bromelain. It is found in large quantities in fresh pineapple. The purpose of bromelain is to denature, or break down, proteins. Canned pineapple has been treated with heat and no longer contains bromelain. If you’re looking for a way to enjoy pineapple without a sore mouth, choose canned pineapple.
Multiple Fruit: Pineapples are technically a multiple fruit because they form from the fusion of many individual flowers. Each “scale” on the pineapple is a separate flower.
Tropical Origin: Pineapples are native to South America and were spread throughout the world by explorers and traders.
Ananas comosus: The scientific name for the pineapple is “Ananas comosus.” “Ananas” is derived from the Guarani word for the fruit.
Nutrient Rich: Pineapples are rich in vitamin C, manganese, and dietary fiber. They’re a refreshing and nutritious addition to various dishes.
Tips to Getting the Most Out of Your Pineapple
Choosing a Ripe Pineapple: Look for a pineapple with vibrant green leaves and a sweet aroma at the base. The fruit should feel slightly firm but not overly hard. C
hoose a pineapple that feels heavy for its size. This can be an indication of juiciness.
Give the base of the pineapple a gentle sniff. A ripe pineapple will have a sweet, fragrant aroma at the stem end. If it smells sour or has no aroma, it might not be fully ripe.
Enhancing Flavor: Sprinkle a bit of salt, chili powder, or lime juice on freshly cut pineapple to enhance its natural sweetness and flavor.
Multiple Uses: Pineapple can be eaten in many different ways. Eat it plain, add it to salads, grill it for a kabob, or cook it in a casserole. Click here to view a list of Top 10 Ways to Enjoy Pineapple.
Can Pineapple Be Frozen?
Yes, pineapple can absolutely be frozen. Freezing pineapple is a great way to preserve its freshness and enjoy it later in various dishes and recipes. Here’s how you can freeze pineapple:
1. Prepare the Pineapple:
- Choose ripe pineapples. They should have a sweet aroma and slightly firm texture.
- Peel the pineapple and remove the core.
- Cut the pineapple into chunks, slices, or whatever shape you prefer.
- Arrange the pineapple pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet or tray.
- Place the tray in the freezer for a few hours until the pineapple chunks are frozen individually.
- Once the pineapple is frozen, transfer the pieces to a resealable freezer bag or an airtight container.
- Squeeze out excess air from the bag before sealing it to prevent freezer burn.
- Label the bag with the date for reference.
- Frozen pineapple can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 to 12 months.
- To use the frozen pineapple, simply take out the desired amount from the freezer bag and use it in your recipes. There’s no need to thaw it before using it in most cases.
- Frozen pineapple can be used in smoothies, desserts, baked goods, and various savory dishes.
- It’s versatile and adds a refreshing tropical flavor to your creations.
Remember that freezing can slightly alter the texture of the pineapple, making it a bit softer once thawed. However, it will still be delicious and usable in a variety of recipes.
Our Favorite Pineapple Recipe: Pineapple Sweet and Sour Chicken
Here at Create Better Health, we like to find unique ways to add fruits and vegetables to meals. This recipe does just that. It is loaded with lots of fresh veggies and a can of pineapple. Serve it over brown rice to make it a complete MyPlate meal!
First, chop all your veggies: 1 green pepper, 2 carrots, 2 stalks of celery, and 1 onion.
Next, make the sauce. Combine the pineapple juice from the can, water, vinegar, brown sugar, ginger, and cornstarch. Stir until combined.
Cut the chicken into cubes, and saute it in olive oil over medium-high heat until cooked through. Add in your vegetables and continue to sauté until they are al dente. Al dente means firm to the bite. This is in between mushy, overcooked, and hard, undercooked.
After that, add the sauce and keep stirring until it has thickened.
Serve over rice and garnish with pineapple chunks. Enjoy!
What is your favorite recipe using pineapple? Please share it in the comments below! Enjoy!