Pineapple the Natural Digestive Enzyme
Pineapples are full of surprises. For little boys, their first look at a pineapple probably reminded of a giant grenade. For little girls, they probably thought it looked like a huge pinecone. Although it is strange to look at, it amazing that something so prickly and hard could produce such a sweet, delicious fruit.
Pineapples are extremely good for you. They contain an enzyme called Bromelain. This brilliant enzyme can break down protein found in meats and many other foods that may be difficult to digest. You can buy this enzyme at the health food store or you can eat fresh or frozen pineapple and get the same effects. Bromelain also is a great anti-inflammatory agent that is helpful in reducing swelling.
Pineapple is also packed with vitamin C and is loaded with vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B5. Some of these B vitamins help in breaking down carbohydrates. Pineapples also contains magnesium, potassium, beta-carotene, and, of course, fiber. The pineapple’s ability to help with digestion makes it the perfect food to serve with any meal. Most people would agree that eating fresh pineapple is a satisfying treat.
A pineapple is ripe when you can easily pull out the inside leaf of the green top. Look for some yellow coloring on the shell and make sure the bottom where it was picked is dry and not wet or moldy.
To prepare the pineapple, first twist off the green top. Then set the pineapple upside down for at least 30 minutes or until ready to use. This step allows the juices to move around and distribute evenly throughout the pineapple.
When you are ready to cut the pineapple; cut off the top and bottom of the pineapple. Standing the pineapple on its side, slice the skin off in strips. Any divots left on the pineapple can be cut out with a potato peeler or paring knife. You can then cut the fruit in circles, slices or chunks. Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Because pineapple helps you digest that heavy steak, it is the perfect side to use when barbequing. So, may I suggest trying grilled pineapple? Our family sprinkles a little brown sugar on it while grilling on medium heat, but many people use honey.
How about some great recipes!
Pineapple Rice SaladThis was my oldest brother’s favorite dessert growing up. It is light and full of flavor.
1 cup Jasmine rice
16 ounce can crushed pineapple
1/2 cup whipped cream
1 Tablespoon vanilla
2-4 Tablespoons powdered sugar
Cook rice according to directions. Cool completely, rice needs to be cold. You may not want to add salt to the rice. Drain pineapple thoroughly.
Whip cream, add sugar and vanilla and combine all ingredients. Refrigerate for several hours before serving.
Tropical Fruit Salad
1 cup fresh diced pineapple
1 cup diced mango
1 sliced banana
1/2 cup diced kiwi
2 Tablespoons real maple syrup
Mix prepared fruit in a medium bowl and drizzle with maple syrup. Make sure you are using real maple syrup; it doesn’t taste good with imitation.
Pineapple Coconut Squares
1/2 cup of butter (soft)
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 Teaspoon salt
8 ounce crushed pineapple
1 cup coconut (flaked)
1/2 Teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup flour
3/4 Teaspoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drain the pineapple. In a large bowl, beat in softened butter and sugar until creamy; beat in eggs and almond extract. Mix in baking powder and salt; gradually beat in the flour. Stir in coconut and fold in pineapple.
Prepare 9 inch square pan by spraying liberally with spray coating and dust with flour. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly touched. Let cool and cut into bars.
Pineapple Nut Loaf
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup softened butter
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 ounces of frozen orange juice, (thawed)
1 cup crushed pineapple (drained)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream sugar and butter together; add egg; continue beating. Add baking powder, salt, and flour. Add orange juice concentrate and cream mixture together.
Stir in pineapple and pecans. Bake in a greased loaf pan for 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted in center of loaf.
Pineapple Shrimp Salad
18 pre-cooked shrimp
1 cup diced pineapple
1/4 cup red onion (diced)
1 small jalapeno pepper
1 large lime
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Arrange shrimp on a large platter or bowl with chopped avocado, pineapple, red onion and jalapeno pepper. Mix olive oil, sugar and lime juice with a whisk and drizzle over top. Lightly toss.